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This time of year can really test a musician’s flexibility, especially if, like me, you are an organist.  Never mind being dropped in at five minutes’ notice to play Little Donkey for a nativity play and then having to divert from the script for a swift Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (which, for a serious musician, is Ah, vous dirais-je, Maman, as varied by Mozart), or having to ascertain the key of an unannounced brass fanfare before diving into Hark, The Herald (F major it was, and I guessed correctly), sometimes you have to juggle various different ensembles at the same time.

As some long time readers of this blog will have experienced alongside me this evening, having various different groups turn up for the same carol service can make for some frantic negotiations during readings and sermons, especially when (as tonight) they each have different keys and arrangements for the carols.  It helps to have a sense of humour (which everyone did tonight), and a good time was had by all – that Eric Morecambe line sprang to mind more than once…

As the carol services begin to fade from the landscape, though still with another four to go as I tap away at the laptop, it has been good to shift my focus back to writing and catching up on my own things.  I am seeking to get against the pull of silence bound this week, also to write the sleeve notes for the forthcoming CD recording of Flyht, which have been sketched but need heavy editing, and I tidied up some organisational bits and pieces this morning as well while Sibelius sat open on my screen, waiting forlornly for new notes.  Little by little, though, and step by step the notes are going into my new piano piece and I am thinking ahead to what might need to be written in 2014, encouraged by a brief and positive discussion about my music this evening.

I was distressed to find that the latest series of Ed Reardon’s Week, one of my favourite treats on the radio, had begun silently without any heads-up from its creator.  I have managed to catch up with bits of it, though, alas, I’ll have to wait for repeats of other bits.  What I have heard has proven that Ed has lost none of his curmudgeonliness, likewise that his two creators are still firing on all cylinders nine series in, deeply impressive.  The writing is devastatingly sharp.

Enough for now.  Sweet Was The Song is down for the morning of the 29th at St. Mary Abbots, and there is also the Classic FM broadcast to look forward to on the 23rd.  In the meantime I need to get a wiggle on with my Christmas shopping.

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