Sunday, October 23, 2011

Murakami | "You got to pick the notes you really mean"

One of my all-time favorite jazz pianists is Thelonious Monk. Once, when someone asked him how he managed to get a certain special sound out of the piano, Monk pointed to the keyboard and said: “It can’t be any new note. When you look at the keyboard, all the notes are there already. But if you mean a note enough, it will sound different. You got to pick the notes you really mean!”

I often recall these words when I am writing, and I think to myself, “It’s true. There aren’t any new words. Our job is to give new meanings and special overtones to absolutely ordinary words.” I find the thought reassuring. It means that vast, unknown stretches still lie before us, fertile territories just waiting for us to cultivate them.

~ From Jazz Messenger, essay by Haruki Murakami

1 comment:

Siobhan Mc Laughlin said...

How true. Much the same idea is that there are no new themes to write about, they've all been done before. It's up to us to find a 'new take' on them. Really meaning a word, I like the idea of that...