“Play or die” – Anthony Braxton

I must do what I do. Not because I can’t do anything else. I do this music because I “hear it” and if I don’t do it no one else will. I believe that we each have been blessed with our own music – our own, uniquely individual conception of what “music” should sound like. Some of us go through the trouble to learn how to realize this vision and present it to its public. There is an audience out there for every music that can be conceived. If you can dream it – hear it in your “inner ear” – then there is someone out there who will (figuratively) dance to it. This I have seen to be true. I have spent my entire adult life committed to the production and promotion of “my music”. Contrary to popular belief, there is a lucrative market out there for even the most “non-commercial” music if it is done with conviction and is made available to its audience.

If I should have chosen to not do my music, I would have been guilty of committing a great crime against myself and the people for whom my music matters. Anthony Braxton said “play or die”. I believe he meant “play your music or die”.

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