FULL-TEXT AVAILABLE IN PRINT EDITION ONLY     Composer Dániel Péter Biró talks about his work in long, lucid sentences. He takes his time, he doesn’t double back or digress, and he rarely needs to correct himself. But just when you think his explanation is complete, he adds another layer.
His music, too, is multi-layered, but it is not clear; nor does he want it to be. “I write music that’s not immediately comprehensible because the effort of making sense of something opens up our imagination,” Biró says. “The important question is this: What do we find comprehensible, and when does incomprehensibility force us to listen in a different way?”
Biró’s own comprehensibility varies according to the medium he’s using to express his ideas. When he writes about his music, in the wiry, oblique prose of a modernist intellectual concerned with language and history, he uses the locutions and spellings of deconstruction—re-membering, or re-collecting, say—even as he lays out intricate analyses of the pieces’ constructions, their rigorous Beethovenian integrities, and the erudite and heterogeneous references that lie behind them. 
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Image by: Linda Sheldon