19 October 2012, King's College London,as part of the Arts and Humanities Festival 2012: Metamorphoses, Transformations and Conversions /// As I search for a way to describe my compositional approach over the past decade, the word ‘reverie’ leaps to my mind, not in the sense of daydreaming, but of stumbling upon musical gestures or sonorities that by force of their evocative power seem like inviting windows. While peering through such windows they often turn into ‘gates’ that eventually vanish as I find myself inhabiting a world of very precise yet unfathomable musical characteristics, a world with its own sort of ‘modality’. So what distinguishes this from daydreaming? For Jorge Luis Borges 'literature is naught but guided dreaming, anyway'. The crucial difference is that there is a ‘work’ aspect, an investment of labour, involved both in the shaping of a composition and in the listener’s engagement with a piece of music. It is an energy exchange comparable to being in love, in the sense that it places a demand on the totality of our being. Composing obeys the ebb and flow of desire; it involves pain, pleasure, bliss, ecstasy, plenitude, aggression, passion, fire, vertigo ... /// My talk explores the personal leap of faith involved in such acts of 'metamorphosis' in the context of a classical musical language in a state of crisis and dissolution.