Nearly half of his works have been composed in the last 20 years; some are quite melodic; others are so atonal and eery that to some people they suggest the rhythm of the universe itself, or music from the stars. One remarkable aspect of his compositions is that no two are even vaguely alike; another is that they come in so many different instrumental combinations. Besides his piano works, he has composed for violin, organ, cello, chorus and solo voice. In addition, there are his string quartets, his rhapsodies, his nine symphonies, and Montezuma, one of the most distinguished operas ever written by an American.
direct link to many stars of the older generation, including Douglas
His overall career, concludes Fairbanks, "does not have a single theme, because it's been so diversified. It's been a series of themes. Maybe it's cacophonous. The things I find most interesting don't pay a penny. But possibly all my activities blended together have something to do with a person who's got a lot of curiosity and energy and capacity to enjoy and appreciate life."