I am glad to report that I feel as though I am emerging from a busy period intact, and that my finances are beginning to set themselves aright. In fact, this month I will hit my ambitious earnings target for the third time (I think) since going for it on my tod, and April is already looking pretty healthy. Personally I also feel as though a patch of attempting to hit deadline after deadline is falling from view and that the next weeks, although still replete with work, will be significantly less pressured.
I spent the weekend playing in the main, some French repertoire on Saturday evening with the Esterhazy Singers in Ringmer, conducted by Sandy Chenery, my former boss at Brighton College. I say ‘boss’, but Sandy is anything but bossy, always a pleasure to work with and for. We will be repeating the programme in Brighton next week, and it is a busy evening of playing, but enjoyable. On Sunday, a little unsteady from putting the clocks forward I spent the morning playing some lovely English repertoire at St. Mary Abbots, Locke and Purcell, teaching for the rest of the afternoon.
I also received a message from Radio 3 about an interview on Tuesday evening regarding my role with the Parliament Choir. I was briefly very excited at the thought that this might be some BBC commission, but am still excited, as this is national radio, of course. I shall have to remind myself not to um and er, and certainly not to mention the whole Formula One thing.
Today I shall get back to prioritising my composition work, which includes all the arranging at the top of my inbox. As I sat musing yesterday evening I realised that thus far this year I have not done too badly in terms of writing, actually that things are going very well indeed and still with much scope for continued improvement. I know that I have written often about things being rather quiet from day to day, but the view from a distance is distinctly rosy. In terms of performances, broadcasts and commissions this promises to be a healthy first year of freelancedom; in terms of finances I think that I should hit my self-imposed target quite easily; in terms of personal satisfaction the fact remains that I am my own boss and that I am in a position to do the work I want to do.
In connection with a completely different matter I read the statement recently that if you give a man a bag of gold he will grumble about how heavy it is, so I must remember that it is easy to look over the fence, see green grass, and wonder why one’s own lawn is just that single shade paler. Deep down, though, I do not believe that I envy my neighbour’s lawn (certainly not in the real world, with the remains of bicycles and goodness knows what else still in it), but that I am always keenly aware of ways in which my life can be made better. I thus tread a balance between enjoying where I am, which is now where I have wanted to be, and where I want to be in the future, if that makes any sense. My life has always been a work in progress.
As March draws to a close it is time to take stock of what is now six months of being a freelance composer, as I do not count last August, when I was on holiday. All in all it has been pretty good and promises to get better, and the sun is out as well. There is much to look forward to, also the knowledge that I will not be cramped in small rooms teaching Grade 1 piano this summer. I might even be in a park somewhere clutching a glass of something chilled instead. Who cares what colour the grass might be in the next park along.