George Crumb — one of America’s premiere avant-garde composers, whose 70 years’ worth of work has been described as “some of the most poetic and atmospheric music written in this century,” earning him Grammys and the Pulitzer Prize — is a modest guy.
He once built a large studio on the side of the house where he could compose in more comfort. But it wasn’t comfortable.
“It was too big,” he said. “There were big windows that looked out on the backyard. There were always squirrels and birds doing their tricks out there. I couldn’t concentrate.”
Crumb prefers to work in a tight space with a low ceiling and no windows. What he hears inside his head when he’s working in West Virginia.