I wrote yesterday of laying the ground for a large project some months away, and I have spent a hugely educational and entertaining morning doing further reserach on this. I have used Britten’s analogy of composing before, that it is like approaching a large house in very thick fog so that the details are only revealed little by little, and that is exactly what this feels like.
What I know of this piece at the moment is that the proposal is for it to be very large, substantially longer than anything I have written to date, at which point, inevitably, the word “symphonic” springs to mind. It is not going to be a symphony, not yet, but it is exciting to be at the very early stages of grappling with so large a canvas.
Unfortunately I cannot give any real details away about this piece, partly because I do not know much about it myself, but also because the research I have done so far has led me down a rather specific avenue with regard to the topic, and I would like to keep that as close to my chest as possible. Suffice to say that a near coincidence of date between two entirely different character worlds has threatened to produce that desired balance of conflict and resolution which is necessary to set a large work in motion, also that various musical ideas have already flowed quickly and easily from the same sources.
So I am sitting downstairs, having not quite made it up into my garret this morning, because the urge to research, read and write took over before I had even finished my early morning cup of char, surrounded by scraps of paper with dates, names, question marks, staves and fragments of music written on them. On the laptop itself I have a document taking shape, a proposal which at the moment is positively anarchic in its layout, but which I hope to hammer into shape in the next day or so. This is a proposal which needs to hit the target firmly and squarely, and it needs to deliver something unique and memorable. As of about an hour ago it is threatening to do just that.