Steve Reich is considered one of the world's greatest living composers, renown for his influential minimal compositions from the 1960s. In an interview with Deutsche Welle at the 2011 Beethovenfest, Reich described how the aesthetic decisions he makes during the creative process are largely intuitive and personal, judging the value of a piece of music by his desire to hear it again:
When I compose, I notice I'm the only one in the room. (laughs) I tend to be a somewhat self-critical person. I use my emotional faculties to judge whether I want to hear something again. Basically I have no one in mind except pleasing myself. And my basic idea is, well, if I love it then hopefully you will love it too.
People ask me, "What do you want the listeners to feel?" To me, that's an absurd question. I care very deeply that people want to hear my music. But how they will take it, what it will conjure up inside of them - who knows?
Interestingly, Reich has also developed a disdain for city life in recent years, moving from New York to the countryside in Vermont: "I've actually come to dislike all cities and particularly New York. We moved out in 2006, and we've had a place in Vermont which was like my savior..."
Via Deutsche Welle.