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Harrison Birtwistle Quotes

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Harrison Birtwistle
July 15, 1934 -
Nationality: British
Category: Composer
Subcategory: British Composer

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.


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!


It's the irrational things that interest me.


Music is such a problem in the time it takes.


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


I always write the pieces I want to write.


When I was confronted with official tuition, the academic thing, I could see no relationship whatever between that and the music I'd been writing since I was 11.


The piece that had a large influence on me was Turangalila.


The opera tells the story with all the built-in contradictions and from many different angles.


You either are or you're not.


I wrote music as soon as I knew notation.


There are rhythmic ideas which sometimes only work up to a point. In writing there are moments when it just comes off the page, it's not just a collection of notes.


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


I don't think there is much American music.


The theatre only knows what it's doing next week, not like the opera, where they say: What are we going to do in five years' time? A completely different attitude.


I'm not an architectural composer.


I didn't have a record player.


This sounds horribly pretentious, but I like to think that if music hadn't existed, I could have invented it.


When I was a kid, I wrote music - from the age of 11 until the age of 18.


I think there are influences that you open the door to, and influences that come under the door.


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