“The writing and playing of music is a matter of intent…. You can’t just throw a paint brush against the wall and call whatever happens art. My music fits the tonal personality of the player. I think too strongly in terms of altering my music to fit the performer to be impressed by accidental music. You can’t take doodling seriously.”
Duke Ellington off wikipedia
this perhaps is contentious, or at least needs context… duke ellington, like pablo picasso, was a grafter. he worked everyday and he worked hard.
if this statement does his views on art justice he knew the full benefit of working hard, to create a disipline from which anything is possible.
it is possible to hear the mastery of his instrument on ‘money jungle’ – picking that version of ‘carnival’ his playing constantly teeters on the edge of dissolution but always sticks to his horny groove. & it is marvelous.
without this there is only doodling or perhaps noodling. sometimes doodling is shiftless conscious static – aimless and disconnected with reality.
nothing can function without some sort of structure.
this is one of my favourite pieces – it was accepted into a group show in the centre of town. but looked bloody awful exhibited on a crowded wall with appalling lighting in a place with no life. i do not go in for those sorts of things any more.