Jose Gonzalez: “Passion is the idea of engagement – of pursuing something in a positive move”

A grand unified question: What do hope and passion mean to you?

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Jose Gonzalez: To hope something means to wish something, to imagine something and then wish for it to come true. It is something that I am involved with in writing lyrics – I hope – in aiming or articulating a utopia – even if it is not possible to reach. The idea of hoping something could be picturing yourself as an individual in a utopic, euphoric place – or just a comfortable place, whatever that means to anyone. Hope is nice. Depending on your utopia that could be a very strange or even a very negative thing when put into context with other people’s utopias… that is the interesting thing. Passion is the idea of engagement – of pursuing something in a positive move. Nice words. I like the combination. Nothing but hope and passion…

Source : https://nbhap.com/people/jose-gonzalez

Pandit Ravi Shankar:”Why do they associate Indian music with drugs?”

Would you care to comment about Indian music and drugs? The English singer-poet Donovan recently published this statement on his record cover: “Oh what a dawn youth is rising to! I call upon every youth to stop the use of all drugs and banish them into the dark and dismal places for they are crippling our blessed growth.”

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Pt. Ravi Shankar : It is very strange, you know, because all this, ah, youngsters and all this, either Beatle or Donovan, who, they are saying the things which I have been saying for last many years. They are saying it a bit, you know, they are themselves a bit late. But I am glad they have understood it by themselves. Now the question is, just as themselves they took long time to come to this conclusion in spite of . . . many people must have told them, but they were not convinced. Something has made them convinced by their own experiences. And also now it depends upon their saying, and singing and composing all the songs, how much effect it will have on the young people who listen to them. If these young people who listen are are great fans of all these pop musicians who are now writing against drugs, it might have very good effect. There might be still a number of young people at large who might not be affected by this philosophy and still continuing to pursue, to find out things through drugs. Some of them, not all of them might go, you know, far out, and then, what is that word, point of no return. Something happens. I’ve been very strongly against this whole thing, you know, and I’ve been talking and writing about it, speaking often as I can to the young people. And I was concerned because of two reasons: All this big wave of Hare Krishna, etc., and beads, bells and joss sticks being carried in their ears or between their teeth like Carmen carries a rose, always sort of hurt me very much. I saw on one side their real willingness to feel something and get something out of the Indian cultural heritage, religious or spiritual. And also, music was there. I should have been very happy because I am very much loved by these people. But on the other hand I felt the whole approach. Either to religion or to music, the whole Indian concept, you know. And, drugs were sort of the bridge. It is now on its wane. Because now slowly that frenzy seems to be less. Of course, what I saw in California, especially San Francisco area, in Haight-Ashbury. It chilled me inside to see. India has the oldest hippies in this world, I think, before anywhere else. All this long beards, all this fantastic looking sort of types, you know, all drugged and mad things. This has been there always. But then, it’s not thought of for these young people. I have always felt that these young people today are the most sensitive, most aware, people, so much more than the young people in the old, you know, a few years ago. On the other hand it is some of these self-appointed gurus, as I say, in this country. I don’t like to take their names, but you know, who for the last few years have either been to India, or brought all this philosophy from India and tried to talk all the time. This had great effect on the youth, that everything you should do should be through drugs: in India everyone takes drugs, everyone smokes hashish or bhang, without taking marijuana you cannot say “Om,” you cannot sing, you cannot meditate, and all sorts of things. And then unfortunately, the whole mix-up of sex and spiritual exercise all became one, you know. All of a sudden I saw it was more like a pagan ritual like you find in those peculiar books or those peculiar films, you know, orgies and religious things together. And it makes me sad because I happen to be a Hindu, a Brahmin, and belong to a very religious family and I know what has happened in India and what is happening. And it is absolutely gross, I mean, a distortion of facts. As I said, you do find lots of this type, yes. But these are the types that we really look down upon. These are all what we call the worshippers of devils. These are the witchcraft people, you know, they have what is known as siddhi, those quick attainments, by doing the sort of rituals and they are the people, you know, who sort of go to help people to get certain little powers, which according to our true yogis are nothing, mere nothing. It is the most basic that one should shun all this quick attainment, you know, and it is all associated with this type of so-called ascetics or religious people who are really not. They are followers of devils, as we think. And this became more attractive to the youth here because that is what they were told. And this whole mixup with the Tibetan and the Dead and Tantra and philosophy. It really made me so disturbed. And then there was the Indian music. They get high and stoned after taking drugs and then they put my records on and they try to see visions. And just after a little they just like animals start, you know, making love, and all that association with the music, it made me feel very unhappy. I’ve been talking and talking since then, and I feel so happy to see the big difference already. Of course the whole thing has happened together, the other side, of course, Beatles and many pop groups are now all saying, denouncing rather, drugs, and talking about it and maybe it has helped also. I find a great difference. For instance the groups of listeners that I had even a few months ago in the month of May, in San Francisco. And now the group that I am having. Last year in New York Philharmonic Hall there were two young boys, they were so stoned, they were LSD completely, they were just like zombies, they walked on the stage and they came straight and they sat on the dais before I entered and then the police had to take them and they were sent to Bellevue Hospital. It was fantastic, almost 50 to 60 percent of the whole auditorium was stoned, you know. Almost to that ratio. But I found a great difference this time – you find really, that’s what I have been talking about, I want clear-headed, clean, physically clean and mentally clean people when they listen. Just as they would go to Bach or Beethoven, or any classical orchestra. They don’t go like that. Why do they associate Indian music with that? It’s so wrong absolutely. Here I’ve been trying to preach, and that’s what I’ve been doing in my school in Los Angeles, that’s what I tried to do in CCNY, and I think I have been quite successful in that, at least the group of people who have been hearing and talking about it to others. I think it will have very good effect, bring out the pure and clean side of our music and culture.

 

source : https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/ravi-shankar-the-rolling-stone-interview-65247/

 

Piotr Anderszewski:”there is no such thing as a good piano in the absolute sense”

Do you not find this paradoxical, in a world which is becoming more and more standardized?

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Piotr Anderszewski: It’s less standardized than you think. At the end of the day, I think I would prefer pianos to be identical everywhere (although I’m sure that would actually make me crazy!). Before, there were more piano makers on the market, and their instruments had more unique traits. Today, if Fazioli tries to gain ground, for example, it’s faced with a quasi-monopoly by Steinway on the concert circuit. But Steinway remains a house of high fashion, which makes hand-sewn products: every one of their pianos has its own personality. The tuning, maintenance, storage, the general state of the piano makes each one different – a Steinway from Hamburg is different from one from London, New York, or Tokyo. That said, I hate nothing more than talking with technicians who come to ask you if you want a piano with a ringing sound or a more muffled one, rich or brassy, heavy or light action. That doesn’t make any sense! I want it to ring and be muffled, I want brassy and rich, I want heavy and light! The worst is when a technician assures you that, if you don’t like the regulation, they can “have it all fixed in 5 minutes” – nothing is impossible, they can change everything – in 5 minutes! That makes me scratch my head. I prefer technicians who tell me outright, “You’re looking for something that this piano cannot do.”

The same thing goes for sound engineers: we don’t speak the same language. I just express my point of view (the idea being of course that I be able to recognize my playing), but this kind of conversation seems rather vain to me. I don’t understand anything, really nothing at all, regarding the changes they say they have made on the tracks. For me, in any case, it’s just as bad as it was when they started! I don’t know a thing about all this business of spacing, placing, positioning mikes. I’m not an expert in instrumental mechanics. Is that wrong? Should I be more like my compatriot Krystian Zimerman? Whatever the case, there is no such thing as a good piano in the absolute sense: you always have to account for the space around it that you have to fill with sound. That’s why I don’t think traveling with my own piano would solve anything. At times, I’ve chosen a piano to record an album in a warehouse or in a backstage room, then once the piano is in the recording studio, I think there’s been a mistake: I’ll check, realize that the serial numbers are the same, but nonetheless I don’t recognize it any more, not the touch nor the sound.

Source : http://www.iplaythepiano.com/piano-mag/piotr-anderszewski-interview.html

Jagjit singh:”I make sure that the words used in the ghazal are simple and understandable for common audience”

Q: What qualities do you look for in the poetry before choosing a ghazal for a musical composition?

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Jagjit singh : Apart from the technical specifications to qualify as a ghazal, I am looking for a new thought in the poetry. Beauty, romance, social satire, spiritualism, religion- the subject matters may vary but there should always be a surprise element in a ghazal. I also make sure that the words used in the ghazal are simple and understandable for common audience. I have studied and learnt Urdu in detail but even now, I don’t feel awkward to ask an expert about the meaning of a difficult Urdu expression.

Source : http://www.cinemasangeet.com/hindi-film-music/interviews/jagjit-singh-an-interview.html

Frank Sinatra :”Most of what has been written about me is one big blur”

Playboy: Of the thousands of words which have been written about you on this subject, do you recall any which have accurately described this ability?
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Sinatra: Most of what has been written about me is one big blur, but I do remember being described in one simple word that I agree with. It was in a piece that tore me apart for my personal behavior, but the writer said that when the music began and I started to sing, I was “honest.” That says it as I feel it. Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest. If you want to get an audience with you, there’s only one way. You have to reach out to them with total honesty and humility. This isn’t a grandstand play on my part; I’ve discovered—and you can see it in other entertainers—when they don’t reach out to the audience, nothing happens. You can be the most artistically perfect performer in the world, but an audience is like a broad—if you’re indifferent, endsville. That goes for any kind of human contact: a politician on television, an actor in the movies, or a guy and a gal. That’s as true in life as it is in art.
source : Playboy interview archives

Hans Zimmer : “Everything is a minefield”

Q : The way you describe your job, it just has all these paradoxes, like knowing to follow the rules and when to break them. It seems like each movie is a minefield

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Hans Zimmer : Everything is a minefield. Yeah, it really is. I actually taught [composer] John Powell years ago. I mean John Powell said it back when I was struggling in trying to find the tone or whatever and the piece of music was crap [Laughs]. But I knew the idea was good, and I just couldn’t make it into music. In typical John Powell fashion he said, “Hans, you just need to wait a while until you get it under your fingers.” And that just really made sense. You can’t just walk in and come up with a masterpiece. You come up with feces, simple and unordinary and … Of course, that’s not what you want to do. You want to go and try this new idea and be really good at it but it takes a while. Every film you have to learn the language. Especially from scratch.

Source : http://www.slashfilm.com/interview-composer-and-masterclass-teacher-hans-zimmer-on-the-questions-that-drive-him/

 

A R Rahman: “Wisdom comes from within. Knowledge is acquired”

Interviewer : Did you grudge her the decision of making you quit studying?

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image source : internet

Rahman : At that time, from society’s point of view, if you were not educated, you didn’t have a life. You would probably become a taxi or rickshaw driver without education. So naturally, I was torn at that time. And I thought that after a couple of years when I earn money, I would go back to finishing my education. But little did I know that education is about learning from life and putting you in a situation teaches you more than getting educated in a college. Not that studies is bad, but it’s the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Wisdom comes from within. Knowledge is acquired and can sometimes put a screen on your wisdom. Because of this unfulfillment, I have a constant itch to learn from life. But my first job of working with Ramesh Naidu, as his second keyboard player, is what helped me buy my own instruments, which then became my future.

Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/music/news/In-every-song-I-ask-help-from-God-AR-Rahman/articleshow/20587998.cms