Things are continuing to happen at a decent, almost hectic pace. Yesterday morning I took the train down to West Byfleet to discuss my latest commission, which will most likely be a work for string orchestra, around ten minutes long. I am very excited about this piece, as it will give me the opportunity to go to town with various new ideas and approaches, and looking forward to blunting my pencils in the whole preparatory process.
I immediately set out on the planning of the work, striking while the iron was hot and the discussions about the piece were fresh in my mind, heading up Kensington High Street to an art shop where I purchased coloured pens and a large sketch pad. I have been in the habit of writing out plans for my pieces for some time now, and will often doodle outlines on A4 sheets, but Morton’s book suggests both a larger canvas (literally, either A3 or A2) and a broader palette, pens as opposed to pencil. While I was waiting to play for a baptism I equipped myself with a desk and coffee and set to work. I also intend to blog (I still shudder at that verb) fully about this piece, so, in the spirit of openness, here is what I came up with, the broadest of broad outlines of a possible first movement.
If you look closely at the image you will see that the sketches continue on the next page, and I am happy to say that doodles exist for the second and third movements as well. I also spent part of yesterday gathering melodic and harmonic material together, and have decided that the preparatory process for this work will be deep and thorough, and that the musical materials of the piece will be assembled before any real writing takes place.
For now, though, that will have to be done in the background, as there are a couple of small things to get done for the next Parliament Choir concert – small things which have taken up most of this morning – and maybe one or two other tasks. I do aim, however, to have this new piece finished by the end of the summer, and it looks like becoming the central focus of my post-Anghiari period.
Talking of Anghiari, I have submitted a small chamber work which will hopefully be considered for performance in the Festival, a piece I wrote over ten years ago for two clarinets. This was a private commission, and, as far as I am aware, has never been performed in public, and I am very keen for it to get an airing if at all possible. One of this blog’s subscribers may well know the piece to which I refer…
Also, a choir with whom I am performing in the summer have asked to see a couple of my pieces for possible inclusion in that concert’s programme, so, along with the clarinet work, off went those scores as well this morning. The quiet season has indeed finished, and everything has suddenly become exciting once again.
As mentioned above, my most pressing project is the work for the Parliament Choir, which will then probably be followed by preparations for the Anghiari Festival, although I hope to be able to carry out significant groundwork for this new string piece at the same time. It promises to be a productive summer.