"When I wrote music for a production of Play in 1965, I saw the silences as places where the narrative or the words would become unadorned, so to speak. In the silence, they would emerge in a certain way with more clarity. In any case, the difference between narrative and background music, and narrative and non-background music, can be quite enormous. In no case was the music in the foreground. I was really trying to learn from Beckett. You have to remember that I was quite a young man at the time: maybe 27 or 28. I was just finding my own voice. Narrative in those days was a big problem for me, as it was for many people. I was using structures that Beckett provided, and the dispersion of the narrative, as a clue to a new way of working in music. About ten years later I wrote a piece called Einstein on the beach, which was based upon that new way. Beckett became the prime influence within the array of solutions to that problem of narrative which so many artists were grapping with at that time. Beckett was the person I was relating to at the moment, and his writing had a real impact on my work."