Welcome to another week. This blog secured a few extra visitors yesterday evening, no doubt as a result of the broadcast about the Parliament Choir on Radio 3. If you missed it (as I did!) and are curious to have a listen it’s available online for the next week or so here and the Parly Choir thing begins about 52 minutes in. I missed it because I was out at work all day yesterday, playing the organ and doing a little tutoring, also because, much as I like the idea of other people listening to my voice, I am rather reluctant to do the same myself. Hypocritical, I know, but there we go.
I had an interesting day on Saturday, sniffing perfumes, of all things, at a workshop in a boutique near Marble Arch. Don’t ask how I got to be there, but it was an opportunity to involve myself in something outside my field of reference, but something which does link to the musical, especially in its description of the abstract. It seems that while many people describe scent in terms of objects (vanilla, vetiver, amber and so on) I describe them in terms of colour and instruments (clear green, reedy, oboe), much in the way that I approach orchestration. I do think of keys in terms of colour (D major is red, for example, whether at modern or Baroque pitch, for some reason) but do not see notes in the way that Messiaen did. With a bit of luck this sniffy experience will be something I can take into my writing, certainly in the way I think of timbre and orchestral colour.
The main task for this week is to complete my first batch of orchestration for South Korea, which needs to be done by the end of the weekend. On the way there is also a concert with the Parliament Choir in Cadogan Hall, which will feature Of All Persons And Estates, which could be heard in the background in yesterday’s broadcast. All being well, we should also have the first outing for Ar Hyd Y Nos, so I am keeping my fingers crossed for that.
I am listening to yesterday’s programme as I write this, and, my, I have scrubbed up well for the radio, even managing to sound erudite and informed. I think I need to thank the sound editors for that! I am pleased as well that they broadcast some music by my predecessor Nicholas Ludford. I have written about Ludford before and the strange connection I feel with him across the years, but it is only rarely that one hears his music out and about, so I hope that some listeners may have had their curiosity piqued by his writing.
It promises to be an active week, if not absurdly busy, so there will be plenty to write about if I can find the time to do it.