My personal relationship with music is an imperfect harmony because I never studied music, but here I am not just writing for bands but full orchestral sections and doing all this composition, and I never learned the right way of doing things so I have a lot of dissonant sounds and things that are brought to my attention, and generally I leave them that way because I like those imperfections.
I do study Marcel Proust, for multiple technical virtuosities but also his swerve, as you say, between characters and in scenes. Certain films can help for that, too, in terms of understanding how multiple conversations at a table, or in a room, can take place and remain separate, and dissonant, and also gather themselves, accidentally, into a collective rhythm and an affect.
At first I didn't understand what [Thelonious Monk] was doing, but I went back again, and what I can say about Monk is that I heard ancient Africa in his music. When he played, it was like a ballet. He captured the sound of the universe. Monk could take a triad, a simple chord, and make it sound dissonant. I'm sure that element he had in his piano was part of the two years he spent traveling with his mother in gospel music in the tent shows.