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.
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.
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'm not an architectural composer.
I wrote music as soon as I knew notation.
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.
The opera tells the story with all the built-in contradictions and from many different angles.
The piece that had a large influence on me was Turangalila.
The thing about influence is that any composer worth anything will give you the same names.
This sounds horribly pretentious, but I like to think that if music hadn't existed, I could have invented it.
When I was a kid, I wrote music - from the age of 11 until the age of 18.
You either are or you're not.
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.
When I dealt with set theory, I could never make it be the music that I wanted.
I don't have ideas so much as there are things which constantly evolve... there are various threads or layers, if you like, which change.
One thing I've tried to do in writing music is take on very basic things, very archetypal things.
It's the irrational things that interest me.
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!
I don't think there is much American music.
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.
I'm not a music lover in the sense that I look for something to have on. I've never had that attitude to music.
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