I have always been of the belief that doors will eventually open to those who will not stop knocking, even though it may take time. This could be the door of a next door neighbour who won’t turn their music down, or a metaphorical door. With my inconsiderate neighbours I am henceforth the iron fist, but in promoting my music I often feel I am the velvet glove. I have only recently begun including my own works in my programmes, and, even then, very rarely and with a sense of embarrassment, for I would always rather have others do my publicity for me, as it means so much more coming from an independent third party.
Even when I send my music out for consideration, I make sure that my unsolicited missives make it clear that I am aware that I am taking up people’s time, and that the recipient should feel under no obligation to look at or even perform the attached music, should they not wish to. Perhaps I should be more cutthroat in this, but I write the kind of promotional email I think that I might like to receive.
The last twelve hours have seen a couple of doors swing open, as it happens, both thanks to musical colleagues acting selflessly and charitably. I received a text yesterday evening confirming that the Missa Sancti Nicolai will be the Mass setting sung at the BBC1 broadcast of Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Having played for this broadcast once before, I have the feeling that it is also broadcast on the World Service, although I may be wrong. In any case, this is a major event for me, and thanks are due to Nick Gale, the Director of Music at St. George’s, Southwark, for sticking to his guns about this piece and the repertoire for their broadcast. I alluded in an earlier post to the possibility that this might not happen, so it is heartening to hear that it has been approved. The trade off is that Sweet Was The Song, which was being considered, now won’t be included in the service, but I still think that I have very much the better deal this way round. For the first time in many years, I am planning to spend Christmas Eve at home and not at the organ console, and somehow I expect that I will be working my way through a bottle of something fizzy as the strains of the music filter through.
More was to come, however, as this morning I received an email informing me that the BBC Singers, no less, are interested in recording Sweet Was The Song for a Radio 3 carol broadcast. To say that the BBC Singers are a superb choir is a massive understatement, so this also is a huge break for me. I’ve yet to sort out the details, and, of course, there is always the possibility that it may not happen after all, but, should it go ahead, the recording will be absolutely top notch, and the audience large. You’ll forgive me for feeling a little excited this morning!
Thrilling in another way was finding out how to upload my scores to my webpage. I know that it’s probably very simple to some people, but I’m not a big tech-head, even though I like to write and maintain my website myself. My latest long-term project, therefore, is to start editing and uploading scores to my catalogue pages. A couple of pieces are already up and there will be more to follow. Going about things this way will mean that people won’t have to ask me directly for copies, which is a bit of a shame, especially as I might not hear about some performances, but I think it is another way to make my music easily available. As I wrote a few days ago, I see sales of copies as too insignificant to be worried about when one is fishing for bigger things such as performances and commissions.
In the midst of all this excitement and a return visit to the vet for stoned kitty (Vet 2 – Kitty 0) I did get some work done, continuing with the piece for the Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir, tentatively titled With Thy Might. I’ll be spending the rest of this morning on it, and hope to have it ready for detail work by tomorrow. I’d like to think that my work today will be punctuated by news of further performances and broadcasts, but, in reality, I think I have ridden my luck as far as it will go for now.
I have a couple of performances coming up this weekend, for those who might be interested. The choir of St. Mary Abbots, Kensington, will be performing Si Diligitis Me as the anthem at their 11.15 service this Sunday, and Pleasure It Is will be the introit for Evensong at 18.30. I’ll be trying to get these two scores up on my webpage as soon as possible, so that interested visitors can peruse the music while they read about performances.
It is hard to believe that we are still in the first half of October. Thus far my change of lifestyle is going well, and is showing tentative signs of becoming permanent. Heavens, even the staircase to my composing room now has its first coat of paint! All I need now is for my neighbours to move out and all will be well, but I will be dealing with that tonight, also taking the opportunity to ask my local MP why they don’t sing with the Parliament Choir…