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I have been trying for many years to move away from writing out of anger or turmoil, from a place of psychological upheaval and trauma. To compose in this way, you fall into the stereotype of the frenzied writer “exorcising demons,” Mozart in his middle years, music erupting from him in a dirty flow, fueled by fear, dread, howling voices.

I find this sort of composition exhausting over time, both as a composer and as an observer. It is also destructive, leading a person over time to think that art can be generated only through crisis and stress — you could grow numb both to pain and to beauty.