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So this anchoring in some way, in some important way in the past without repeating the past, but on the basis of the past building something new: that is what is important.
So now, thirty years, forty years later, I mean, I could find a whole orchestra of a thousand to put these things together in New York City alone. In those days, if I could scrape up twenty musicians to do this it was something extraordinary.
I would like to read some books: I don't have time; I would like to continue working on my autobiography.
I don't hate work, composing is not work for me, it's my pleasure; it's my life. So why should I stop? If something is pleasurable and exciting and rewarding, why should one stop?
But somehow, I felt no inclination to be interested in it in any amateur way, let alone professional, until suddenly I became interested. And the first thing I did was to compose: not play an instrument, but to compose.
Because I have sixty years of being a professional composer, conductor, musician, whatever, and you develop a lot of friendships and you get involved with a lot of sort of long-term commitments and obligations.
As rich as Cincinnati was in live music, New York was even more.
As long as I'm healthy and can keep going that's what I'll do.
And it is this sense that some of us have to contribute to the culture, to the society in ways that may hurt financially, so what? We do it because we are born to do it, we feel we have no other choice and so be it.
After the war, once the bop revolution had taken hold, there were all kinds of young musicians, talented young musicians, who were ready for this fusion of classical and jazz.
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