That was one of the big problems when I was at Harvard studying music. We had to write choral pieces in the style of Brahms or Mendelssohn, which was distressing because in the end you realized how good Brahms is, and how bad you are.
my friend ant told me that this track off my new album, pictures, a piece by elliott carter entitled “intermittances,” inspired him to make a whole series of small metal sculptures, which honestly made my day.
i love this piece, but it’s the piece on my album that i would most readily characterize as “challenging,” whatever the hell that might mean. so it feels really gratifying to hear that it can in fact connect with audiences outside the rarefied sphere i so often find myself working within. it also feels great because it confirms a suspicion i’ve long held: that more “oblique” or “abstract” works within the classical tradition might actually often fare better with audiences coming to them with less preconception of what music might be or what music could possibly be.
Elliott Carter (December 11, 1908 – November 5, 2012)
When people listen to my music, I hope that they will notice that if you take a piece by a composer like Schubert, the major and the minor triad is an extremely important thing not merely as harmony, but in creating melodic lines. Schubert is always walking up and down with arpeggios on C, E, G and so forth. I am not doing anything different really, except using a different system of harmony.
“I’m pouring one out for my fallen homie, John Cage. We used to call him "Johnny no-notes”, “Johnny Thunder”, or “The Mushroom Maestro”. He didn’t like that one. Sure he didn’t even make it to 100, but not everyone can be as badass as me.