Music is such a problem in the time it takes.
People say my music is English. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's not me writing English music, but that English music is becoming more like me.
Composing's not voluntary, you know. There's no choice, you're not free. You're landed with an idea and you have responsibility to that idea.
I wrote music as soon as I knew notation.
I'm not an architectural composer.
In the end it doesn't matter what you do.
Minimalism now is a reaction to what came before. It's absolutely of its time. Music moved into the set theory thing, and moved out of it.
My operas and my theatre works are very formal pieces.
My operas usually come from musical ideas rather than ideas about subject matter.
I think there are influences that you open the door to, and influences that come under the door.
I didn't have a record player.
I always write the pieces I want to write.
There are rhythmic ideas which sometimes only work up to a point. In writing there are moments when it just comes off the page, it's not just a collection of notes.
I think music has gone through a period of something very severe, rather radical, rather the way painting did with cubism.
I don't think there is much American music.
My attitude to writing is like when you do wallpapering, you remember where all the little bits are that don't meet. And then your friends say: It's terrific!
It's the irrational things that interest me.
When I was confronted with official tuition, the academic thing, I could see no relationship whatever between that and the music I'd been writing since I was 11.
When I dealt with set theory, I could never make it be the music that I wanted.
The theatre only knows what it's doing next week, not like the opera, where they say: 'What are we going to do in five years' time?' A completely different attitude.
You either are or you're not.
When I was a kid, I wrote music - from the age of 11 until the age of 18.
This sounds horribly pretentious, but I like to think that if music hadn't existed, I could have invented it.
The thing about influence is that any composer worth anything will give you the same names.
The piece that had a large influence on me was Turangalila.
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