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" Anything popular is populist, and populist is rarely a good adjective. "
" People tend to play in their comfort zone, so the best things are achieved in a state of surprise, actually. "
" My kind of composing is more like the work of a gardener. The gardener takes his seeds and scatters them, knowing what he is planting but not quite what will grow where and when - and he won't necessarily be able to reproduce it again afterwards either. "
" Feelings are more dangerous than ideas, because they aren't susceptible to rational evaluation. They grow quietly, spreading underground, and erupt suddenly, all over the place. "
" Democracy is a daring concept - a hope that we'll be best governed if all of us participate in the act of government. It is meant to be a conversation, a place where the intelligence and local knowledge of the electorate sums together to arrive at actions that reflect the participation of the largest possible number of people. "
" I don't live in the past at all; I'm always wanting to do something new. I make a point of constantly trying to forget and get things out of my mind. "
" A big ego means that you have some confidence in your abilities, really, and that you're prepared to take the risk of trying them out. "
" Honor thy error as a hidden intention. "
" Human development thus far has been fueled and guided by the feeling that things could be, and are probably going to be, better. "
" Singing aloud leaves you with a sense of levity and contentedness. "
" It's not the destination that matters. It's the change of scene. "
" I don't like headphones very much, and I rarely listen to music on headphones. "
" Control and surrender have to be kept in balance. That's what surfers do - take control of the situation, then be carried, then take control. In the last few thousand years, we've become incredibly adept technically. We've treasured the controlling part of ourselves and neglected the surrendering part. "
" I'm very good with technology, I always have been, and with machines in general. They seem not threatening like other people find them, but a source of fun and amusement. "
" If you want to make someone feel emotion, you have to make them let go. Listening to something is an act of surrender. "
" When governments rely increasingly on sophisticated public relations agencies, public debate disappears and is replaced by competing propaganda campaigns, with all the accompanying deceits. Advertising isn't about truth or fairness or rationality, but about mobilising deeper and more primitive layers of the human mind. "
" The biggest crime in England is to rise above your station. It's fine to be a pop star. 'Oh, it's great, lots of fun, aren't they sweet, these pop stars! But to think you have anything to say about how the world should work? What arrogance!' "
" Lyrics are the only thing to do with music that haven't been made easier technically. "
" I'm actually an evangelical atheist, but there is something I recognise about religion: that it gives people a chance to surrender. "
" I believe in singing to such an extent that, if I were asked to redesign the British educational system, I would start by insisting that group singing becomes a central part of the daily routine. I believe it builds character and, more than anything else, encourages a taste for cooperation with others. "
" When I went back to England after a year away, the country seemed stuck, dozing in a fairy tale, stifled by the weight of tradition. "
" Emotion creates reality, reality demands action. "
" Every collaboration helps you grow. With Bowie, it's different every time. I know how to create settings, unusual aural environments. That inspires him. He's very quick. "
" Painting, I think it's like jazz. "
" Musicians are there in front of you, and the spectators sense their tension, which is not the case when you're listening to a record. Your attention is more relaxed. The emotional aspect is more important in live music. "