Saturday, July 28, 2012

Barenboim & Bird on improvisation

Improvisation is the highest form of art for me, because when you see a score for the first time [... T]he first reaction is gut, instinct [...] We only get to this possible stage of making music [as art] - possible - the moment we have digested all that and we achieve a kind of conscious naivete which allows us to improvise it, which allows us to play it at that moment as if it is on the spur of the moment. [...] It's a very blessed state in the life of a human being.
Daniel Barenboim in his 2006 Reith Lecture,
London, May 6th, 2006

First you learn the instrument, then you learn the music, then you forget all that and just play.
Charlie Parker quoted by Artie Shaw in Gene Lees's book
Meet Me at Jim and Andy's
(Oxford University Press, 1988)

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