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Ornette Coleman Quotes

Please enjoy these encouraging quotes by Ornette Coleman.

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

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

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 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

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

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

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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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 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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.
- Khalil Gibran

The full measure of a man is
not to be found in the man himself,
but in the colors and textures that
come alive in others because of him.
- Albert Schweitzer

I have found that if you love life,
life will love you back.
- Arthur Rubinstein

Consistent happiness is found through
living in a state of constant gratitude.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I have found that among its other benefits,
giving liberates the soul of the giver.
- Maya Angelou

The path to your own happiness is usually found in service.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

There is no passion to be found playing small -
in settling for a life that is less
than the one you are capable of living.
- Nelson Mandela

What is admirable about those
who have been of great service to humanity
is not that they suffered in being of service,
but that they found their source of happiness
(joy if you prefer) in that service.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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

I have found the paradox,
that if you love until it hurts,
there can be no more hurt, only more love.
- Mother Teresa

Plant trees for your great-grandchildren -
for future generations.
Create the legacy of a better world.
Leave this world a better place than you found it.
Literally planting trees for
your great-grandchildren is a wonderful idea,
but far more important...
use this symbolism - this imagery -
to represent the kind of legacy
you want to leave to future generations.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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

I have found out that though the ways in which
I can make myself useful are few,
yet the work open to me is endless.
- Helen Keller

We may have found a cure for most evils;
but we have found no remedy for the worst of them all,
the apathy of human beings.
- Helen Keller

The presence of those seeking the truth
is infinitely to be preferred
to the presence of those who think they've found it.
- Terry Pratchett

Any human being who is becoming independent of conditionings,
of religions, scriptures, prophets and messiahs, has arrived home.
He has found the treasure which was hidden in his own being.
- Osho

No one ever found wisdom without also being a fool.
Writers, alas, have to be fools in public,
while the rest of the human race can cover its tracks.
- Erica Jong

I have not failed.
I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
- Thomas Edison

Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough.
Not only have I found that when I talk to the little flower
or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets,
but I have found that when I silently commune with people
they give up their secrets also - if you love them enough.
- George Washington Carver

When you open up to the ultimate,
immediately it pours into you.
You are no longer an ordinary human being -
you have transcended.
Your insight has become the
insight of the whole existence.
Now you are no longer separate -
you have found your roots.
- Osho

I have always found that mercy bears
richer fruits than strict justice.
- Abraham Lincoln

We need to find God, and he cannot
be found in noise and restlessness.
God is the friend of silence.
See how nature - trees, flowers, grass-
grows in silence; see the stars,
the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...
We need silence to be able to touch souls.
- Mother Teresa

I have found that hollow,
which even I had relied on for solid.
- Henry David Thoreau

If you have found your truth within yourself
there is nothing more in this whole existence to find.
- Osho

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

You can search throughout the entire universe for someone
who is more deserving of your
love and affection than you are yourself,
and that person is not to be found anywhere.
You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe
deserve your love and affection.
- The Buddha

The whole world is a cyclone.
But once you have found the center, the cyclone disappears.
This nothingness is the ultimate peak of consciousness.
- Osho

We have always found the Irish a bit odd.
They refuse to be English.
- Winston Churchill

We tell lies when we are afraid...
afraid of what we don't know,
afraid of what others will think,
afraid of what will be found out about us.
But every time we tell a lie,
the thing that we fear grows stronger.
- Williams Tad

For my part, I consider that it will be found much better
by all parties to leave the past to history,
especially as I propose to write that history myself.
- Winston Churchill

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song -
The song from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I looked up my family tree and found out I was the sap.
- Rodney Dangerfield

I found there was only one way to look thin:
hang out with fat people.
- Rodney Dangerfield

You have to be an original individual;
you have to find your innermost core on your own,
with no guide, no guiding scriptures.
It is a dark night, but with the intense fire of inquiry
you are bound to come to the sunrise.
Everybody who has burned with intense inquiry
has found the sunrise.
Others only believe.
Those who believe are not religious,
they are simply avoiding the great adventure
of religion by believing.
- Osho

I never found a companion that was
so companionable as solitude.
- Henry David Thoreau

Beyond mind, there is an awareness that is intrinsic,
that is not given to you by the outside, and is not an idea -
and there is no experiment up to now
that has found any center in the brain
which corresponds to awareness.
The whole work of meditation is
to make you aware of all that is "mind"
and disidentify yourself from it.
That very separation is the
greatest revolution that can happen to man.
Now you can do and act on only that
which makes you more joyous, fulfills you,
gives you contentment, makes your life a work of art, a beauty.
But this is possible only if the master in you is awake.
- Osho

The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for
thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers.
The original meal has never been found.
- Calvin Trillin

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and
the thought has found words.
- Robert Frost


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May the world be kind to you,
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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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