Maconie is one of the most fascinating writers on music I've ever encountered. He's a New Zealander who's lived and taught in Britain and America. He's also worked with Messiaen in Paris and Stockhausen in Cologne. I love the fact that Maconie's interests cover a broad range: he can be found discussing philosophy one moment, and physics (or theater or psychology) the next. And he's done a brilliant job of integrating it all, building bridges between the musical "experience" -- performing, listening, composing, contemplating -- and a host of scientific, religious and literary contexts. His provocative observations on such musical topics as performance space, dramatic narrative, improvisation and issues of "control" are well worth reading.