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John Zorn's Quotes

John Zorn profile photo

Born: 1953-09-02
Profession: Composer
Nation: American
Biography of John Zorn

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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.

Tags: Keep, Started, Tired

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.

Tags: May, Reason, Word

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.

Tags: Challenge, Try, Yourself

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.

Tags: Ask, Maybe, Questions

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.

Tags: Group, Stuff, Working

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!

Tags: Kids, Wait, Wanted

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.

Tags: Friends, Old, Start

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?

Tags: Beautiful, Philosophy, Single

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

Tags: Crazy, Idealistic

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

Tags: Ages, Artists, Dark

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

Tags: Edge, Keeping, Matter

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.

Tags: Control, Everyone, Tell

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

Tags: Ends, Stage, Try

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

Tags: Eye, Great, Time

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.

Tags: Away, Good, Great

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.

Tags: End, Mean, Since

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

Tags: Humor, Sense, Work

People sometimes have a very hard time accepting change.

Tags: Change, Hard, Time

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

Tags: Idealists, Society, Survive

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.

Tags: Sometimes, Trying, Writing

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.

Tags: Bad, Good, Time

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.

Tags: Great, Here, Vision

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.

Tags: Office, Three, Work

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.

Tags: Life, Put, Together

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.

Tags: Music, Someone, Try

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.

Tags: Getting, Thinking, Write

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Much more quotes by John Zorn below the page.

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.

Tags: Lose, Working, Year

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.

Tags: Cause, Happen, Mean

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.

Tags: Someone, Sometimes, Tough

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.

Tags: Music, Solo, Together

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.

Tags: Fact, Means, Whole

As information technology restructures the work situation, it abstracts thought from action.

Tags: Technology, Thought, Work

Activities that seem to represent choices are often inert reproductions of accepted practice.

Tags: Choices, Often, Practice

Awareness requires a rupture with the world we take for granted; then old categories of experience are called into question and revised.

Tags: Experience, Old, Question

Technology makes the world a new place.

Tags: Makes, Place, Technology

The civilizing process has increased the distance between behavior and the impulse life of the animal body.

Tags: Between, Body, Life