I'm still disturbed if a chord isn't together, but your priorities change as you get older.
Once you get over the first hill, there is always a new, higher one lurking, of course.
Los Angeles is just a more open place. The way L.A. functions is that people give you a forum. They say, Show us what you can do.
I always had, deep down, a slight aversion toward the purely cerebral in music.
I discovered that the people of the North are different and there's no way you can make a person from the North similar to a Southerner. They're two different worlds.
The underlying process in Northern music tends to be slower and continuous, whatever's happening on the surface; in Southern music the underlying process is always faster.
The Northern idea of form is more of a process. The various units of the form overlap. You can't tell where some things stop and new things start. This is typical of Sibelius.
This conducting thing happened. In 1983 I was sucked into this international career, which was a very scary experience.
The music I turn out these days is the kind of music I want to hear myself.
I can't imagine how many first performances I've done, perhaps 500. Some of them have been very good, and some of course very bad.
Pulse as an active means of expression, Stravinsky and Beethoven are the two masters of that.
Stravinsky is masterly: his harmony is conceived so precisely that it can only be the way it is.
I've learned a lot from the masters of orchestration, like Ravel and Stravinsky.
My music wouldn't sound the way it does if I hadn't had the experience of conducting.
I feel very free and very happy to be a composer.
There is such a suspicion in today's world of people who do more than one thing, who aren't specialized.
Anyone who composes and conducts at the same time is immediately suspect, because he must be faking one or the other.
The act of conducting in itself, of waving my arms in the air and being in charge, I didn't miss. I missed the sensual pleasure of being in contact with music.
With American orchestras, in particular, because they play in such huge halls, getting a true pianissimo is very hard.
The players never think they project enough. In a hall that seats 3,300 people, it's a very scary thing to play so quietly that you can barely hear yourself.
This continuity of sound and form was something that I became really interested in from working with Ligeti. He was always going on about how form has to be continuous.
If the seams are showing, there is something wrong with the performance or the construction of the piece. This idea is completely at odds with our modern visual experience, because everything today is based on montage.
As we watch TV or films, there are no organic transitions, only edits. The idea of A becoming B, rather than A jumping to B, has become foreign.
Orchestras have become used to the emphasis on the separation of layers, of the ultimate precision and clarity.