When you listen to Miles Davis, how much of what you hear is music, and how much is context?
Context is everything that isn't physically contained in the grooves of the record. It includes your knowledge that everyone else says he's great: that must modify the way you hear him. That he was a handsome and imposing man, a member of a romantic minority, that he played with Charlie Parker, that he spans generations, that he underwent various addictions, that he married Cicely Tyson, that he dressed well, that Jean-Luc Godard liked him, that he wore shades and was very cool, that he himself said little about his work, and so on.
Surely all that affects how you hear him: I mean, could it possibly have felt the same if he'd been an overweight heating engineer from Oslo?
When you listen to music, aren't you also 'listening' to all the stuff around it, too?Brian Eno
Music should go right through you, leave some of itself inside you, and take some of you with it when it leaves.Henry Threadgill
Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb.Pythagoras
Music is actually a contingent combination of sounds whose emotional resonances are entirely dependent on the audience's personal and shared histories as listeners.Brian Eno
Listening is one of the best methods for learning. You have to shut-up in order to learn something.Gagnez LeJeu
Listen to those drums - like someone bashing on the bars of a prison.Brian Eno
Cooking is a way of listening to the radio.Brian Eno
The sound of the sea, the curve of a horizon, wind in leaves, the cry of a bird leave manifold impression in us.
And suddenly, without our wishing it at all, one of these memories spills from us and finds expression in musical language...
I want to sing my interior landscape with the simple artlessness of a child.Claude Debussy
The greater you understand the structure of something, the more amazed you'll be at the tiniest movement within it. In that sense the possibilities are limitless.Brian Eno
John Cage made you realize that there wasn't a thing called noise, it was just music you hadn't appreciated.Brian Eno
The act of listening is in fact an act of composing.John Cage
People are hearing a lot more context than music, so perhaps I accept that I am now primarily a context maker.
My art is not just what comes out of the end of my trumpet or appears on a record, but a larger experience which is intimately connected to who I appear to be, to my life and charisma.
The 'music', the sonic bit, could end up being quite a small part of the whole experience.
Developing the context- the package, the delivery system, the buzz, the spin, the story - might itself become the art. Like perfume...Brian Eno
One of the risks is that people are frightened of taking positions.
In the art world, particularly with painting, people are terrified now about saying that they don't like something, because they might be wrong.Brian Eno
Let sounds be themselves rather than vehicles for man-made theories or expression of human sentiments.John Cage
For people of my tribe, with its rich musical context, exposure to music begins in the womb, when pregnant mothers join in the community dances. From inside the womb, our babies feel the vibrations of the rhythms enter their bodies. Infants are thn wrapped onto their mothers' backs with a cloth and taken into the dancing circle with everyone else. Children are included in community celebrations and hear the same music as the adults. Our children are welcome to participate at any age.Yaya Diallo
What matters in modern music is not the part you can write down, the words and the tune, but the rest - the texture, the atmosphere, the references and associations.Brian Eno
There is geometry in the ringing of strings. There is harmony in the spacing of the spheres.Pythagoras
I haven't yet heard sounds that I didn't enjoy, except when they became too musical.
I have trouble, I think, when music attempts to control me.John Cage
I don't enjoy being pushed while I'm listening. I like music which lets me do my own listening.John Cage
Avant-garde music is a sort of research music. You're glad someone's done it but you don't necessarily want to listen to it.
It's similar to the way I'm very happy people have gone to the North Pole. It extends my concept of the planet to know it exists, but I don't want to live there, or even go there actually. But it's a boundary condition.Brian Eno
A painter paints his pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence. We provide the music, and you provide the silence.Leopold Stokowski
I always liked the cusp where something feels if it's familiar but strange at the same time.
It doesn't immediately assault you as being completely weird. You feel seduced by it. But at the same time you can't put your finger on what it is that you recognize. It's a very good feeling.Brian Eno
There was a time at a concert where this young boy and his father were in front of me. Stravinsky was conducting.
The son turned to his father and said, "Dad, that isn't the way it goes." [laughs]
He was unable to listen because of his memory!John Cage
All my concerts had no sounds in them; they were completely silent. People had to make up their own music in their minds!Yoko Ono
We do feel that we have experiences of value when we hear pieces of music or read books or see films or admire textiles, don't we?
And when we do, where exactly is it coming from if not from the object?Brian Eno
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.Maya Angelou
Drums are the only escape from the loud beating of lifeAlex Cantin
My melancholy wants to rest in the hiding places and abysses of perfection. This is why I need music.Friedrich Nietzsche
Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing. Taste is the enemy of creativity.Pablo Picasso
Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time.Ornette Coleman
This is exactly what I've always liked about pop music: its ability to create crazy emotional landscapes and invite you to come and dance in them.Brian Eno
Two different ways of making things: the hard way and the easy way.
The hard way is the way of the individual artist who establishes his own terrain, as it were. The easy way is the way of grace and the way of tradition, where you don't even consider the possibility that you are there to make major innovations - you're there to make 200 parts today.
One of the things I like about gospel music is that it has that same kind of humility, that the people who are singing it are not puckered-brow artists. There's the same freshness and thrill that you see in all kinds of folk arts. People doing something that is shaped by a whole lot of quite unconscious factors, like the limitations of their own vocal range.Brian Eno
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.Aldous Huxley
I don't think the backstory really dignifies anything, or solves any problems that you tried to solve during the recording.
"Oh, this is all based on the John Wilkes Booth story, and that third song is when he was trapped in the barn." I mean, I could tell you anything. "Helen Keller made an appearance in the last tune, and it's sung by her mother." "Oh, okay."