One aspect of composing is making countless connections, consciously and unconsciously, to other works. Of these countless connections, those created consciously form what I call a Referential Network. The works to which these connections are made, form the “Outside World”. In this research, I describe three of my compositions as three different Referential Networks. I analyse the compositions and show how the chosen references influence the compositional process and outcome. Performers (and listeners) also use references to access a composition. To understand this, I look at how we can understand a text and what the relation of author and observer is to a text. In relation to this, I have asked various performers for feedback to see to what extent my Referential Networks are noticed and if they play a role in interpreting them. To put my composing and this research in a historical context, I look at certain aspects of European composed art music after World War II to show two different views on tradition and the past. My concluding remarks include conclusions about the artistic result, i.e. the compositions, the performer's perspective, and some philosophical implications.