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Harrison Birtwistle Quotes

I always write the pieces I want to write.

I didn't have a record player.

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.

I don't think there is much American music.

I think music has gone through a period of something very severe, rather radical, rather the way painting did with cubism.

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 a music lover in the sense that I look for something to have on. I've never had that attitude to music.

I'm not an architectural composer.

In the end it doesn't matter what you do.

It's the irrational things that interest me.

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.

Music is such a problem in the time it takes.

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!

My operas and my theatre works are very formal pieces.

My operas usually come from musical ideas rather than ideas about subject matter.

One thing I've tried to do in writing music is take on very basic things, very archetypal things.

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.

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.