George Winston on Why His Music and Life Are Keyed to the Seasons

George Winston

Ray: So you interpret everything through the model of the seasons?

George: Everything. Not just music, but also everything else.

Like if I was thinking of the Andromeda galaxy, I’d still think of a season.

Ray: Would it be winter?

George: God, I don’t know. Outer space is probably winter, you know, almost absolute zero, so probably.

It’s just me going back to my roots. If I was in outer space, I’m sure I would think of Earth.

My roots don’t chain me, but they’re a convenient starting place. If they weren’t, if I had terrible roots I hated, I’d delete them and get something else.

And you can have roots in different periods. My guitar roots go from ’74 with hearing the slack-key players. I was 25 years old, and now I’ve been hearing them for 25 years, so that’s deep roots, too. Not as deep as if I’d heard it in 1950, but things are what they are.

You do have a choice to delete stuff. It’s like on a computer. If you don’t like a religion, get rid of it. If you don’t like where you grew up, forget about it. Create something new that replaces it.

If you don’t like your god, get another one. People make a million of them, so just create another one. If you don’t like your train of teaching — of being spiritual or physics or whatever — then find another one or make up one yourself.

I’m not good at making up things. I always go to things, I get my own thing out of it, and then I move on.

I’m a member of nothing. I’m just a soloist in all ways, shapes, and forms.

And yet I identify with each person, each soul, each individual who is on this planet, who is trying desperately to survive. We’re all in this mess together, so let’s make the best of it and try to make it a little better.

*Learn about George Winston and his many extraordinary recordings at, and read more of my interviews at I did this interview for New Age Retailer magazine.

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