The music of the Penguin Café, Simon broadly regarded as "a very big yes to the survival of the heart in a time when the heart is under attack from the forces of coldness, darkness and repression." When forced to describe it more precisely, he called his music "imaginary folklore" and "modern semi-acoustic chamber music." He very much liked the comment of a Japanese girl who attended a Penguin concert in Japan and who said afterwards that the music sounded strange, because it was as if she'd heard it a long time ago. Dissolving the otherwise insuperable barriers of time and space was, and still, is an important function of the magic contained in his music. Simon Jeffes always conceived his Orchestra to be a fluctuating unit rather than a tightly cast group: aside from one other founder member, the cellist Helen Liebmann, there were no regular performers. Dozens of players passed though the Orchestra's ranks in the 24 years of its young life. "It is my context as a composer," he said. "I write for people rather than instruments."