A busy weekend, as always, it seems – a competition submission to get done and send off, a set of lecture notes to polish, a concert to play, and various bits of church work to undertake. Still no sign of further work on Why Should We Not Sing?, although, other things now cleared, it currently sits at the top of the list.
I spent Saturday afternoon and evening playing for a concert in Coulsdon, my fingers kept well and truly busy through the Puccini Gloria and a generous selection of opera arias in the second half. Our tenor soloist also became indisposed at short notice, the substitute only able to arrive at 5:30, a couple of hours before the concert, which would have made for a pressured gig, one might think. However, one can pretty quickly decide whether a singer is the nervy type or comfortable in what they are doing, and this chap – even before I had heard him sing a note – was clearly in the latter category.
There are minor rumblings about Everyone Sang, the gentle possibility that it might end up being performed elsewhere after its first outing a couple of weeks ago. According to St. Bride’s it will be aired again next February, maybe even before, but it would be heartening to see it fly the nest and settle elsewhere.
I also received a rather nice surprise on Friday morning, namely my latest Performing Rights Society statement. I was not optimistic about this, and initially thought that my royalties amounted to a big fat zero, but the figure was hidden on an internal page, and, while not enough to finish the building work on the rest of my house, was still more than I had expected, enough to furnish at least a couple of bottles of fizz. As if I did not know already, it is clear that the promotion of one’s music should form a significant part of a composer’s efforts, for the trickle of payments from all those performances does add up. As I have written before, the PRS gets large amounts of flak, and is seen by critics as stifling the free exchange of ideas, but I disagree with that assessment entirely, and am wholly behind the organisation.
Thinking along these lines, I wonder also whether publishers are necessarily the best custodians of a composer’s music. They definitely have the power to get things out there, but, like agents, if they are not interested then all it amounts to is a hill of beans. I remain convinced that only the composer has the real motivation to get things done, tiring though it can be. It would be nice to hand out the admin and other things, but I have yet to feel that the swings here will be offset by the roundabouts.
As it is, the rhythms of the freelance life have seen me dealing with this promotional side of my music for the past couple of weeks, but now I hope that the pendulum will swing back for a while so that I can get to orchestrating my next piece and then move on from there. I mention momentum with some regularity on this blog, but I really do feel that my writing is starting to generate its own energy. With performances and premières to look forward to in the next few weeks maybe it will move on to the next level.