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Thursday was my first proper day back at work after the Christmas break, but, with admirable timing, I have discovered a stock of last-minute get up and go. I had a wonderfully productive day on Wednesday, clearing all my emails, editing works, uploading them, sending scores out, working on The Three Kings, and then spending the evening outlining an aggressive marketing strategy, or whatever it should be called, to get my pieces “out there”. On Thursday I did some private tuition, had a relatively low-key afternoon and then spent the evening playing for a rehearsal of Kingston Choral Society.

I wrote a piece for KCS back in 1999, and some current members of the choir have been there long enough to remember it. In a way I wish I had more to reward them with when they ask me how things are going, but it was useful nonetheless to be able to update them as to progress and what I am up to nowadays.

That concert was my first decent sized commission, and was for a work for chorus and full orchestra, which eventually became The Clocks Of Cassiodorus. I remember it especially fondly because I used the commission fee to purchase the first version of Sibelius for the PC. This was not simply an indulgence – there was no way I would have been able to get the parts completed in time without computer assistance, so I had to bite the bullet.

Thursday’s rehearsal was for a performance of Bach’s St. John Passion, although at Baroque pitch, which made for an interesting time accompanying on the piano. Working on the inner details of even the first few choruses just rams home the extraordinarily precise nature of Bach’s vision and the immaculately balanced counterpoint and construction. It is majestic, profound and magnificent music, of that there is no mistaking.

The Artist - a silent film causing an uproar of acclaim

I failed to summon up the energy to travel to Leicester Square during the week, but no matter, for The Artist goes on general release tomorrow, and I think that I shall take myself to my favourite cinema to watch it, but only as a reward for doing some work in the morning. I hope desperately that I shall not be disappointed, for I have not looked forward so much to a film for a long, long time.  What it must have been like in that early meeting when the director said “…and it will be silent”.  The trailer sent shivers down my spine and I will have my fingers crossed that I have not let expectations run too high.

The work I need to achieve before treating myself will be on We Three Kings.  Now that I have broken the back of it the ideas and the refinements are coming thick and fast, and I would really like to strike while the iron is hot. I think that I might be able to come close to a finished version tomorrow, which would clear the composing table either for something new, or for a return to some existing sketches.