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The following statement by Harrison Birtwistle is from his interview with Joshua Cody and Kirk Noreen, directors of the New York based, Ensemble Sospeso, in 1999. More of the interview can be found online at the Ensemble Sospeso website.
There is a lot of mystery attached to the piece, but at the same time it is very formal. I was a very good friend of Morton Feldman, and I sort of wrote that in a sort of influence of him. But it is the opposite of Feldman, because where Feldman's music is vertical, La Plage is horizontal and is concerned with varied lines.
Harrison Birtwistle 1999