Words

about music, concerts, the arts in Canada, and more. A collection of essays and blogs (which I’ve embedded here all in one place).

Famous composer quotes

…composers whose words inspire…

  • “For me there is something primitively soothing about this music, and it went straight to my nervous system, making me feel ten feet tall.” ― Eric Clapton

  • “Too bad people can't always be playing music, maybe then there wouldn't be any more wars.” ― Margot Benary-Isbert, Rowan Farm

  • "The point is that even if music can arouse in us associations with the rich world of human feelings, in different people these associations will be different. Hence a simple conclusion: it is unimportant whether the composer writes his work under the influence of extra-musical impulses, whether it is related in his consciousness or subconsciousness to some cycle of events, or whether he himself plans to express something which could be said in words. All this belongs to the field of sources of musical inspiration, but for me it never becomes the ultimate goal. And that is why, just like so many other composers, I could not answer enquiry about the concrete meaning of my music. Just as I could not say what is the meaning of Debussy’s preludes or Bach’s partitas. But isn’t it part of the great attraction of music that what is says cannot be expressed in any other way?" — W. Lutoslawski

  • "Music is the arithmetic of sounds as optics is the geometry of light." — Claude Debussy

  • “Without music, life would be a mistake.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

  • "Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end." — Igor Stravinsky

  • "The listener must be gripped and whether he likes it or not, drawn into the flight path of the sounds without special training being necessary. The sensual shock must be just as forceful as when one hears a clap of thunder or looks into a bottomless abyss." — Iannis Xenakis

  • "Art, and, above all, music, has a fundamental function, which is to catalyze the sublimation that it can bring about through all means of expression. It must aim through fixations which are landmarks, to draw [one] towards a total exaltation in which the individual mingles, losing his consciousness in a truth immediate, rare, enormous, and perfect. If a work of art succeeds in this undertaking even for a single moment, it attains its goal." — Iannis Xenakis

  • "It isn't false modesty when I say this, but although I am supposed to be a famous person it doesn't mean anything to me. I just sit at home and work." — Gyorgy Ligeti

  • "Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art." — Claude Debussy

  • “Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart..” ― Pablo Casals

  • “This machine kills fascists.” ― Woody Guthrie