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Aphorisms

This is a collection of aphorisms I wrote over the years. As my friend Michalis Sionas says: some of them are made out of mind and some out of fire! Enjoy!

Music
– Music is the erotic dimension of sound
– Music is in-listened by the composer and out-composed by the listener
– Music is imaginary comedy and tragedy put together on the same side of a coin. On the other side is the real tragedy
– Computer music is all about the most refined sound appreciation: it makes people no better composers but far better listeners
– Music is the mystical plotter of maths
– Music is the most chaotic way of making chaos sound less chaotic
– The most secure path to becoming a great musician is to learn the music notation as late as possible
– People who love music play it, those who cannot play it compose it, the ones who cannot compose criticize it, the ones who cannot criticize it love it

Art
– Art is the most painful way to avoid pain
– Innovation is surpassing a technique by establishing a framework within which another technique might flourish
– Compromise is the only fatal disease in art
– Extremely bad art is just as fascinating as great art
– There is no beauty devoid of randomness
– Technique is a one-way bridge between psyche and imagination
– Art is the process of convincing someone that there is logic in a non-logical system
– There is nothing worse than mediocre art
– Art makes pain seem like an absolute necessity

Universe
– Despite its vastness, Universe is always a microcosmos
– Our understanding of the universe is reciprocal to its expanding dimensions.
– The expansion of the universe is the best explanation for why we become smaller
– Universe and awe are synonyms
– Two things are infinite: the universe and J.S.Bach. I’m not sure about the universe
– The universe is expanding so rapidly; I am afraid it will soon cover all of my brain

Religion
– Religion is a discipline of Geography
– God is the light of the world, but better turn a blind eye
– God keeps zooming in on the universe, thus minimizing us
– I have no objection to someone who believes that God exists unless they try to explain it verbally.
– If we are the only ones in the universe, then the designer is absolutely anti-ecological
– Religion is all about arbitrarily legislating
– The penultimate question to God would be “why did you let us search so long?”
– The penultimate answer of God would be “I gave you music, how couldn’t you feel me?”

Friendship
– Tell me who is your friend and I will tell you all your possible no-friends
– Friendship is the desperate attempt to fulfill the gap of insufficient parental relationships

Politics
– Randomness, is politically underestimated. It could bring more excitement and social equality
– Getting into politics is one way to secure a memorable position in history, since at least a group of people will always remember you, no matter what you have done
– One difference between ancient and modern Greece is that in ancient, idiots were the ones who were not participating in politics

Life
– Pain is the most immense type of deceleration
– Love is the only source that can produce energy out of thin air
– Love is a super-set of energy
– Love is the most accurate proof of the law of conservation of energy.
– People act on others as multiplicative coefficients
– Love is the most elegant type of pain

Young Composers
– Study exhaustively and devotedly only by yourself
– Study anything but the composition
– A single musical score will teach you more than any teacher
– Stay in the periphery by all means. It will be very hard to avoid muting your real voice if you are close to any center
– A composition teacher can in the best case inspire inspiration and in the worst force inspiration
– Composers try to organize chaos but what matters is to first make an order and then destabilize it
– I have only one piece of advice for young composers: Stop it before it gets addictive
– Always keep in mind that the originality of your works will decrease as your knowledge expands
– Should you start feeling secure, the time has come for you to stop composing
– Never think that you’ve made anything substantial because you’ve spent a lot of time doing it
– If you like your music, start psychotherapy, immediately

Artificial Intelligence
– AI is the most clever way to make bad music
– AI is smart people making machines behave marginally more clever than idiots
– The ultimate purpose of AI is to assure humans that they have a god in them
– The smart ones will wait for a century, till AI eventually gets less artificial and intelligent enough to be worth it
– When AI gets really smart, will those entries be treated with humor or they will be erased automatically?

Idiots
– Never try to communicate with idiots, unless you have their firmware update
– Idiots are like Hydra of Lerna, their rate of creating problems is always faster than yours trying to solve them

Young Performers
– The ultimate goal is to play as soft as possible
– You have to train your hands but your most important tool is your ear
– Dynamics alter the timbre of your instrument along with its intensity
– Everything sounds better pianissisimo
– You can start talking about expression once all notes and dynamics are in place
– You have chosen to serve the composer not the other way round
– Despite what your teachers say, most composers would be happy to listen to your creative, intervening interpretations of their music
– Instead of going to masterclasses around the world, just try to improvise on the style of the pieces you are playing, endlessly

Old Performers
– Repeat your old repertoire, and you will realize that you are a completely young musician
– See the score of a composer as food offered to you. Don’t spit it out before tasting it but also don’t eat anything offered to you
– Keep always in mind that you might belong to the last generation who plays real instruments
– Performing a piece reveals two things: how the composer and the interpreter listen to the world; hopefully the same one

Psychotherapy
– The moment you realize that nothing is curable, stay assured that you have a good therapist
– Therapists and composers do the same job. The first ones let the subject submerge into their psyche, the last ones let the psyche overwhelm the subject
– A good composer breaks others’ rules. A good therapist let others break their own rules
– Never dare to admit that your therapist is as weak as you. The efficiency of the therapy relies on the myth that your therapist has supernatural power
– The first thing you have to convince yourself when you start therapy is that your therapist is divine
– If your therapist is less smart than you, you will heal him/her
– One of the things I’d ask if there is an afterlife, would be “how many lies did my therapist tell me?”
– Your therapist will help you fall in love with yourself if you can first manage to divorce from it
– Security in therapy emerges from the fake ideation that in an emergency, your relationship with your therapist will turn into an erotic one
– Falling in love with your therapist is absolutely safe for you and absolutely unsafe for them

Paradoxes
– Untalented people succeed
– Smart people feel silly
– Idiots feel smart
– Randomness brings order
– We only live once but we die constantly
– Love converts to hatred but not vice versa
– Idiots govern the smart ones
– Money makes poor people happier than rich ones
– Time is timeless