I think music has gone through a period of something very severe, rather radical, rather the way painting did with cubism.
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.
Music is such a problem in the time it takes.
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.
In the end it doesn't matter what you do.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I always write the pieces I want to write.
I didn't have a record player.
I think there are influences that you open the door to, and influences that come under the door.
I wrote music as soon as I knew notation.
I'm not an architectural composer.
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