It has been a long time in the planning, but I am thrilled to be able to announce that I have been commissioned to write a large-scale cantata as part of the official Magna Carta 800th Anniversary celebrations in 2015. This is going to be a wonderful project on which to work, and I am delighted to have been approached to write this piece. I have been applying pencil to paper on this for some time already, so sketches are already significantly advanced in some places, though there are still many gaps, but I am full of enthusiasm and energy and raring to go.
The roots of this commission, as so often, stretch a long way back, and there have been many times when progess has seemed to be very slow indeed, but momentum has picked up over the past few months, and I have spent more time than a composer is used to sitting in meetings and explaining my vision of the piece. We plan for it to be available and performable to as many as possible, and not for it simply to be a one-off, and thus the idea is that it will work not only as a symphonic cantata, but also as a chamber cantata, as a festival anthem, as a shorter anthem and as a short non-sacred celebratory work. It will be like those dolls, the smaller versions sitting inside the larger ones, and there will hopefully be some of this piece for everyone.
Of course, this is going to mean a decent amount of work, and I am aware that performers, resourses and many other things will change between now and 2015, but the intention is for this piece to be as flexible as possible while still retaining its integrity and, I hope, my compositional voice.
I will be blogging throughout the process, keeping my trusty readers up to date with the latest on this, but, for now, may it be enough to say that the road to this piece has been long, but populated with friends and allies. It is safe to say that everybody who has performed, supported, listened to or bought my music has been a factor in this exciting development, blog readers too!
Alongside all this it looks like I have picked up a performance of Peace, My Heart in July, although this is still to be confirmed, and preparations continue for the other outings of my pieces in the coming weeks – against the pull of silence, Of All Persons And Estates, Melody Divined. For now, amidst all the heady excitement, it is time to get back to the writing.