Aas always, Watt … centers me. Don’t know how else to put it.
Q: Why did you want to make an album dealing explicitly with midlife?
A: Because I’m immersed in it. It’s on me. Mechanically, in terms of my other two operas, there’s a kind of arc or a thread that binds them, but in the other ones I was kind of retelling something that had happened to me, and on this one I was trying to be more right there in the moment. What is happening with me. I wanted that challenge because it’s hard to do. It becomes past the next minute after you’ve done it.
Q: Is it harder to be immediate than to reframe things in hindsight?
A: Well, yeah. There’s two other ways of doing it. I could have been a younger man and guessed what it was going to be like. They would have been very far-off guesses. I could have waited until I got past middle age, into senility, when you probably forget everything. There’s no way to really know about this place for me except by living it.
Q: What is it like?
A: You have experience that you didn’t have as a younger person, but your body ain’t as good. You have a different, I think, overall picture of things. The glass half empty, half full thing is big-time when you’re young. That finitism, the awareness of it, isn’t as strong as now. Because you can feel it, you can feel it in your body that you’re breaking down, the body parts, maybe even the mind parts. But the mind parts have the things that the younger mind doesn’t have, with the experiences. You just can’t create those, you know. You have to live them.