John Zorn - Quotes

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As soon as you get a certain amount of attention, then everybody kinda wants to start taking pot shots at you. All your old friends that supported you don't support you any more. ---->>>

I don't play favorites with people. My basic philosophy is that the only way to make the world a better place is by bringing something beautiful to every single person you run into at every moment of the day, so how can you play favorites with somebody? ---->>>

You can't be idealistic in this world and not be crazy. ---->>>

Great musicians accept everything that they hear and find something good. They take what they like and they throw away what they don't like. ---->>>

I'm constantly tortured, and that's why I say happiness is irrelevant. Happiness is for children and yuppies. ---->>>

I don't control it at all. It's all up to the musicians in the group. They control it. They make all the cues, and they tell me what they want, and then I act like a mirroring device so that everyone can see what the cues are. ---->>>

The idealists will always be in society, and we will survive. ---->>>

Classical stuff takes a lot of rehearsal time and preparation, but with stuff that involves improvisation, you can over-rehearse it and it gets stale. You don't want it to be too comfortable. In fact, a good sound check, a good rehearsal usually means a bad performance. ---->>>

I don't ascribe to the idea of the ivory tower composer who sits alone in a room composing his masterpieces and then comes down from Mount Sinai with the tablets. It doesn't work like that. The job of a composer is putting something down on a piece of paper that will inspire the person who's playing. ---->>>

I used to look at composing music as problem solving. But as I get older, it's not about problem solving anymore. There are no solutions, because there are no problems. You just turn the tap and it flows out. ---->>>

It's a blast to watch. It's a lot more interesting live than it is on record. I mean, it really is a theatrical event. It's a sporting event! Cause you never know what's gonna happen. ---->>>

My solo music - I get up onstage, I improvise and it's my improvisation. When I get up onstage with Fred Frith and Mike Patton, then we're improvising together. Then it's not my music; it's our music. ---->>>

No one sits in front of a drum set and thinks they invented it all out of whole cloth. The fact that the set is there means that you've got some dues to pay to Baby Dodds. ---->>>

What happens when you get to the age of 60 is that you have no more doubts. I know why I'm here on this planet. I know what I need to do. I know what is a distraction and what isn't. ---->>>

You know, when we were kids, we had to go to a theater to see a movie. And then television came in and you had to wait until midnight to see the one you wanted to see. Now, all you've got to do is go to a store and buy it and you can watch it whenever you want! ---->>>

I see myself and many artists like me as the torchbearers through these dark ages. ---->>>

Each record in the 'Book of Angels' series is meant to be unique in terms of the compositions. ---->>>

I have wit in my work and a sense of humor, but I do not use irony in any way. ---->>>

One thing that I do ask myself when I'm in the creative process is, 'Does the world need this?' ---->>>

People sometimes have a very hard time accepting change. ---->>>

When I'm writing, sometimes it gets to that place where I feel like the piece is writing itself and I'm trying not to get in the way. ---->>>

Music is about people for me. It's not about sounds. It's about people; it's about putting people into challenging situations. And for me, challenges are opportunities. ---->>>

I have not practiced saxophone since 1980. I mean, not one note. I do not pick it up in my house, and that's the end of it. ---->>>

Anything that gets in the way of my focus to create gets cut out of my life. It's not easy. Sometimes it's family. Sometimes it's friends. Sometimes it's the ability to have a relationship. ---->>>

For about seven years. I really like it there. There are a lot of great musicians. The scene is very open. A lot of stuff going on. People's ears are really open, they are not closed. A lot of scenes here, people just get tunnel vision and are into one thing. ---->>>

It breaks even. We lose ten, twenty grand every year. But then the people who are working say, Look, I'll kick this back in, I don't need to take this profit share. It's very cooperative. ---->>>

Like you have seven people with their hands up. I gotta make a choice. Y'know, that's tough. Sometimes I gotta go with someone that has an idea and make several calls in a row, because they got an idea. ---->>>

Well, in Japan, I have got a group of musicians that I have worked with a lot, that concentrate just on the hardcore stuff, say, that Naked City has been working on. We have like a repertoire of sixty songs now. ---->>>

I create work, and I devote myself to the creative process, and I try to, you know, stay pure in that process and be worthy of the messages that I receive. ---->>>

I started the label Tzadik to support an entire community of musicians, not just Jewish musicians. But the radical Jewish culture movement was begun in a lot of ways because I wanted to take the idea that Jewish music equals 'klezmer' and expand it to, 'Well, Jewish music could be a lot more than that.' ---->>>

I'm not striving for happiness, I'm trying to get some work done. And sometimes the best work is done under doubt. Constantly rethinking and re-evaluating what you're doing, working and working until it's finished. ---->>>

That is a lot of the reason I do what I do, to really spread the word and spread information and turn people onto different things they may not be, y'know, aware of. That is what Naked City is certainly about. ---->>>

It's a matter of keeping people on a spontaneous edge. ---->>>

And I try to be as diplomatic as I can, but it always ends up being a psychodrama up there on stage. ---->>>

Eye was a great discovery. He is one of the great vocalists of all time. ---->>>

Man, Dick Dale shreds. He's welcomed to anybody's bar mitzvah. ---->>>

I put together the influences of my life in as clear a way as I possibly can, in the same way that Beethoven or Schoenberg or Bach put their influences together. ---->>>

I have about two or three people, we don't have an office, we don't even have a dedicated phone line. We do it out of our own homes, and we make it work. ---->>>

I run around, I listen to a lot of music, go to a lot of concerts. And when I see someone that gases me, I try to go out of my way to involve them somehow in what I'm doing or get involved in what they're doing. ---->>>

I'm getting ready to write a piece now, and it's been six months thinking about it, changing the instrumentation, changing the name, doing more reading. ---->>>

If someone is a straight jazzhead, or a straight metalhead, or straight classical, they have a very narrow range of what they allow into their lives. But the people who listen to what we put out into the world have to be open-minded. Because we're so pluralist. ---->>>

One of the reasons I started Tzadik, which is my own label, is to keep things in print. I got tired of labels dropping things out of print when they don't sell. ---->>>

That was my challenge as a composer. Like with anything, to keep yourself interested in doing what you do, you set yourself challenges. So I said, Okay, I'll try to write a hundred tunes in a year. ---->>>

That's where I began to ask questions that maybe don't have one specific answer. And the more people you get answers from, the richer the environment becomes. ---->>>

The magic that you find in surf music, I think, is really timeless. You know, when I was very young, I was in a surf band. Surf music is an instrumental music that still means a lot to me, not in an nostalgic way, but as something that really gets to the heart of the guitar itself. ---->>>

You can't sit down and write 300 compositions in a three-month period and think that you're doing it all by yourself. Obviously, there's something going on here. And whether you want to call it channeling or being connected to a creative force or knowing your history and knowing where you belong, that's, you know, maybe a personal thing. ---->>>

Biography

Name: John Zorn
Nationality: American
Born: 09-02, 1953
Birthplace:
Die:
Occupation: Composer

John Zorn (born September 2, 1953) is an American composer, arranger, producer, saxophonist, and multi-instrumentalist with hundreds of album credits as performer, composer, and producer across a variety of genres, including jazz, rock, hardcore, classical, surf, metal, klezmer, soundtrack, ambient, and improvised music (wikipedia)