Muhal Richard Abrams
I’ve always been sort of a person — even at a young age, I’ve always been sort of a person that liked to do things on my own, or to create things on my own. I’ve always had that feeling to invent, or create things from my own perspective. So, the music school tenure, not tenure, but the music school duration was quite short, because I felt that what I was hearing in the street every day from the musicians was quite different from what the music school had to offer. So, I quit the music school, and went to in-depth study of the environment, the musical environment in Chicago. And eventually, I came to a point where I wanted to know more technically. So, I started to consult different books, and whatever I could find, textbooks and things, whatever I could find that would give me information regarding the technical basics of music. And I’ve been more or less in that sort of process ever since.
And that includes the practice of the piano, my instrument, I taught myself how to play the piano, or how to practice the piano.1 We must remember that — what I’m talking about is practice, I think it’s always a practice all your life; fortunately, you never reach a finish. And that’s great because it always remains a process of discovery, and sort of achievement when you get to a place where you can have certain kind of musical procedure in terms of performance under your hand and whatnot like that, in terms of piano in this case.