It seems to be the normal way of things after a busy patch that I am desperate to get back to writing, but find that there are many loose ends to tie up first. Well, it appears that the last of those loose ends are being tied up this morning, for I sat down and did a short but concentrated session of writing on one of my big pieces, getting back into the habit after an slightly more erratic approach of late, due not just to work but also the disruption of all the work in the garden.
The garden itself is a joy, at least until about six in the evening when my neighbours get home and put on their Europop to relax. They are lovely people, but, speaking as an award-winning composer, I would hardly call the harmonic endeavours of their music sophisticated and, as so often in modern-day society, it is the bass frequencies above all which hammer through the wall and up into whichever room I might be in. The music tends to die down by seven or so, so at least it is not as intrusive as the all night assaults of my former neighbours.
The music I am enjoying the most of late, though, is the birdsong I hear from all directions when I am sitting outside. For Messiaen this represented the pure joy of God’s creation, and also acted as a handy signifier of space and time in his music. For those of us closer to earth it represents the expenditure of spare energy by said bird, presumably to convince a potential mate of its attractiveness, maybe akin to fixing some blue lights under your lowered hatchback, very popular around these parts.
God’s joy, mating call or whatever, frankly I don’t really mind, for I just enjoy listening to the changes in those calls in small details, and have come now to recognise the return of some of my more welcome neighbours, the winged ones. There is one in particular that I am keen to identify, for he sings the first four notes of Twinkle, twinkle little star (so just the twinkles, as it were) – any ideas?
I am also using the calm of the Easter break to refocus my efforts for the coming months, specifically in terms of self-promotion. I think that I need to be more pushy about my music in general, and substantially so, acting more as promoter and publisher as well as writer, and now is as good a time as any to start. The less I have to rely on chance and the more I can measure success or failure in terms of my own efforts the happier I think I shall be. Meanwhile, there is always the bird song and, failing that, a decent dose of Bach to bring one back to reality, lift the spirits and remind me of how much there is still to do.