Monday has crept remorselessly into Tuesday and I still have a cold, though not as severe as I had feared, and no oven, just as I had feared. I thought I would err on the side of caution, and phoned the supplier at lunchtime just to make sure that the appliance was on its way, but it had not made it onto the lorry. Easy to miss, of course. At least I did not wait until 6 o’clock before finding out. Now, apparently, the item has been scheduled for delivery on Thursday, which makes it so close to Christmas that, were it not to arrive, we think we shall just have – well, we don’t know. I ordered this thing last Thursday and paid to have it delivered the following morning, so it will be nearly a week late. I hesitate to mention the name of the company here, even though everything I have said thus far is true, but let’s just say that for an organisation that claims to live electricals (their words, not mine) they appear incapable of delivering even if their lives depended upon it. I do feel like a proper composer, however, living on crusts and stale water. Actually, it was chicken sandwiches and red wine today, but it is the thought that counts.
I will feel even more like a proper composer this morning when Sweet Was The Song will be broadcast on Radio 3, hooray! I shall then leap into town to do a little teaching and some last minute Christmas shopping and then begin the long, slow process of unwinding at home. I would love to be able to text people to ask them to listen to the piece on iPlayer, but I left my mobile phone on a tube yesterday evening, so am incommunicado for the time being. It is unlikely I would have accepted any work this close to Christmas anyway, but it is still inconvenient, and I am hoping that some charitable soul has handed it in.
I spent some time working on The Three Kings yesterday morning, more transcribing than creating, as I was on hold to my oven supplier for most of that time at 10p a minute plus network rate. I am still wondering about how and whether to reharmonise each verse, as it appears that there is only so much one can do without veering into close harmony, which is an area I do not intend to explore in this arrangement. One such work at the Hampstead service on Sunday was so close to barbershop that, had I closed my eyes, I could easily have imagined myself in Debenhams or some other place where they imagine that listening to awful dissections of carols is somehow going to make us happy and festive. Humbug, of course.
I also spent a goodly period of time hunting out a text for my other Christmas commission for next year, which I will write about more fully when I manage to confirm exactly what it (the text, that is) will be. It will be sacred, but I have been hunting for a translation which includes particular words in the specific passages I would like to use, a translation which would also need to be in the public domain. I think I may have found it, but need to have it confirmed by the commissioner.
Other than that the day was taken up with admin, as per usual, and a concert in Dulwich in the evening, a shortish but highly enjoyable carol bonanza with Aidan Oliver at the helm. If you tune in to Classic FM on Christmas Eve for the Parliament Choir broadcast you’ll hear Aidan conduct a couple of the numbers.
Today, then, is going to be one of those days I am going to savour. It will, to the best of my knowledge, be my debut on Radio 3 as a composer, and in a cracking performance too. It will be one of those days where anything can happen, where somebody somewhere might think “I wonder what else he has written” and drop by my website, but it might also be nothing more than a broadcast. That, though, is already something.