Gordon Sumner - Sting
Here are some quotations by Sting, the name given him by a fellow musician many years before he became famous as the songwriter and vocalist for the band ‘The Police’. His legal name is Gordon Sumner. Sting enjoys an enduring career, which includes the continual creation of new songs, collaborating with other extraordinary musicians, touring and performing his own music as well as the music of others.
In his albums, CD’s, DVD’s and downloads Sting plays the string and electric bass, sings and occasionally plays guitar and lute. More recently, along with his lute teacher Edin Karamazov, he has recorded a CD & DVD of compositions by the renaissance-era singer and lute player, John Dowland. He has worked closely with many other extraordinary musicians whose work spans the genres of jazz and classical music including Dominic Miller on guitar, Chris Botti on trumpet and Branford Marsalis on saxophones.
In addition to being known as a Rock star, he has also gained recognition as a yoga practitioner, ambassador for environmental action and a supporter of human rights through his work with ‘Amnesty International’. Along with his wife, Trudie Styler, he founded the ‘Rainforest Foundation’ to help save our rainforests throughout the world.
“The acceptance of death gives you more of a stake in life, in living life happily, as it should be lived. Living for the moment.”
“I want to get old gracefully. I want to have good posture, I want to be healthy and be an example to my children.”
“I’m not speaking as someone who has reached satori or anything else. I’m a student.”
“I see songs not as a commodity used up when the album goes off the charts, which is often the case with pop songs. I see them as a body of work. Life should be breathed into them.”
“Yoga is almost like music in a way; there’s no end to it.”
“I think love has something to do with allowing a person you claim to love to enter a larger arena than the one you create for them.”
“In fact, I don’t spend a lot of intellectual energy thinking about yoga, or trying to articulate the process it awakens, because, for one, I don’t have to teach it, and, two, it’s become an intrinsic part of my whole life, permeating it to such an extent that I don’t really know where it begins or ends.”
“I’ve also come to believe the highest form of prayer is to pray and yet ask for nothing…”
- Sting (1951- )
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Sting quote about American music evolution, jazz & rock. While I initially wanted to share this more lengthy quote by Sting with you - based on the last sentence, which seemed surprising to me, as it comes from the most famous member of one of the dominant rock bands of all time - I was also struck the Sting’s lucidity and brevity within this one paragraph as he shows how a polyphonic style of playing carried through from early jazz to bebop and through to the music that he played as a young musician.
“Trad, or traditional New Orleans-style jazz, was raw and authentic, closer to its blues roots than the sophisticated dance music that followed it. This quest for authenticity led many musicians to the smaller band format, usually comprising a rhythm section and three front-line players, trumpet, clarinet, and trombone. More often than not the trumpet would take the melody while the other two improvised fugue. (This music would evolve and eventually reach its apogee in the bebop improvisations of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Theolonious Monk, but this development was to a large extent ignored by enthusiastic British amateurs who were trying exclusively to re-create a music that belonged to a bygone era.) These small bands thrived in the pubs and clubs of Newcastle, the tradition kept alive in the music of the River City Jazzmen, The Vieux Carre Jazzmen and the Phoenix Jazzmen. I would play in all of these combos at one time or another and developed a deep fondness for the raucous polyphony of these bands in full flight. It was every bit as exciting and visceral as rock and roll.”
(Gordon Sumner) from Broken Music – a memoir. First published in 2003 by The Dial Press, a Random House subsidiary.
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