On Acting and Drama
My interest in the theater influences all of my music, whether written for the stage or not.
When I compose orchestral music I often have poetic concepts or imaginary scenarios in mind. For vocal and choral works I tend to choose texts that can be treated dramatically. When composing an opera, I try to get inside the characters so that the music can aptly express their feelings as individuals. And in composing for all genres I often use the rhythms of various social dances to evoke their energy, ambiance, and sense of human action.
In all of these circumstances, I am conscious of dramatic motives, and that I am functioning in part as an actor or dramatist. I began to compose for fun as a teenager, but I didn’t fully appreciate my natural inclination to work from a dramatic viewpoint until I was in my mid-thirties. After that, the more that I embraced this tendency, the more I enjoyed the process of composing and the musical results.