As you read this, Tom Knott is bound for New York City to capture creativity.

By noon he'll be sitting with a film crew in the home of David Amram, a noted composer of more than a hundred orchestral and chamber music works, as well as Broadway and movie scores, such as "Splendor In The Grass" and "The Manchurian Candidate."

Their conversation will be about why and how this talented artist wrote such great works. With the score in front of him, Amram will talk about specific influences and inspirations that led to each note and melody.

By nightfall, Knott will be back at his home on Seabrook Island, editing these interviews into a series called "Composers And Their Compositions," a treasure trove for music students.

"It occurred to me we don't have these personal perspectives about the world's great composers and their work," Knott said. "Wouldn't you love to have this kind of interview with Beethoven?"

Future generations

To date, Knott has documented 13 modern-day composers, and no one has turned him down for an interview.

Knott, 77, retired here in 1992 from Atlanta. As one of the founding fathers of CNN, he jokes that when he started with Ted Turner's cable concept, the competition called them the "Chicken Noodle Network."

But his love for music dates back to his days at the University of Notre Dame where it was his major.

So far he's spent his own money to record and produce interviews with Gunther Schuller, Ned Rorem, Fred Lerdahl, Tania Leon, George Crumb, Mario Davidovsky, Teo Macero, Joan Tower, Paul Lansky and William Banfield.

Once the interviews are compiled on DVDs, Knott sends them to 30 music schools and universities at no charge.

"It's for future generations," Knott said. "I'm going after the older composers first, for obvious reasons."

Best work

The DVDs are 30 minutes long, created to fit into a college class schedule for composition majors.

"This fills a major sound-recording gap for several of our courses," Bruce MacIntyre, director of the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, (CUNY), said of Knott's work. "The recordings will remain lasting references for students ... and will continue to serve for generations to come as a vital, high-quality document of some of America's great art music of recent generations."

Knott received similar praise from schools such as Yale and Juilliard.

"To have these composers sitting there, with the original score in front of them, talking about how they created these works is something I thought was important to record," Knott said. "And to be honest, from a production standpoint, the best work I've ever done has been in retirement."

An effort scholars and future composers will surely treasure.