MAESTRO…a master of any art, especially a great composer or teacher of music
“PEOPLE ASK ME HOW I MAKE MUSIC. I TELL THEM I JUST STEP INTO IT. IT’S LIKE STEPPING INTO A RIVER AND JOINING THE FLOW. EVERY MOMENT IN THE RIVER HAS ITS SONG. SO, I STAY IN THE MOMENT AND LISTEN.”
DANCING THE DREAM
“As I said before, in those early days ‘The Corporation’ at Motown produced and shaped all our music. I remember lots of times when I felt the song should be sung one way and the producers felt it should be sung another way. But, for a long time I was very obedient and wouldn’t say anything about it. Finally it reached a point where I got fed up with being told exactly how to sing. This was in 1972 when I was fourteen years old, around the time of the song ‘Lookin’ Through the Windows.’ They wanted me to sing a certain way, and I knew they were wrong. No matter what age you are, if you have it and you know it, then people should listen to you. I was furious with our producers and very upset. So I called Berry Gordy and complained. I said that they had always told me how to sing, and I had agreed all this time, but now they were getting too…mechanical. So he came into the studio and told them to let me do what I wanted to do. And after that, I started adding a lot of vocal twists that they really ended up liking. I’d do a lot of ad-libbing, like twisting words or adding some edge to them.”
Today, I want to step into the river and go with the flow…the river being a study of Michael Jackson… MAESTRO…the flow being language that gives sparkles of definition of genius. I will touch on sparkles coming from the Master himself. And, there will be sparks coming from those whose lives were touched by the light. To be sure, those of you who are Michaelers will delight in familiar waters. To your surprise, however, you may discover some new territory. Either way, “IF YOU WANT TO BE CLOSE TO ME, LISTEN TO MY MUSIC. THE LOVE IS STORED THERE.” (MJ) Returning to great artistry reaffirms magical and wondrous elements of living. THE MORE WE EXPERIENCE MICHAEL JACKSON…THE GREATER THE LOVE.
“I asked him why he didn’t learn to read music and he replied: God had given him this gift and he was afraid that learning too much about the intellectual side of music would mess it up.” George Atwell
“His genius as a musician is that he thinks of sounds in terms of images; his genius as a singer is that he creates melodic lines that evoke body lines; his genius as a producer is that he imagines a song as a concert.” MJJJustice Projecthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZUDYxo2Sso
“But I do love achieving goals. I love not only reaching a mark I’ve set for myself but exceeding it. Doing more than I thought I could, that’s a great feeling.” He wanted to innovate sonically. It took over 800 multitrack tapes to create BAD. He has precise musical instincts. He has an entire record in his head and he tries to make people deliver and augment what he hears, but really his job is to extract from musicians and producers and engineers what he hears when he wakes up in the morning. When he did do vocals, beyond his lead work, it was always a pleasure to listen to this man lay background harmonies. His voice was truly unique. Really pure tone, and great intonation. He heard music in everything. Michael loved finding new sounds that the human ear had never heard. Michael wanted everything to sound original. These were lofty goals, but then, Jackson was never one to aim low. A HALL OF SOUND.” Taken from Joseph Vogel MAN IN THE MUSIC 2011
“I LIKE TO TAKE SOUNDS AND PUT THEM UNDER THE MICROSCOPE AND JUST TALK ABOUT HOW WE WANT TO MANIPULATE THE CHARACTER OF IT.” Even during the trial in 2005, he continued to work on new material. He said writing new songs was therapeutic, and he was working on new ideas whenever he could. MAN IN THE MUSIC Joseph Vogel
“Michael had the ability to sing all the notes in a chord that he wanted. Jeff would play something and Michael would agree, or not. They worked out the arrangement and recorded it at the Hit Factory. Jeff stayed in the live room to record the guitar and Michael sat between me and Bruce at the console with just a mic and sang it straight down. Michael nailed it. That’s how that song lived for a long time, just the vocal and the guitar. For me and maybe for all his fans, that’s all we want to hear. His voice is so perfect that sometimes you just want to hear it simply with an acoustic guitar.”
(What impressed you most about Michael?) “A couple of things: Obviously his musicality, he can sing or beat box anything. When he sang a melody it was very clear and you could hear exactly what he wanted. Of course his work ethic never waned even though he was dealing with some serious personal and business issues. He was genuine, happy and responsive to people’s input. He knew what he wanted and had a drive for perfection but never came across as a slave driver. You don’t find that in a single other individual. We never saw him angry or bitter or upset. It was just a process for him to tell a story to his fans.” Rob Hoffman HIS tory and Blood on the Dance Floor
“The biggest lesson I learned from working with Michael and all the others was the importance of a team effort: collaborate to create the best! To be part of that team is a treasure to me and a privilege.” Matt Forger
MUSIC AND ME
“Tired? No, you can’t stop moving. If you stop moving you stop learning, and if you stop learning you stop producing. If you stop producing, you’re dead. If you tire out you’re forgotten. So you don’t get tired.” Michael Jackson 1976
“He was in the booth and he was singing his butt off. And after every take he was like, ‘Sorry, sorry.’ And I looked back and I’m like, ‘What is he saying sorry for?’ I look at Akon, and RedOne is in the room, and we are like, ‘It sounds amazing!’ And we already had goose bumps. And it wasn’t just because it was Michael Jackson, it was because he was singing his butt off! He was so well-practiced and so good at singing that even when he thought he wasn’t doing so well, his chops and delivery were way better than anybody we’ve ever dealt with.” Mark Goodchild
“One of the things he always told me was don’t be afraid to be different. In other words, when you have that desire, the drive, people are going to try to pull you away from that, and pull you closer to the pack to be ‘normal.’ And he was saying it’s O.K. to be that driven: it’s O.K. to be obsessed with what you want to do. That’s perfectly fine. Don’t be afraid to not deviate from that. One of the books that he gave me that helped him communicate with me was JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGUL., which was about that.” Kobe Bryant
“A lot of hard work, discipline and love, and learning about the craft and loving it. Time. Sacrificing your time, and your scheduling. Your childhood, giving up your life for the medium. I think I would re-experience these sacrifices, though. I think I would. It is very much worth it. I have always loved show business and have always enjoyed making people happy through that medium. I love the celebration of music and dance and art. I just love it.” Michael Jackson 2008
“LET THE SONG CREATE ITSELF. LET IT TELL YOU WHERE TO GO.” Michael Jackson
“He studied me at the time and I could tell he was studying me. I’d be maybe explaining something to them. I could tell the way he had his eyes fixated on my mouth, you know, and how he was listening to every word, he was focused. And even when I turned my back, the other kids might be playing with each other, their instruments, or hitting each other, doing what, and I would turn around and Michael was staring right at me.” Berry Gordy
“DANCING IS THE MOST WONDERFUL THINGS OF ALL TIME BECAUSE PEOPLE COMMUNICATED THROUGH BODILY MOVEMENT BEFORE ANYTHING…DANCING IS REALLY SHOWING YOUR EMOTIONS THROUGH BODILY MOVEMENT…WHEN I DANCE, I REALLY FEEL IT, I FEEL FREE, AND I DO WHAT I FEEL. NOTHING LIKE BEING ON STAGE, YOU CAN’T PUT IT INTO WORDS.” Michael Jackson 1984http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paMZBerFc1I
I feel the river surge with language defining a maestro as I strike each character. Warm tears sparkle over my cheeks. I feel Michael teaching me how to live my life. These stories offer layers of understanding as I learn from the Master. MICHAEL JACKSON…MAESTRO. Thank you for changing my life. I love you.
Beautiful love it sis:-)
Wow! Once again you have uncovered such fascinating information about Michael’s spirit and love for what he was doing. It is immediately recognizable that he is a gifted artist. Dancing comes so naturally to him and his body expressives beautifully the music he is interpreting. I love that he says dancing made him “feel free” and that he could “feel the music.”. I love how you capture the essence of Michael in your writing. The pictures are great fun, too. You possess such a wealth of information and we are fortunate that you are willing to continue to write and share it with us. I love reading your blogs and learn something new every time I read one.
Loving him Knowing him seeking him makes you bolder if you just follow the flow. Yes thank you for putting all of these intricacies together. It is in the many and infinite layers of him that have i have found so many wonders and miracles and blessings and also tears. It is in this way as we seek that we become one with him and each other. Love you Sis’
My thanks once again for these wonderful articles on this amazing man! James Brown was always known as the hardest working man in entertainment. I believe that no-one ever worked as hard as Michael – he put his all in everything he done with such passion like no other. He truly inspires my life everyday! Thank you Jude.
Michael was the hardest working artist I ever met. He could work….record or ptactice for hours! Not joking about this. He was tireless! How I wish he were here to do all of this!
Every time I watch or see a performance of Michael’s… I learn something new. He absolutely loved composing, singing, and dancing. He was joyous when involved in performing or recording. And he never stopped! He NEVER stopped…not even when he had monumental problems!
Today is the day after his birthday! And I still feel like celebrating him! In fact, every day is a cause for celebration! Bless you dearest Michael!