Favorite Quotes

Verna Arvey: “Then there was the party that wasn’t a party, because nobody was invited, but everybody came.”  From her book, In One Lifetime, about her life with composer William Grant Still.

Rainer Maria Rilke: “Song is existence.”

Edward Hirsch: “Song is a messianic instrument of metamorphosis, of transfiguration. It is an incarnate form of praise, a magical embodiment of spirit.” From The Demon and the Angel, Searching for the source of artistic inspiration.

Alan Paton: “For it is the dawn that has come, as it has come for a 1000 centuries, never failing. But when that dawn will come, of our emancipation, from the fear of bondage and the bondage of fear, why, that is a secret.”  From Cry, the Beloved Country.

Mark 13:35 RSVWatch therefore—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning.

A Composer’s Voice: “At a certain point in his development, a gifted young composer becomes more than the sum of the influences he has absorbed from tradition, more than simply an amalgamator of other composers’ styles, more than an imitator, more than a disciple, more than a transmitter of conventions. He becomes an adept, he speaks in a tongue that has not previously been heard, he finds his own voice. He has discovered a style; or, perhaps, a style has discovered him. Henceforth, a recognizable portion of our musical language will be identifiable as his language, embodying his rhetoric, his devices, his formal structures.” From Mozart, A Life by Maynard Solomon.

Walter Piston: “Music without dissonant intervals is often lifeless and negative, since it is the dissonant element which furnishes much of the sense of movement and rhythmic energy. The history of musical style has been largely occupied with the important subject of dissonance and its treatment by composers. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that the essential quality of dissonance is its sense of movement and not, as sometimes erroneously assumed, its degree of unpleasantness to the ear.” From Harmony, Third Edition.

Confucius: “To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue — these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.”

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast:  “When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast:  “They say the seeds of what we will do are in all of us, but it always seemed to me that in those who make jokes in life the seeds are covered with better soil and with a higher grade of manure.”

Ben Piazza, The Exact and Very Strange Truth: “They made up rules about the new country. In the new country nothing bad could ever happen to anyone because there were lots of angels looking out for everyone. And in the new country nobody got sick or died and everyone loved everyone else. In the new country you could holler and scream and say whatever you wanted to and all anybody ever ate was candy or ice cream or cake.”

“Sometimes things change so sudden. Yes, like on a summer afternoon when a thunderstorm comes. The sky can be bright blue and all at once change to gray and then black. That is the way it is. Things change so sudden sometimes and that is the exact and very strange truth. Always and forever things change.”

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