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:

Siobhán 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...