DC: How do you and Shirley Walker get on?
HZ: I love Shirley because I don't have to talk to her. We have telepathic communication. The problems I have with the score and the orchestra are never anything to do with Shirley, it is always to do with my writing. She will interpret exactly everything I've written, without me even having to talk to her about it.
DC: That's harmonious, the way you seem to play off each other without extensive verbal communication...
HZ: The thing is, I never went to music school and all that stuff. I had my two weeks of piano lessons and the teacher couldn't cope with me. So that was that. And then the thing with Shirley, she hasn't got the arrogance a normal orchestrator would have. They would take my score and say, "this is all wrong ! These notes are all wrong. This is not the way you are supposed to do it." Shirley knows I hear something in my head and that is what I write down on paper and that is how I want to hear it, so she doesn't play music teacher with me, which a lot of other people would do. So all that stuff makes me sound like Hans Zimmer. Because theoretically I think it's all wrong - I do a lot of parallell fifths that you're not supposed to do. My octaves are all over the place, you know, things doubling on octaves all the time.
DC: But it still works in a way.
HZ: It works. It's just me. It's what I hear in my head.