Elliott Carter’s music is the closest metaphor, in sound, to our conscious experience of life. At times so complex that we are not sure how to find an order while immersed in its stimulation, there will be beautiful, suddenly simple forms that we grasp fleetingly as they fly past us, leaving traces in our memory. Elliott loved the way music could contain different qualities at the same time. He explored this simultaneity in deep ways no other composer has. I have often been stuck by how exquisitely he could set a text to music and effortlessly add endless layers of meaning in the sounds. His poetic voice changed the way I think about intervals, rhythm, texture, and time. After Elliott, you look differently at a Rossini or Mozart opera accompaniment having lived with the subtle shades of speed in his magical metric modulations. Your sense for the unique personality of an interval changes after the experience of works like Penthode or the Clarinet Concerto. In discussion with him you often felt that he was the definition of mental genius. That he was such a generous person in addition to all his talents and abilities makes him a model to emulate. Thank goodness he left us a lifetime of music. We are lucky indeed to have his take on music, on culture, literature and life.