I should have had more confidence in myself when it came to predicting the winners for Oscar night, for The Artist picked up Best Score, quite rightly, and a clutch of others, while Meryl Streep notched up her third Best Actress win for a brilliant performance in The Iron Lady. Briefly, it seems, the world is behaving a little as it should. Such behaviour has been reinforced by the rejection of my latest competition entry, deservedly so, I must admit, but still a little painful.
I have continued working on technical exercises over the past few days, coming up with some surprising results along the way, all of which is grist to the mill. At present I am dabbling in the tonal and modal sphere, but it is important to me to get the principles correct before trying to run along into atonality or interval harmony or whatever other nonsense. Every now and again I jot down some notes for my latest piece, which is progressing, although it lives very firmly in the “slowly but surely” category.
I will need to spend today tidying a few pieces – the parts for Ar Hyd y Nos are needed a little earlier than I had expected (for “a little” read “a month”), so they will need to be proofed and set today, also the score for He Makes His Messengers Winds, after my little Morse code foul up along the way. I then have some orchestrating to do for a concert in March, so, even if I am not beavering away on an original commission at the moment, I still have compositional things to do.
I have also had a performance confirmed for early March. Peace, My Heart will be premièred at St. Bride’s Church in Fleet Street on the morning of 11th March, after which I will need to head westwards for a production rehearsal for JEBO’s Hammersmith gig. A composer’s life is all go. Peace, My Heart is quite a consolatory piece, but there is a convincing structure to it, I think, and also some nice harmonic twists and turns. It will be interesting, as always, to hear it in the flesh and find out how close it sounds to the version in my head.
I performed with the Occam Singers on Saturday evening, in a programme of Bach and faux-Buxtehude, taking the opportunity to run a couple of pieces for an organ recital I am giving in Oxford this week, while yesterday evening I was at Mary Abbots. The music there included Parry’s youthful Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in D, more a curiosity than a lost masterpiece, but interesting all the same.
In time for a rather busy week my health appears to have returned, despite a relapse on Friday evening when I briefly thought that my head would implode. Thankfully my local shop had a large selection of lotions and potions available for purchase, so I have been imbibing foul-tasting concoctions all weekend, and it seems to have done me good. Touch wood, I even appear to have dodged the bug doing the rounds in musical London. Maybe it is somebody else’s turn to be ill this week.