Quotes from The forest and the citadel, memoires of a composer:
In my music, and in Canto ostinato, the sea has not played any part at all, although I spent many hours at the border of land and sea, and have lived in the coastal area practically my whole life.
The American influence is undeniable, but the form of minimal music that I created in my work is inconceivable without the archetypical European tradition
Canto, and the works written after it, I do consider as belonging to my personal blood group/type. I cannot, now, at distance, see it otherwise.
The first plan for Canto dates from the early seventies. It originated almost secretly, clandestinely, along with other activities.
The following years witnessed the restoration of tonality after tonality’s death
Canto ostinato for keyboard instruments was completed in 1976, was tonal, and perhaps, as an unruly phenomenon, needed three years of reconcilement.
The assumption of the-longer-the better is a mistake if the tension between two moments in time fails and what sounds is nothing more than pointless repetition of the same.
Music, contrary to language, is not a means of expression ‘for’ something but ‘of’ something
The feeling of hardly having anything to say was never as strong as with Canto ostinato. At first, I watched the piece unfold with the utmost suspicion. This was not done, really: tonality, this open, this plain, this explicit.
The question if Canto would be minimal music, look, if people want to label it like that, why not? You cannot do much about it.
The first performance took place on April 25th 1979 in the Ruïnekerk in Bergen
Although, inprinciple and as it should be in a developmental structure, every part of Canto has a certain place in the progression and is not exchangeable without violating melodic line, logic and form, beginning and ending are not of final significance as limitations of form
Time plays an important role/part?
Time becomes the space in which the musical object comes afloat.
There is a considerable margin for input from the performers.
Performances can be considered as rituals, rather than concerts
Let us assume that the piece is played by one performer (i.e. a pianist)...