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Darling is quick to emphasize, especially to classically trained musicians, that they don't have to become jazz players in order to improvise.

"At all my concerts, I play a rhapsody for cello, and it's always made up on the spot. But it has the textures and timbres of Bloch's Schelomo and the Dvorak Cello Concerto, and Sain-Saens, Shostakovich, and Bartok."

Darling says one of his tasks is to help classical musicians overcome their skepticism and believe that they can play music that's not printed,

"...to have the guts to walk onstage wih nothing prepared. It's just amazing to me that you have someone who's trained themselves for years and years, they have scales down, they have thirds down, they know 13 modes, and if you ask them to play something, they say 'no, I can't, I didn't bring any music.' Well that's just absurd. Music should be something that isn't served just by the notes, it should be somethig that's about the human condition of expressing oneself through notes."

-- Reprinted from Strings #34, by Joshua Rosebaum

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