“It would seem long to me, a second of silence”, Samuel Beckett once wrote, “I would listen, I would know it’s going to start again”. Silence, in itself perfect, lacks nothing. Yet we composers impose ourselves upon this perfection with the sounds we mould into compositions. I had the privilege to be acquainted with the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. In one of our conversations he said, “to be a composer is an important job, but most important is to listen, listen carefully, intently, deeply”. Listening is at the center of everything musical. We need to train our ears, to learn to listen to what is around us but also and perhaps most importantly, to what lies within us. We need to learn to train our inner ear. Music is thus for me essentially a spiritual discipline and also a principal source of spiritual nourishment. I hope you find what is contained in these pages useful. Thank you for your visit.
Schwetzingen, November 2023