Saturday, December 15, 2007

July 31, 1997

“...For instance, today I listened to Chinese Classical music—which I really didn't dig too much, but I’ll listen to it again—I listened to Islamic chants that really knocked me the fuck out. And just single voices. I listened to Duke Ellington’s Orchestra circa 1945—there was one piece that was just amazing. I listened to Victoria de los Angeles singing Purcell’s “Diedere and something or other...” and then I listened to Gary Grafman playing the first movement of the Brahms piano concerto. Brahms, boy I tell you—then I listened to Leonard T. Price singing the last movement of Richard Strauss’ “Salome.” Boy—what what a—wheeew—boy, that guy—I have to go to see that guy. A lot of shit was up. And then, of course, of course—I listen every day to something by Ligeti. Today I heard “Ramifications” and this choral piece, and “Atmospheres.” Then I listen every day to [he chuckles] Marvin Gaye, of course. Then I put on Sarah Vaughan, then I put on Xenakis—oh, this fucking guy—this orchestra piece, and then I’m—god, I mean I practiced the piano four hours today. I spent two hours completing another section of this poem this morning. I cooked, I mopped all the floors in this house, and I’ve done all this stuff. And not one cigarette. I can’t understand it. No champagne, anything... I’ve been listening to this Kathleen Battle, and this guy who’s the head of the Met Orchestra, he was interviewed by Charlie Rose the other day, and he said a couple of things, but anyway he’s playing with Battle—she’s singing Sshubert lieder--and she [he chuckles] no, it was Schumann—I don’t know—Schubert, Schumann, whatever. Anyway, boy, boy, o boy, wow—mmm-mmm-mm. Such music. Then I listened to Billie Holiday singing, and I started laughing because I’m having such a good time. Oh! I listened to Etta Jones today, she was wonderful! I mean, you know, all of these...” — Cecil Taylor

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