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Sweet suite music.

Sweet suite music.

Day two of my self-imposed rhythm at the Anghiari Festival seems to be ticking along nicely. We are now in full swing and, even this early on, it looks as though there are small gaps in my timetable here and there, good to see. I forced myself out of bed bright and early this morning, and had my various preparations for the day done by 9.30. It is a good feeling.

Yesterday’s concerts were all out of town, and in the evening I had a decent chat with a fellow composer out here, talking about the minutiae of writing – which paper, what type of pencil, computer or manuscript, morning or evening. It was a real pleasure and I rolled off down the hill feeling very content with all things musical.

Apart from the hectic social whirl and the constant criss-crossing of Tuscany to get to the next concert I’ll have a rehearsal this afternoon with the two clarinettists for tomorrow’s performance of the Suite For Two Clarinets. I am really looking forward to this for several reasons. I have been represented at the Festival before as arranger and as orchestrator, but never as composer (apart from at one private event), so this is a real honour, especially as I’ll be sharing the programme with Haydn and Beethoven, no less. Also, the work involved is instrumental rather than choral and, as long time readers of this blog will know, I am happy with my choral catalogue, for it is extensive and moving slowly towards being regularly performed, but the instrumental side of my writing is something I have been pushing very hard over the past couple of years.

It has also been fascinating to see how people’s attitudes have changed. I am being treated very much as a composer, and it does feel wonderful and begins a chain of confidence.  I know that if you write music you are a composer, but taking the leap of faith needed to use it as a job description takes some doing.

I also received an email this afternoon about a performance of my Tota Pulchra Es in September, which will require a little rearranging, so the end of the year is already beginning to slip into place. As I lay under a tree at lunchtime, looking up through the branches and the leaves at the sun beyond, I thought “I could get used to this”, maybe sitting out in the West Country in a few years time, fulfilling my commissions in the morning and going with the flow at other times. On days like these it feels as though I can reach out and touch that reality.

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