The melodic curves of speech are an expression of the complete organism and of all phases of its spiritual activities. They demonstrate whether a man is stupid or intelligent, sleepy or awake, tired or alert. They tell us whether he is a child or an old man, whether it is morning or evening, light or darkness, heat or frost, and disclose whether a person is alone or in company. The art of dramatic writing is to compose a melodic curve that will, as if by magic, reveal immediately a human being in one definite phase of his existence.
The hotel wasn't that empty, however. Soon an old man walked unsteadily out of the nearby lounge and plopped himself into a big easy chair beside the piano. There, he slowly sipped his wine and watched me play. I felt distracted and uneasy, trapped on the bench where at any moment he might request one of his favourite tunes, one I most likely did not know how to play. [...] He said me: Who will play your music if you don't do it yourself?
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.
My piano is to me what a ship is to the sailor, what a steed is to the Arab. It is the intimate personal depository of everything that stirred wildly in my brain during the most impassioned days of my youth. It was there that all my wishes, all my dreams, all my joys, and all my sorrows lay.
And Music is an art which likes people to laugh and sing and dance. It cares nothing for melancholy, nor for a man who sorrows over what is of no importance, but ignores, instead, such folk. It brings joy everywhere it's present; it comforts the disconsolate, and just hearing it makes people rejoice.
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.
I am often asked why I nearly always select old material, fairy tales and legends for my stage works. I do not look upon them as old, but rather as valid material. The time element disappears, and only the spiritual power remains. My entire interest is in the expression of spiritual realities. I write for the theater in order to convey a spiritual attitude.