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Today has felt like the first day since the move and all the packing before it when I have been able to sit down and have a proper morning’s writing and not have to deal with something house-related.  There will be moving of boxes later on, but it has been refreshing to boot up Sibelius, do a decent stint on the Carta Cantata and feel that I have made some genuine progress.  It has put me in a perky mood, and I shall reward myself this afternoon by taking a little time out to explore the fields around and about.  Mr. Owl was hooting again last night as I drifted off – I do not think I shall ever grow tired of him.

Tomorrow The Angel Gabriel will receive its second performance, at the Community Carols at Mary Abbots, followed on Thursday by the third performance (Dalzell Trust Carols, also at Mary Abbots), followed on Friday by the fourth performance, at St. James’s, West Hampstead.  That makes four performances for the piece in just over a week, which pretty much matches the Verdi Requiem, although there’s no doubting which is the better piece (the Requiem, in case you are wondering).

Also tomorrow evening there will be a performance of A Sad Carol For These Distracted Tymes at the Carol Service for the Wax Chandlers, at St. Vedast in London.  There is a long and fruitful association between composers and candles, Bach, so the story goes, copying out all those forbidden manuscripts in the dead of night, plus the Wax Chandlers are custodians of honey and mead as well.  I am sure that many musicians have indulged in them both over the years.

I rather like A Sad Carol.  The title is, of course, a reference to Tomkins’s A Sad Pavan For These Distracted Tymes, written as the country fell into the chaos of the Civil War, something which would eventually have a direct effect on Tomkins himself, and I wrote the piece in something like an hour or so, words and music, for a little chamber choir I was directing at the time.  We were, at the time, on the brink of another war, so the timing and title seemed particularly appropriate, and I remain very fond of this little piece, looking forward to hearing it again, too.

My new office works rather well, even if my cat still has not quite worked out where his favourite place to be is, and there are rather more cardboard boxes around than there should be.  Moving for me is a gradual process, especially the gradual working out of where things should best go, so IKEA looks like being the beneficiary of another spend in the very near future.  Today, though, felt like the first day for over a month when the balance has tipped, so that the composing and work have finally won out over the ructions and boxes.  Hopefully it is the tipping point, and just in time for Christmas, too.

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