Jeff Buckley: [about music] The mystery is that it's a language for something that has no language; it's an expression for something that just can't be expressed. But it *is* expressed. Just the existence of music is totally audacious.
Mary Guibert: Whenever I would play, the boys would come and be in the room where the piano was. They liked it; they would ask for songs. After I was done and I was getting ready to get up from the piano, they'd say, "No, Mommy, stay! Play another one!" And usually it was Scottie, or Jeff who said, "Oh, play the one that sounds like raindrops," or "Play the waltz, Mommy," or... something that he liked about it, he would give it a special name, whether it was really Beethoven or Rachmaninoff or someone else.
Michael Clouse: The minute he plugged in, Jeff came to life. Very quiet, very reserved... but when he plugged in, you couldn't stop him.
Jeff Buckley: An artist isn't separate from a person who isn't or doesn't feel they're an artist. There's artistry in human beings; it's just a human function. I find answers from music all the time. But because I most identify with music as a way of expressing myself, I just find most of my answers there. Other people find it through painting or art or teaching or murder.
Jeff Buckley: I love jazz and I got into a lot of love of improv from things like Duke Ellington and Miles
Jeff Buckley: , and arrangements and then pacing. But basically all that music comes from moving people in a live setting - live meaning not on television, live meaning not on the radio, live meaning you are there, there are some people there, in a performance space, and they are moving the hell out of you.
Interviewer: If you couldn't make music, would you go crazy?
Jeff Buckley: I would be completely insane. Or I'd take up sculpture, and if I didn't have sculpture I'd take up screenplays, and if I didn't have that I'd take up something else. Anything artistic. But music seems to me to be the most closely identified with my soul. I mean, I feel that it's the best for me. It just gets into the bloodstream so quickly, for no reason at all. You can close your heart, and you can sleep even with your eyes closed, but you can never close your ears.
Jeff Buckley: [on recording] It's not like a live show where you play it and it just disappears into the air like smoke. It's like painting - sound painting, and it's in like, a crystallized form. So it's very nerve-wracking... "Which brain cell do I put down here forever and ever?" You don't know. And half of the art of making records is letting the whole thing go.
Michael Clouse: Jeff didn't want to be a product. He didn't want to be known as somebody who was put together and packaged and put out there by the label. These were things that record companies had done and continue to this day to do with their artists... these promotional shows, whatever it was, that Jeff didn't want to do. So I think there was a lot of strife in his life over those things. But again, this is Jeff. Jeff could have been far more successful in the popular sense had he followed the record machine, had he given himself over to that. But Jeff would never do that, which is why I think today Jeff is more popular overseas than he is in the United States - where less of the hype and more of the artist's talent is on display.
Jeff Buckley: Grace is what matters. In anything. Especially life, especially growth, tragedy, pain, love, death. About people, that's what matters. That's a quality I admire very greatly. It keeps you from reaching for the gun too quickly; it keeps you from destroying things too foolishly; it sort of keeps you alive and keeps you open for more understanding.