John Tavener

I’ve always written my own melodies, and John would listen to my records and then write something that suited my range. I was really touched. He’s amazing. He has this disease which is related to your heart where your bones never stop growing. I can’t remember what it is called. So he is really, really, really long. His fingers are really long, he has really long hair, a white suit, that’s too short for him and all this Greek Orthodox jewellery on his fingers. The doctors told him he was supposed to die five or ten years ago and he’s way past his time. So he lives every day like it’s his last. He’s obsessed with Greek red wine. When I first met him, I was really shy and he grabbed this bottle of wine, smashed it on the table and said : "So, what do you think about death ? [laughs] What is your favourite music, what was the greatest love of your life ?" So you get really drunk with him and a few hours later he’s playing ’The Sound Of Music’ and ’My Fair Lady’ on the piano, asking us all to join in.

i-D magazine #244 , june 2004