Here are a few thoughts I have picked up over the years that say something about my philosophy and approach to composing music:

“The chief responsibility of the artist is to remind his fellow humans how beautiful life is. Otherwise, they tend to forget.” – Gabriel Faure

“What I have in my heart must come out; that is the reason why I compose.” – Ludwig van Beethoven

“I myself having been created, I cannot help having the desire  to create.” – Igor Stravinsky

“You must do something to make the world more beautiful.” – Barbara Cooney, from Miss Rumphius

“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist.” – Robert Schumann

“Soli deo gloria” – Johann Sebastian Bach would write the initials SDG (Glory to God alone) at the end of a completed score.

“Inspiration may be a form of super-consciousness, or perhaps of sub-consciousness. I wouldn’t know. But I am sure it is the antithesis of self-consciousness.”  – Aaron Copland

“The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purposes through him.” – Carl Gustave Jung

“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.”  – Claude Debussy

“I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well.” – J. S. Bach

“I sit down to the piano regularly at nine-o’clock in the morning and Mesdames les Muses have learned to be on time for that rendezvous.” – Pyotr Tchaikovsky

An anecdote about Paul Hindemith: “A student at one of his Tanglewood seminars asked him ‘What’s your inspiration?’ Hindemith wordlessly replied by raising his pencil in his hand, indicating that the juices commence flowing in the physical act of setting down notes on paper.” – David Owens

“All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E.L. Doctorow


The philosophy of working that I strive for: Just sit there and see what happens.

I also like this thought: “We must find the silence within us in order to hear the music.” – from the film Copying Beethoven

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