What is music about? You can't listen to one era, one composer, and know what music is about.
I occasionally play works by contemporary composers and for two reasons. First to discourage the composer from writing any more and secondly to remind myself how much I appreciate Beethoven.
Bernard Herrmann was a genius, a great, great composer.
I'm still getting used to being called a composer. A poseur, maybe.
I listen to Morricone, the famed Italian film composer, while I'm working.
I was always drawn to Broadway musicals, and obviously composers like Gershwin, Rodgers, Berlin and Porter were writing music that I found wildly impressive.
It's hard to decide how to match words to music. It's not like it's twice the work. It's always difficult for me to explain to the composer what I'm looking for. I'm not a professional; I lack even basic knowledge about writing music.
I've got a collection of songs that I've had, I keep adding to and they're all great American composers. I wanted to showcase American composers and I've done that on a lot of my records and played things by American composers that I really respect.
My husband is a composer, so he plays piano all the time and I sit there and clap telling my unborn child, 'Hear me clap, hear the music.' I know music, in general, is supposed to be good for babies to hear.
It's not a special taste. An American composer should have something to say to a cab driver.
'Neverwhere,' by Benjamin Millepied, is set to his favorite composer, Nico Muhly.
My favorite instrument is the snare drum. In Scotland, the snare drum is very prominent in Highland bands. The Scottish style of playing is in my blood. It's a very powerful instrument, but it can also be soothing, like velvet. It's a real challenge for composers.
There's still a lot I need to do as a player, as a musician, as a sound creator. I have commissioned 170 pieces: that's still not enough, there are still lots and lots of composers I would like to approach. When I see a composer and I see a performer, I think to combine those forces.
A large part of my work has been collaborating with composers; I think we've commissioned about 140 pieces now, a lot of them percussion concertos.
Matisse was my God. I'm a French artist, that's for sure. I am color-oriented and what you might call a composer. I am not pouring my guts out; I keep them inside.
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