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I don't really live like a musician myself.
by Ornette Coleman

I don't really live like a musician myself.
I think music is just something that I do,
but I'd like to be doing lots of other things.
I like to cure all kinds of illness.
- Ornette Coleman

It was when I found out I could make mistakes that
I knew I was on to something.
- Ornette Coleman

I mean, if you decided to go out today and get you
an instrument and do whatever it is that you do,
no one can tell you how you're going to do it but when you do it.
- Ornette Coleman

Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be
played night after night but differently each time.
- Ornette Coleman

 

I think that those elements - light and sound -
are beyond democratic.
They're into the creative part of life.
- Ornette Coleman

If you decide you want to be treated good,
and you treat someone else good, or you want to learn something,
it's information.
It's getting the right, good information.
- Ornette Coleman

I decided, if I'm going to be poor and black and all,
the least thing I'm going to do is to try and find out who I am.
I created everything about me.
- Ornette Coleman

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You don't have to worry about being a number one,
number two, or number three.
Numbers don't have anything to do with placement.
Numbers only have something to do with repetition.
- Ornette Coleman

Originally, I wanted to be a composer.
I always tell people, 'I think of myself as a composer.'
- Ornette Coleman

To me, human existence exists on a multiple level,
not just on a two-dimensional level,
not just having to be identified with what you do and what you say.
- Ornette Coleman

So, for instance, if you came to me,
I'd ask,'Do you want to write? Do you want to improvise?
Why do you want to play this instrument? What do you want to do?'
- Ornette Coleman

That's why I haven't been so anxious.
But now, lots of people write and say,
'I want to find out what you're doing.'
So I know that this book will enlighten them.
- Ornette Coleman

You've got to realize.
In the western world, regardless of what color you are,
what title the music is, it's all played by the same notes.
- Ornette Coleman

Actually, I have another record I made with them in 1976,
but I've had such a bad experience with record companies,
because I keep my head so much in music and not in business.
- Ornette Coleman

It's just someone has labelled us as having a different label to do what you do.
I find that labels are the worst thing in the world for artistic expression.
- Ornette Coleman

No one has to learn to spell to talk,
right? You see a little kid holding a conversation with an adult.
He probably doesn't know the words he's saying,
but he knows where to fit them to make what he's thinking
logical to what you're saying.
- Ornette Coleman

I remember once I read a book on mental illness and
there was a nurse that had gotten sick.
Do you know what she died from? From worrying about
the mental patients not being able to get their food.
She became a mental patient.
- Ornette Coleman

All the things that human beings suffer from are how
their environment treats them,
and how the elements of their planet affects their mind and body -
like radiation,
cancer, and all.
- Ornette Coleman

It just makes that person feel that what his work is
is going to be more valid.
But who wants to see a guy standing in front,
looking like a bum, doing something that a bums don't
do? This don't make sense.
- Ornette Coleman

I've never had a relationship with a record executive.
I always went to the record company by someone that liked my playing.
Then they would get fired, and I'd be left with the record company.
And then - because they got fired - the record company
wouldn't do anything for me.
- Ornette Coleman

I had a really good time in New Orleans,
although I had some very tragic times in Baton Rouge.
Some guys beat me up and threw my horn away.
'Cause I had a beard, then, and long hair like the Beatles.
- Ornette Coleman

Most of my relationships have been like that -
with record companies.
I've never had a legitimate business relationship with a company.
I've always had a personal relationship with someone in the company.
- Ornette Coleman

It seems to me that in the western world,
culture has something to do with appearance.
A person that's out creating good stuff has got to
appreciate someone when they take the time to have
an appearance that goes with what they're doing.
- Ornette Coleman

After I left Texas and went to California,
I had a hard time getting anyone to play anything that I was writing,
so I had to end up playing them myself.
And that's how I ended up just being a saxophone player.
- Ornette Coleman

I've been playing with Blackwell over 20 years.
We used to play when I first went to Los Angeles.
Blackwell plays the drums as if he's playing a wind instrument.
Actually, he sounds more like a talking drum.
- Ornette Coleman

I asked my mother could I have an instrument.
She said, 'Well if you go out and save your money.'
So I went and got -
I made me a shine box.
I went out and started shining shoes,
and I'd bring whatever I made.
- Ornette Coleman

I'm having this conversation with you now.
I'm talking, but I'm thinking, feeling,
smelling, and moving.
Yet I'm concentrating on what you're saying.
So that means there's more things going on in the body
than just the present thing that the person's got you doing.
- Ornette Coleman

Even when you write it, someone's got to play it.
So if you can play it and bypass all the rest of the things,
you're still doing as great as someone that has spent
forty years trying to find out how to do that.
I'm really pro-human beings, pro-expression of everything.
- Ornette Coleman

I remember once, we got an interview,
and he said, 'Dad, these people are writing about me like I'm an adult.
Don't they know I'm a kid?' I have never tried to encourage
him to get a music image like other musicians have.
- Ornette Coleman

I've had those people very interested in my writing.
Since I think of myself as a composer,
I feel really good.
I've had lots of guys call me up.
I've gotten two or three commissions to write things.
I've written lots of movie scores.
- Ornette Coleman

Actually, when I was in elementary school,
I saw a saxophone.
A band came to my school, and I saw this guy get up and play this solo.
And I said, 'Oh man, what is that!
That must be fantastic!'
- Ornette Coleman

I don't know what they're thinking about.
Just because someone says, 'I like what you do' or something:
They might like it today and tomorrow they might not.
I've had that experience with record companies.
- Ornette Coleman

That's what I was trying to say when we were talking about sound.
I think that every person, whether they play music or don't play music,
has a sound - their own sound, that thing that you're talking about.
- Ornette Coleman

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves
to recognize how good things really are.
- Marianne Williamson

Life is really simple,
but we insist on making it complicated.
- Confucius

The human race has one really effective weapon,
and that is laughter.
- Mark Twain

Sometimes the things you really want
sneak in the back door.
Notice.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Love me when I least deserve it,
because that's when I really need it.
- Swedish Proverb

You never really understand a person
until you consider things from his point of view.
- Harper Lee

The thing always happens that you really believe in;
and the belief in a thing makes it happen.
- Frank Lloyd Wright

How different our lives are when we
really know what is deeply important to us,
and keeping that picture in mind,
we manage ourselves each day
to be and to do what really matters most
- Stephen Covey

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation,
because your character is what you really are,
while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
- John Wooden

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it
as he who helps to perpetrate it.
He who accepts evil without protesting against it
is really cooperating with it.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

The minority is always stronger than the majority,
because the minority is generally formed by those
who really have an opinion.
- Soren Kierkegaard

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
- e. e. cummings

I think that somehow, we learn who we really are
and then live with that decision.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

The really great secret - Happiness is free.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Man falls from the pursuit of the ideal
of plain living and high thinking
the moment he wants to multiply his daily wants.
Man's happiness really lies in contentment.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

We're constantly striving for success, fame and comfort
when all we really need to be happy
is someone or some thing to be enthusiastic about.
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Love bravely, live bravely, be courageous,
there's really nothing to lose.
- Jewel

We can never get enough of what we don't really need.
- Matthew Kelly

Forgiveness is really a gift to yourself -
have the compassion to forgive others,
and the courage to forgive yourself.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

The only ones among you who will be really happy
are those who will have sought and found how to serve.
- Albert Schweitzer

One of the secrets of life is that
all that is really worth the doing
is what we do for others.
- Lewis Carroll

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience
in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

What you seem to be, be really.
- Benjamin Franklin

I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know:
the only ones among you who will be really happy
are those who will have sought and found how to serve.
- Albert Schweitzer

It is what a man thinks of himself
that really determines his fate.
- Henry David Thoreau

The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself.
- Ursula K. Le Guin

In spite of everything, I still believe
that people are really good at heart.
I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation
consisting of confusion, misery and death.
- Anne Frank

If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true
were really true, there would be little hope of advance.
- Orville Wright

Does anybody really think that they didn't get what they had
because they didn't have the talent
or the strength or the endurance or the commitment?
- Nelson Mandela

Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.
- Anne Frank

One thing I know: the only ones among you
who will be really happy are those
who will have sought and found how to serve.
- Albert Schweitzer

If we don't change, we don't grow.
If we don't grow, we aren't really living.
- Gail Sheehy

I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything,
I still believe that people are really good at heart.
- Anne Frank

The journey between what you once were
and who you are now becoming
is where the dance of Life really takes place.
- Barbara De Angelis

Every really new idea looks crazy at first.
- Alfred North Whitehead

We act as though comfort and luxury
were the chief requirements of life,
when all that we need to make us really happy
is something to be enthusiastic about.
- Charles Kingsley

Ordinary people seem not to realize
that those who really apply themselves
in the right way to philosophy
are directly and of their own accord
preparing themselves for dying and death.
- Socrates

We really have to understand the person we want to love.
If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love.
- Thich Nhat Hanh


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