(One more week or so to completing the final draft of Ship - finished IX yesterday.)
Question: What do you want to do with your music?
Answer: To give beauty, meaning and depth of feeling to others through the gift of my talent ([rich in] poetic lyricism); also to provide an answer or alternative to people who do not find "contemporary" music very pleasing, interesting or beautiful.
Question: How do you view the state of music in this century and particularly at this immediate time?
Answer: The musical efforts of musicians of the 2nd half of this century have disregarded a basic precept in historical tradition. The music of this time is as a macro universe reaching out, when in fact it should reach in.
Question: Doesn't this relate to the classical/romantic dialectic?
Answer: Yes of course. Mark this: classicism is as a macro universe reaching in, romanticism as micro universe reaching out. At this point in time we have attained a macro universe extending from the romantic efforts of composers from Ives to Xenakis. If we do not now relate to this immense macro universe with a sense of classicism, the very expansion which attained this universe will begin to dissipate it and thus we may lose, by simple lack of foresight and wisdom, the body and value inherent in our immediate musical heritage. For me, Bach represents the epitome of a classical composer, Beethoven a romantic composer. In every age there comes a time for repose, and after for expansion - and then repose [again], etc.
It is very evident that the very times now are calling - screaming - out for repose, reflection, codification - in short, classicism. And this is what I meant when I mentioned earlier that composers today are disregarding a basic precept of historical tradition: instead of cultivating a classical sense, the composers are continuously worshipping the avant-garde - to wit, Romanticism. If something isn't done [to correct this], the "stars may wink out". I can assure you that people's ears are generally closed already!
Question: Where do you see yourself in all this?
Answer: I always used to consider myself "romantic" in the sense that my musical instincts stem from Chopin, et al. But now, even though my sense of poetic lyricism is indeed founded in that romantic tradition, I definitely am a classically oriented composer, according to my [own] definition above. Indeed this may help to clear the air about classicism vs. romanticism: the issue is not one of style, but of concept and environment - style is only symptomatic!