The other day I was listening to CBC radio as I worked in my studio. I heard John Adams the American composer interviewed about his book "Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life". I enjoyed his comment about how, when he began composing, he wasn't interested in using irony on which most contemporary art depends. He said that Beethoven and Mozart didn't do irony, and he wasn't interested in it either. He had to find his own way and go against the tide of the time.
Yesterday I watched a video of John Adams in an hour long interview about his book and his life that took place at the Los Angeles Public Library on May 14, 2009.
It was an intelligent, wide-ranging and very inspiring interview. One thing that I took out of the interview was that Adams said he never had an idea for a composition, without improvising....he doesn't get an idea by just sitting there thinking about it.
Today I've ordered the book. And I'm off to my studio to improvise!