Bunch Of Whackos
The older I get, the more engagements I’m asked to go on, I think. It’s been amazing. I mean when we started very few opportunities, people thought we were a bunch of whackos. I go to Harvard now. Can you believe that? I’ve given lectures, performances at Yale, Harvard, places like that.1 Which wouldn’t have acknowledged me as a composer a long time ago.
Even the New England Conservatory, they’ve been playing a lot of my works up there. It would have been inconceivable when I was in the 60s, 70s, even 80s. Things have changed, audiences have changed, people are listening. It’s amazing. I just was in — well, I’m thinking of a piece — what’s that club? There’s a club in New York that Charles Curtis played a lot of my works. I thought my Lord, these people are going to be bored stiff. Who are they? I didn’t know anyone in the audience. He played pieces, long pitches, long tones.
And I was nervous, but nobody else was nervous. You could have heard a pin drop. I think somebody said that they think, perhaps, in this distracted time, we’re so distracted by iPhones and internet and so forth. People are aching to just focus on one thing for a long time. And audiences — I’m really surprised that they pay attention to my work. It’s been really edifying actually. Several years ago, when Philip — John Adams and Philip Glass, for example, it’s all you heard, was Philip Glass, Philip Glass, Philip Glass, easy music to listen to.2 I thought, well, gee, this is the end, because that’s the way music is going. But it didn’t go that way actually. It did, but this other thing has happened also. So, I’m very edified about everything.