Elliott Cook Carter - Inspired by celestial music
Type of Spiritual Experience
Elliott Cook Carter, Jr. (December 11, 1908 – November 5, 2012) was an American composer who was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in the 1930s, then returned to the United States. After an early neoclassical phase, his style shifted to an emphasis on atonality and rhythmic complexity. His compositions are known and performed throughout the world; they include orchestral, chamber music, solo instrumental, and vocal works.
He was extremely productive in his later years, publishing more than 40 works between the ages of 90 and 100, and over 20 more after he turned 100 in 2008. He completed his last work, Epigrams for piano trio, on August 13, 2012
A description of the experience
I have a feeling that somehow there are these shadowy things behind me, these compositions, which are in a way not me, myself really.
They have this strange life; I'm not sure I invented them.
These strange beings began to come to my mind and gradually somehow insisted on being written in their strange and unusual way, difficult to some people and profoundly exciting to others. I was just sort of something that wrote them down, because they were telling me they had to be done this way and they were rather trying and sometimes difficult and demanding.
And sometimes they did things I have never done before and made me do things that bothered me and upset me and sometimes excited me – and puzzled me too sometimes.