I used to watch those rock videos where they would chainsaw the piano. And I thought, 'That's what I want to do.' I thought classical music was corny.
Most pianists listen to about four or five different piano players before they call it quits and say, 'Okay, I've got my thing together.' Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett and maybe Chick Corea. Or maybe before that, Oscar Peterson.
As an improviser, my nature is to take a theme and constantly rework it.
Monk's music is often defined as enigmatic, eccentric and humorous - as if it had little to do with the pain he may have endured to create his art. But I believe Monk routinely shared his history with his audience, no matter how unpalatable that history was, and it is for that very reason that his music connects with people around the globe.
Are we, as humans, gaining any insight on how to talk about ourselves and how something as abstract as a Charlie Parker record gets us into a dialogue about our emotions and our thoughts? Sometimes we lose sight that the music has a wider context. So I want to continue those dialogues. Those are the things I want to foster.
I am a huge fan of Adrian Piper: how she works, how she reveals her process in the work, how she writes about it.