[✍] About artistic freedom

Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there,” Miles Davies told his young musicians. He also said, “don’t play what you know, play what you don’t know.”

I have to change,” he said. “It’s like a curse.”

Legends say legendary things.

But it’s not just a brainy quote.

The imperative to progress is actually a blessing.


Earlier this year I came across another brainy quote on Facebook, and I want to share it here. My friends/music partners and I discussed it a lot. Paragraphs 2, 6 and 8 usually raise particularly stormy debate. They are about very sensitive matters, really.

How To Feel Miserable As An Artist (Or, what not to do, underline any that currently apply):

  1. Constantly compare yourself to other artists.
  2. Talk to your family about what you do and expect them to cheer you on.
  3. Base the success of your entire career on one project.
  4. Stick with what you know.
  5. Undervalue your expertise.
  6. Let money dictate what you do.
  7. Bow to societal pressures.
  8. Only do work that your family would love.
  9. Do whatever the client/customer/gallery owner/patron/investor asks.
  10. Set unachievable/overwhelming goals, to be accomplished by tomorrow.

I’d underline Number 10 for myself.

Miles Davis — In A Silent Way (Shhh/Peaceful)

This post is also available in: Russian

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