American Composer Quotes
This fact, the surfacing of structure in an undeliberate action, is too big to take on here, but it was enough to convince me that the structuralists—the advocates of planning music before you hear or care what the plan gives you—were right: do not rely on unplanned music; it comes out as though it were planned, but planned by someone you cross the street to avoid.
Nowadays, all students have access to and indeed most own computers and are comfortable with the software used to compose music. There are probably too many musical options for them now and the trick is to limit the number of musical ideas so as to develop structure and continuity in their work.
Do I have to tell you about the spiritual cannibalism of the culture, our culture, which has been bombarding us with ultrasensory overstimulation aiming to reprocess us into full-time consumption machines, stealing above all from us our time (not an inch of time without an imprint of message), and even our very sense of time (to be measured in lengths of no more than one message unit each) under the guise of entertainment, and even of 'art,' commoditizing the eternal, hyping the primal? Our time is the sine qua non of our identity. We need to take extreme measures to reclaim it for ourselves and each other.
… I often feel literally nauseated upon hearing works representative of the "new simplicity", or of the "new romantic" genre, works which, by aiming low, targeting only the mock-astral plane of musical yuppiedom, ignore the very dangers which make genuine art both human and transcendent. Fortunately, we are witnessing the growth of a grass-roots movement comprised of composers and performers who, having peeked over the fence surrounding this dungheap, have determined that shovelling shit is not to be their fate, and who are lovingly dedicating their lives to the seemingly endless, often agonizing labor which the production of challenging new works entails.
In the future (...) people will become more sensitive and aware than they are now. They will have to, because society will become more complicated, more full of people, with more different things happening. People will have to become much cleverer and much sharper. Then they will like my music.
You read reviews by top reviewers of films that not only had remarkably interesting scores, but films whose effectiveness was absolutely enhanced, and frequently created by the music, yet the reviewers seem unaware that their emotions and their nervous reactions to the films have been affected by the scoring. This is a serious flaw. Any film reviewer owes it to himself, and the public, to take every element of the film into account
I hope it is clear... that the ways in which pitches represent pitch classes, and the ways pitch classes abstract pitch, must be examined in order to describe any kind of musical sense or progression, and that if one steps back into abstracted considerations derived without respect to such concerns, an understanding of the qualities of musical uniqueness will continue to be suppressed in favor of generalizations, which at best evoke a vague sense of what a piece may be doing, perhaps in common with some other pieces, but not what one piece is doing, all by itself.
Collaboration is being open to each other's ideas and benefiting from each other's perspectives in an open way. Collaboration is all about rewriting and rewriting and rewriting and helping each other to constantly improve a piece. And, it's also about spurring each other on to doing really great, hard work — it's easier to do it in a collaboration than on your own.
What do you think happens to a composer who is sincere and loves to write and has to wait thirty years to have someone play a piece of his music? Had I been born in a different country or had I been born white, I am sure I would have expressed my ideas long ago. Maybe they wouldn't have been as good because when people are born free — I can't imagine it, but I've got a feeling that if it's so easy for you — the struggle and the initiative are not as strong as they are for a person who has to struggle and therefore has more to say.