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Harrison Birtwistle's Quotes

Harrison Birtwistle profile photo

Born: 1934-07-15
Profession: Composer
Nation: British
Biography of Harrison Birtwistle

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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.

Tags: Attitude, Theatre, Time

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.

Tags: Sometimes, Work, Writing

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.

Tags: Between, Music, Writing

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!

Tags: Attitude, Remember, Writing

It's the irrational things that interest me.

Tags: Interest, Irrational

I always write the pieces I want to write.

Tags: Pieces, Write

I didn't have a record player.

Tags: Player

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.

Tags: Change, Evolve, Ideas

I don't think there is much American music.

Tags: American, Music

I think music has gone through a period of something very severe, rather radical, rather the way painting did with cubism.

Tags: Gone, Music, Rather

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

Tags: Door, Influences, Open

I wrote music as soon as I knew notation.

Tags: Knew, Music, Soon

I'm not a music lover in the sense that I look for something to have on. I've never had that attitude to music.

Tags: Attitude, Music, Sense

I'm not an architectural composer.

Tags: Composer

In the end it doesn't matter what you do.

Tags: End, Matter

Minimalism now is a reaction to what came before. It's absolutely of its time. Music moved into the set theory thing, and moved out of it.

Tags: Music, Theory, Time

Music is such a problem in the time it takes.

Tags: Music, Problem, Time

My operas and my theatre works are very formal pieces.

Tags: Pieces, Theatre, Works

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

Tags: Ideas, Matter, Rather

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

Tags: Music, Tried, Writing

People say my music is English. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's not me writing English music, but that English music is becoming more like me.

Tags: Maybe, Music, Writing

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

Tags: Angles, Opera, Story

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

Tags: Influence, Large, Piece
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Much more quotes by Harrison Birtwistle below the page.

The thing about influence is that any composer worth anything will give you the same names.

Tags: Give, Influence, Worth

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

Tags: Invented, Music, Sounds

When I dealt with set theory, I could never make it be the music that I wanted.

Tags: Music, Theory, Wanted

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

Tags: Age, Music, Until

You either are or you're not.

Tags: Either
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