»Classical music is weighted very much towards purity and distinction from normal sounds – what makes them musical is that you know they deliberately don’t sound like anything else in the world. What pop music keeps doing is shifting the other way, absorbing more and more of the world.«

»Avant-garde music is a sort of research music. You’re glad someone’s done it but you don’t necessarily want to listen to it. It’s similar to the way I’m very happy people have gone to the North Pole. It extends my concept of the planet to know it exists, but I don’t want to live there, or even go there actually. But it’s a boundary condition.«

»Music is actually a contingent combination of sounds whose emotional resonances are entirely dependent on the audience’s personal and shared histories as listeners.«

»A friend of mine says that modern music is a form of space travel, because either you’re going out into space with the music, into weird new sounds and weird new impossible landscapes. Modern composers […] create psychoacoustic spaces that actually don’t exist in nature. So that’s one kind of space travel, going outwards. But the other kind, of course, is inner space travel, travelling into the strange new psychological spaces in our souls.«