It has been another solid day of work and progess, more scores sent off for perusal, music tidied and Of All Persons And Estates recast here and there to dispense with a couple of longeurs and make the orchestral writing shine just a little brighter.  It has been fun to go back to this piece and add in a few extra small flourishes – maybe I was short of time when I wrote it or maybe my voice really has developed because, although there is nothing substantially wrong with it, I have still found it necessary to drop a beat here and a beat there, rewrite a line or two (for the better, I hope) and change one or two notes in the harmony.

As composers do these days, I have also spent the day making truffles with my other half and fending off door to door salesmen who ignore the large yellow A4 notice reading “No Cold Callers” over my front door with a doggedness I should probably bring to my own profession.  Even so, when one of these types answers the question “Are you a cold caller?” with “No, I’m actually quite warm” then the gloves are off.  Coleridge Taylor was interrupted in the composition of Kubla Khan by a visitor (who probably was a warm, rather than cold caller), but by the time Samuel got back to the poem the thread had been broken.  I was in the full flow of orchestration and up in the garret when the doorbell rang, so “annoying” is probably a mild word for my attitude to this recurrent and unwanted intrusion into my work space.  On the other hand, the truffles (cream infused with mint from the garden, thank you very much) are cooling nicely in the fridge.

It has felt good to get back to some serious writing, to hammer on with putting new notes onto paper and refining old ones.  As I explained in my last post, this has the potential to be a very exciting summer indeed, and it is only right that I should be in a position to capitalise on any movement as efficiently as possible.  I have found a (loose) harmonic style which can be developed but which I think suits me very well, not modern enough to put listeners off, but still with enough spike to scare the horses every now and again.  Is it too modern?  Is it not modern enough?  These are the questions composers ask themselves all the time, but perhaps a more pertinent question should be Is it me?  I have certainly been asking myself that question much more often of late, and I think that my writing has been the better for finding the answer to be yes.

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