Am glad to be able to report back that the new Bond offering is pretty decent (much better than the shambles that was Prometheus) and promising, as always, that he will be back. Don’t tell the cinema, but we took some home made popcorn, and very tasty it was too, all the more so because it was substantially cheaper than any of the various offerings at the venue itself. On current form Bond promising to be back is good news, I have to say. I am extremely glad, however, that I live a life uninfected by the newspapers, for I would have been rather annoyed to have found out certain plot twists through the pens of reviewers who cannot keep their mouths shut. It would not have been quite as bad as the moment in a London cinema during Life Is Sweet when one particularly loquacious lady turned to her friend and stated, in a stage whisper, “This is the bit when he gets shot”, but it would have been close. So I came to Skyfall with a blank page as far as expectations were concerned, and that is probably not a bad thing. Life without the rags is so much cleaner.
Into the weekend, then, and rota volvitur, playing taking over from teaching and choir training for a couple of days, but at least I have managed to get some work done on Why Should We Not Sing?, the only remaining section being the interlude which bears the work’s title. Better still, the piece is being orchestrated as I go along, so it is emerging into the world pretty much fully formed, the working process a curious amalgam of manuscript, computer screen, headphones and iPod. Any tech-savvy modern composer can get a piece of music from idea to real sound in a very short space of time these days, and they can even transfer it to their mp3 player of choice to carry around with them if they so wish. There is very little better for proof-listening and fine tuning a work, I have found.
Talking of iPods, I was aghast to see that a 16GB iPod mini costs in the region of £130. Let’s just say that I am smugly happy that my venerable player soldiers on with its new 40GB insides for the price of £28, five minutes with a screwdriver, and one or two dropped Anglo Saxonisms. In all seriousness, though, the combination of computer and portable player is a serious weapon in a composer’s armoury and I intend to embrace it more.
It has been a funny old week, and, in many ways, I am glad it is over. The burden of admin has taken me away from my writing, and that never makes me feel good about things, but it is also coming up to a busy time of year, and I am aware that the time fillers I enjoy – board games, film and so on – are going to be in short supply come November, and I am not quite taking the time out to enjoy them now. When work takes place in the home it can be very tricky to keep the business and the domestic apart, and I do not think that I have quite succeeded in that endeavour this week. All the same, it is the best office in the world, and the commute is a dream.