Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sopranos!? That's why God made the rocket launcher and grenade!

Some wonderful quotations from Frank Zappa, collected here.

You see, when I was a kid I used to save up for a month, so I could get
an R&B album and, the same day, the complete works of Anton Webern.
Maybe that means something. Maybe that tells you something about my music.


I was writing all kinds of positive and negative canons and weird inverted this and retrograde that and getting as spaced-out mathematically as I could and I was going"Wait a minute (laughs), who cares about that stuff?" I had always liked rhythm and blues so here I was stuck between the slide rule and the gut bucket somewhere and I decided that I would opt for a third road someplace in between.

A mind is like a parachute. It doesnt work if it's not open.

Interviewer: The notion of a "guitar solo" has preconceptions based on it; people automatically refute it because it's supposed to be self-indulgent or "for musicians." It's almost like things become iconographic and somehow lose their value for outsiders.

Zappa: Well, who's fault is that? That's what writers do. Musicians don't do that. The average person doesn't sit around thinking about "iconographic problems of a guitar solo."


Some people crave baseball -- I find this unfathomable -- but I can easily understandwhy a person could get excited about playing a bassoon.

If it can be conceived as music, it can be executed as music, and presented to an audience in such a way that they will perceive it as music: "Look at this.Ever seen one of these before? I built this for you. What do you mean, 'What the fuck is it?' It's a goddam ETUDE, asshole."

You can't always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say, so sometimes you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream.

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