“All the compositional techniques you frequently use — form, melodies, how you write, what you write for — are challenged, somehow, because now you have more catalogue from which to choose. It’s not ‘new music’ — it’s very old — but it’s new to you.”
“Just like we have man-made boundaries that separate countries and land, we have man-made boundaries that separate genre, and these boundaries can always be crossed.”
“Where I feel the most joy is being part of the performance; directing a band, and conducting it, rather than just being on the sidelines. When I conduct my jazz orchestra, hearing that music back at you, being in control, people’s eyes up looking at you as the piece takes off… that’s just as important to me.”
"I am not seeking for my work to be authentic to me — but rather, I want it to be authentic to the idea of that piece. Which is similar, but slightly different."
“I quite like decorating and colouring things in quite a sparkly fashion, and I think that’s what gives some of my work that zinginess, and life and energy; because it’s got that bright colouration.”
“Even if I have a really restrictive structure in my compositions, I always have some kind of freedom inside. Even if I don’t have improvisation in the composition, I am thinking like an improviser.”
“[It’s] almost like a very slow improvisation… I like to think of the music as writing itself. I’ll have ideas of fragments, chords, sketches, but I’ll listen to the music and what it wants to do, and follow that instinct, rather than trying to impose a pre-defined structure.”
“In my compositions, I search for answers about me, about the world. All humans have a need to create: and I have this need to create through sound.”
“If you’re gonna ask what my central ethos for everything I do is, it’s that: build a community, build a scene, get people involved and break down that barrier. You "can" do it.”
"The ‘hysterical sublime’ … As soon as I read that, I knew [it] summed up exactly the world I wanted to create. This collapsing of the sublime and the ridiculous to the point where they’re indistinguishable."
“Breath feels like such an important part of that process of performing, how you’re feeling when you’re performing, the sound that you make. The way you breathe informs how gradual, or direct, or stable or unstable, that sound is.”
“I work a lot with humour: keeping everything quite silly, and simple. When working with text, I enjoy finding language that doesn’t quite make sense. I enjoy the humour that comes out of finding something that’s just a bit off in both language and music.”
“When I write, I feel really manic — I feel a lot of adrenaline coursing through my veins. Even though what I make comes out very slowly, I feel like I’m going at a million miles an hour.”
“I’m not so much interested in 'changing the sound', per se. What I’m really interested in is creating sound worlds, and sound paintings. I find that electronically, that is probably the easiest way of achieving that; you can create an orchestra of those reed sounds, just in whatever software you use.”
“That’s why it’s called audiovisual music: because it’s not really one over the other, but they both complement each other, and are [as] equally important as each other.”
"For organic materials such as shells or leaves, the DNA within these objects can be traced back over multiple millennia and further. To interact with these objects in a musical context is to juxtapose the limited nature of human time with that of the environment."
“It’s not like making a piece of work in a space where the space is just a container for the performance. The two worlds are completely linked — physically, conceptually, and in every other way. So sometimes I’m thinking like an architect and sometimes like a composer, and of course all the bits in between.”
“Every composer has listened to, and listens to, lots of music that isn’t contemporary classical music, or classical music. We can try and make this division within ourselves between the music we listen to outside of our work and the music we compose. [But] for me, something that has brought a lot of life into my score-based music is trying to dissolve that barrier as much as possible.”
“I’m not setting text, I’m not trying to manipulate it or dilute its impact; I’m trying to present it, as I feel like it deserves to be presented, and using that as a stimulus for my own creativity.”
“I make things to say 'this is how I see the world', and to ask if you see it the same way.”