VAN: How has she [Meredith Monk] influenced you?
Natalie Draper: One thing that I admire is that she is not afraid to repeat things, and another thing is that her repetitions are always slightly different. There’s always a lot of change happening—but it’s subtle. She’s also not afraid of simplicity, and she’s not afraid of melody. Simplicity, repetition, and melody are three things that, depending on which circles you’re talking to, are sometimes considered not to be serious music. I admire that she embraces them and creates really complex textures. It really gratifies me when someone just does what she wants to do and doesn’t worry about what people might say. It’s also refreshing in a world where people are trying really hard to write super-complex music—I don’t want in any way to bash complexity, because I do love a lot of complex composers—but I think it’s refreshing to have both types in existence and not to underestimate simplicity.