I don’t believe people when they say “I don’t understand this music, will you explain it to me?”. It means they don’t understand themselves and the place they occupy in the world, and that it doesn’t occur to them that music is also a product of collective life. Sometimes I have a strange feeling that musical processes can be more intelligent than the people who produce and listen to them; that the cells of those processes, like the chromosomes of a genetic code, can be more intelligent than the perceptive organs that should be making sense of them. It’s as if the music were miming one of the most incredible of natural processes: the passage from inanimate to animate life, from molecular to organic forms, from an abstract and immobile dimension to a vital and expressive one.
—Luciano Berio, in Rosanna Dalmonte and Bálint Andás Varga,
Luciano Berio: Two Interviews, translated and
edited by David Osmond-Smith (1985)