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Ornette Coleman

It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.

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Originally, I wanted to be a composer. I always tell people, 'I think of myself as a composer.'

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Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time.

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I think that those elements - light and sound - are beyond democratic. They're into the creative part of life.

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You've got to realize. In the western world, regardless of what color you are, what title the music is, it's all played by the same notes.

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I decided, if I'm going to be poor and black and all, the least thing I'm going to do is to try and find out who I am. I created everything about me.

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To me, human existence exists on a multiple level, not just on a two-dimensional level, not just having to be identified with what you do and what you say.

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It's just someone has labelled us as having a different label to do what you do. I find that labels are the worst thing in the world for artistic expression.

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So, for instance, if you came to me, I'd ask,'Do you want to write? Do you want to improvise? Why do you want to play this instrument? What do you want to do?'

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That's why I haven't been so anxious. But now, lots of people write and say, 'I want to find out what you're doing.' So I know that this book will enlighten them.

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