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It is a little hard to keep track of everything at the moment. The redundancy I mentioned yesterday has led to the offer of some more work, bizarre though that sounds, and I’ll write more fully about this once things play themselves out, but this could be quite useful for me to do, for one reason and another. There were also mentions in the Parliament Choir rehearsal last night of concerts some way off in the future which may well feature some scribblings by O’Neill.

I continued with the arranging for South Korea, and am glad to report that the nature of the music means that what seemed like a rather onerous endeavour, all 65 pages of it, is being rendered much easier through extensive use of the ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ commands. I would hate to think that people would be able to do that with my music, although I cannot claim complete innocence in that regard, but this project will be a little shorter as a result, and thus more likely to come in close to my original quote.

I also had a short meeting about a piece for an anniversary next year. This looks likely to be a ten minute work, give or take, with chamber ensemble and either narrator or singer. We shall see, but things are very flexible for now and we are hunting texts which might be put together to form some coherent whole. It looks like becoming an exciting and involving project.

There was also mention of another commission yesterday, and probably some more arranging, leading me to conclude that all seems to be going quite well for me as a writer. Ideally, of course, all this work will lead to more work and generate its own momentum, and there are certainly hints in the air of that happening. I have no idea how I would have managed to fit this all in had I still been teaching, but I think, in all honesty, that I would not even be at this stage were I still traipsing around the capital and reminding the littlies to practise their scales.

JEBO are playing tomorrow night at The Bedford, so please come along if you can, or tune in to the live webcast instead if you fancy viewing from home. It is a lovely venue with a great atmosphere and the people there are extremely friendly. It is also three stops up the Northern Line for me, making it a gig I can get home from without running the risk of falling asleep at Membury Services.

The best thing about the way things are going at the moment is that my work seems to be shifting focus slowly but surely, moving away from playing (which I still do, of course) towards writing and arranging. This latter is something of a surprise, but, having ploughed through 25 arrangements for a concert featuring fellow Cheltonian Dame Felicity Lott last year, I feel I have earned my spurs, and it does serve to keep the wolf from the door. In a way it acts as the forge through which one refines one’s orchestration, jumping through all those different hoops for all those different combinations. Writing original music is still the primary aim, however, and it does looks as though there is certain to be much more of that before the year is out. I try to be calm about these things, but, deep down, I am excited to find out where my compositional pen will take me.