Firstly, apologies for the bizarre formatting of my last post. Rest assured that it was not submitted like that, but some connections somewhere seem to have taken out all my paragraph breaks. The more technology is supposed to make things easier the more it seems to throw spanners in the works and take up more time. Still, it makes copying and sending parts much easier and, if you are prepared to take the time, can also make the business of the first rehearsal on a piece go that much more easily.
I have just come from the first run through of against the pull of silence, whose first performance takes place tomorrow evening. In the space of St. John’s, Waterloo, for which it was conceived, it sounds pretty much as I had expected it to sound, better, even, in the hands of Simon Over and Southbank Sinfonia. The three layers of the orchestra (solo, chamber and full) seem to work well and there is not much that I would change having now heard bits of it come together in the flesh.
While I have heard it in bits, though, it will not be until tomorrow evening that I’ll be able to experience it as a complete entity and hear the narrative thread within brought to what I hope will be a satisfying conclusion. I really enjoyed writing for those forces, and have to admit that I would greatly relish doing so again. The sketches for the Viola Concerto, put aside for the time being, were for the same grouping, plus the soloist (obviously), and it would be interesting to apply there what I have learned here.
Yesterday we worked some more on Of All Persons And Estates with the Parliament Choir, and I heard a rumour that it and me may even have been mentioned on Radio 3. The Bundestag Choir are also in the middle of getting to grips with it, and I am looking forward to working with them next week in the build up to our concert on the 9th.
Of course, this is all very exciting, but the feeling one gets after hearing a piece for the first time remains disconcerting. Part of it is vulnerability, of course (will they like it?), while part of it is a sense of loss, that something which existed solely in my own head and maybe through a computer’s speakers is now being thrust out into a world which might not understand it. I am fully aware that it is how things need to be, and under no illusions that I should keep my music to myself, but the feeling still takes me by surprise. I wonder whether other writers feel the same.