Photo by Angela Rowlings

From an interview with Elliott Carter (who turned 100 this year):

Have you gone through periods of different styles?

Elliott Carter: The way I think about it is that I’ve always considered my works as adventures. They were always adventures in something I didn’t know anything about, like finding a new territory. If I was asked to write something that I didn’t feel was an adventure I didn’t do it. I always wanted to take a step that was different than the one I did before. Each piece has its own particular character, its own formation, presentation.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that. People have been saying that my music has become more transparent, and I suppose it has, since at one time it was much more complex. I feel like that I’ve done that enough, and it’s no longer a primary interest.

Keith Powers
Boston Herald

The concept of always moving into new territory. The concept of transparency. These are ideas that cross over all creative making, be it music, writing, visual art. And to find Carter still that open, pliant and willing to enter into “beginner’s mind” after living for a century is sobering, and so, so admirable.