Harvey is singularly thoughtful about his own art and the process by which he makes it, but he is not a composer with his head in the clouds - he is very much hands-on when it comes to computer technology and electronics, and how they can be harnessed to open up new worlds of the imagination.
He is a composer whose work encompasses the realms of bliss as well as the practicalities and imperfections of the world of real instruments and earthly musicians.
In an interview some time ago, he asked himself what the purpose of music is: 'It is, in my view, to reveal the nature of suffering and to heal - the one big question of existence.'
Including a hymn to Angels (an abiding interest of Harvey's, and he is often conscious of their presence in everyday life), and the now-classic electronic work Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco, whose two main sonic components are the great tenor bell of Winchester Cathedral and the treble voice of Harvey's own son Dominic (who was a Winchester chorister in the late 1970s).
Plus a pair of viola pieces that evoke the image of a remote Tibetan monastery; and Song Offerings, a magical song-cycle set to the words of Rabindranath Tagore, and one of the composer's most beautiful and accessible works.
The Angels (1994) for unaccompanied double SATB chorus