I have not done as much writing as I would have liked today, only about 40 minutes or so. This disappointment is a sign of the times, however, as I would have given my eye teeth to have been able to write as much in a day only a few months back. It’s a good sign that I’m not really satisfied with a short stint of work – for me a good few hours each day is the ideal, although probably only the most secure and solitary of composers manage that.
Those 40 minutes went on finishing the orchestration for the new anthem. Just like the pared down version (with organ accompaniment) it runs round and round my head, accumulating dabs of colour here and there until it is just right. The piece is on the verge of being in that ‘just right’ phase, so I am now going to add the detail work to the orchestral parts, such as dynamics, phrasings and the like. Then there is just the gentle drudgery of proofing each part (bless you, Sibelius, for extracting them automatically), and there will then be a couple of weeks to let the piece settle before it is sent out as a submission.
I have already decided on my next project. It will be another competition entry, again for orchestra. I have decided to steer clear of the smaller competitions and aim higher, although I should point out that this is not because I think I will win anything. It is rather that, in writing the kinds of pieces demanded by their entry regulations, I will be pushing my limits in a far more effective fashion, learning in the progress.
Will this current piece be finished by the end of tomorrow, my self-imposed deadline? I think that ‘almost’ is the answer to that. I try not to let pieces go until each detail is sorted out, although some inevitably slip under the radar, so this work might overlap with my next one, but not by much. It shows that my overall plan for this year is pretty much on track, and that is good news.