Viewing: Dmitri Matheny Quotes - View All Posts

GRAVITAS ~ DM on Tone 



Morgan Freeman, my favorite actor, has a very distinctive speaking voice. He speaks with quiet confidence, calm reserve and comforting authority. There's compassion in his delivery and gravitas in his measured tones.

Mr. Freeman's voice is so compelling that anything he says rings true. And when he speaks, you cannot help but listen.

I want to play the flugelhorn
the way Morgan Freeman speaks.

STILLNESS ~ DM on Doing Nothing 



When I feel stressed, I set aside my aspirations and ambitions for awhile to focus on other people, get out into nature, or spend time with friends. And when chaotic and competing demands overwhelm me, I just sit still and do nothing.

Counterintuitively, inaction is often the best course of action. In the silence, clarity may be restored before the dance begins anew.

A LABOR OF LOVE ~ DM on Monarch Records 



Like many independent jazz labels, Monarch Records was a labor of love. None of us got rich, but we had fun and were able to make available some quality music by Cedar Walton, Dave Ellis, Eddie Marshall and others. We released dozens of recordings before the company was sold. I'm most proud of our live recording by Art Farmer, one of his last and our best.

CHAMBER JAZZ ~ DM on Grant & Matheny 



Grant & Matheny may be my favorite project. Darrell Grant is simply the finest musician I've ever had the pleasure of working with. His conception is so complete that playing with him in duo is like being supported by a full symphony orchestra. And the two of us are such great friends; we really have a ball together on stage.

Our repertoire includes everything from Spirituals to Sting to Samuel Barber, allowing us the opportunity to blend the intimacy and precision of chamber music with the vitality, freedom and spontaneity of improvisation. The result is an elegant 'chamber jazz' unlike anything you've ever heard.

THE SOUL OF A SONG ~ DM on Melody 



For me, melody is the soul of a song. It comes first and matters most.

Anyone can learn orchestration from Adler, or study arranging in school, but a melody is a precious, heaven-sent thing.

Some composers write religiously at the same time every day. Not me. I can't compose unless I'm inspired.

Occasionally I'll feel an overwhelming desire to write late at night or at some other inconvenient time. I've learned to pay attention to that feeling, to drop whatever I'm doing and "strike while the iron is hot."

I write most prolifically when traveling, so you might say that many of my compositions are inspired by my travels. 

Usually a melody will come to me and I'll sing it to myself, allowing the theme to evolve and develop organically in my mind. Eventually harmony, counterpoint and other formal elements will begin to suggest themselves. That's when I sit down and take out my score paper.