György Ligeti became well-known to a wide audience as a composer of "outer space" and "science fiction-music", when Stanley Kubrick scored a film sequence in his 2001?A Space Odyssey with music from Ligeti's orchestral work Atmosphères. The Hungarian composer neither allowed himself to be impressed nor influenced by this development, but rather remained true to his avant-garde style, far distant from the mainstream and the ideological debates of the 1950s. The characteristic mark of Ligeti's works is the diffusion of sound into its smallest particles, which produces shimmering sound surfaces in an unfocused flow from one to another. Ligeti calls this process "micropolyphony", as it dispenses with both rhythmic contours and conventional interval structures. In his compositional process, Ligeti has stated, he is not interested in the depiction of "events" but rather "conditions": "the only thing (that exists) is unpopulated musical space; and the tonal colors, the actual bearers of the form, become liberated from the musical design values of their own." After also experimenting in the field of electronic music, Ligeti is now turning more and more in his later works to the music of non-European cultures.
He died 2006 in Vienna.