I studied classical guitar in school, and that type of stuff has led to writing for Kronos.
My background in music is classical - I did graduate school in music. At that time, I was studying composition, but I was studying classical guitar very seriously.
I've always been in rock bands. I was in a rock band with my brother in high school. Then I was playing classical guitar recitals, and people said, 'You know, you can't really do both things.' My intuition told me they were wrong. Somehow, what was interesting about me was that I had those two things in my life.
If you learn classical guitar, you play Bach, and then John Dowland. He's the greatest. He's interesting for many, many reasons.
There is a kind of adventure- and risk-seeking audience in classical contemporary music that is really empowering and part of what draws me to it. The people that come to these concerts are open-minded and curious.
The thing I realised about composition is, we remember most composers for four bars of music. Four singable bars of music. Pretty much any major composer from Debussy to Ravel to Mozart to whoever else - you can kind of hum it.
I don't labour over my lead guitar solos; they're better just caught in the moment.
Obviously, any living musician born after 1960 has been touched by rock and roll. It's the music of our time, and it's 'in the air,' as Steve Reich would say. My experience of it is just really direct because I'm actually playing in a collaborative band.
There is a reactionary conservative side of classical music, which is not the most exciting side of it. The side that draws me in, there's a real encouragement of risk-taking, going back to masters of that tradition like Beethoven and Bartok and Stravinsky.
When I'm scoring something like a string quartet, it's all notated music, so it's meticulously written in the score, which is very different than doing things by ear.
David Harrington, who's the violinist and founder of Kronos, is a super open-minded and adventurous guy.