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It is easy to write unthinking music.
– George Crumb
Writing seems to be more difficult as you move through the years.
I frequently hear our present period described as uncertain, confused, chaotic.
The advent of electronically synthesized sound after World War II has unquestionably had enormous influence on music in general.
I think we’re in a very low point of music right now.
Perhaps of all the most basic elements of music, rhythm most directly affects our central nervous system.
The future will be the child of the past and the present, even if a rebellious child.
As interesting as that music can occasionally be, I don’t think it really replaces the other.
This is not a happy time for this kind of music in this country.
I pick up the New York Times or Time and it’s talking about the latest rock group, which I’m sure is exciting to some people, but it neglects a huge area of music.
I am certain that most composers today would consider today’s music to be rich, not to say confusing, in its enormous diversity of styles, technical procedures, and systems of esthetics.
Most of my influences are turn-of-the-century.
Perhaps many of the perplexing problems of the new music could be put into a new light if we were to reintroduce the ancient idea of music being a reflection of nature.
I have observed, too, that the people of the many countries that I have visited are showing an ever increasing interest in the classical and traditional music of their own cultures.
In a broader sense, the rhythms of nature, large and small – the sounds of wind and water, the sounds of birds and insects – must inevitably find their analogues in music.
Nonetheless, I sense that it will be the task of the future to somehow synthesize the sheer diversity of our present resources into a more organic and well-ordered procedure.
I must confess, my Spanish is not so good – except I read a little, so I started with the English but then determined that it would have to be in Spanish.
Perhaps two million years ago the creatures of a planet in some remote galaxy faced a musical crisis similar to that which we earthly composers face today.
I am optimistic about the future of music.
If we look at music history closely, it is not difficult to isolate certain elements of great potency which were to nourish the art of music for decades, if not centuries.
One very important aspect of our contemporary musical culture – some might say the supremely important aspect – is its extension in the historical and geographical senses to a degree unknown in the past.
The development of new instrumental and vocal idioms has been one of the remarkable phenomena of recent music.
The retrospective glance is a relatively easy gesture for us to make.
Although technical discussions are interesting to composers, I suspect that the truly magical and spiritual powers of music arise from deeper levels of our psyche.
Unquestionably, our contemporary world of music is far richer, in a sense, than earlier periods, due to the historical and geographical extensions of culture to which I have referred.