It is fascinating to look back over the earlier entries in this blog and to see how much has changed. Pieces I barely remember, concerts long gone, arrangements gathering dust, and, occasionally, a nugget of gold representing a significant step forwards. At the time one gets an impression of what might be gold, what merely glisterstuff, but it is only with the perspective of time that the true relative values become apparent.
Sometimes, though, the changes happen much more quickly, and things have changed apace even since my last entry. I wrote then about getting back on the horse when thrown off, and of never giving up. Whether personally or professionally that approach has often served me well – in fact, my current lovely cottage-in-the-country situation is the result of other doors slamming firmly shut – and I hope it will continue to do so.
Anyway, back to the music. I had a meeting yesterday with a small group of people, a meeting that I hope will lead to a decent-sized announcement in the near future. Also, on another front, there has been unexpected movement, but movement nonetheless, a new door opening when the old one closed. On balance, then, I would say that this has been a good week despite some very choppy waters which were reflected in my last entry. I wish I could write more about exactly where I find myself now, but that time will come.
In the meantime I have continued work on my latest setting of the Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis, intrigued by somebody’s assertion over the weekend that Simeon’s song of farewell is, in fact, an outburst of joy rather than the whispered words of a dying man. Of course, Simeon was a very old man indeed when he spoke those words, so there is an intriguing challenge in expressing the idea of a body almost out of energy suddenly being transported out of itself into virile joy. Combining this with the idea that runs through the Magnificat is yielding some interesting results and, most importantly, allowing me to approach the text in a way different from my previous settings. We are still in the early sketching stage of much of the material, but I spent a happy few hours (pencil and paper, significantly, not mouse and monitor) scribbling away over the weekend.
Domestically, I have spent the weekend learning about labyrinthitis and railing at the moon at the way builders just will not turn up. My latest, booked in February, you’ll note, cancelled a two-week project with less than 48 hours to go until it started, and via email, too. Not good. I spent most of Saturday reciting some rather fearsome dialogue from the In The Loop, a film probably best avoided by those easily offended or without a wide repertoire of Anglo-Saxon monosyllables. I’ll edit for cleanliness, but this is the exchange I had in mind:
Toby Wright: We called some builders. They didn’t turn up when they said they would.
Jamie MacDonald: What did you expect? They’re builders! Have you ever seen a film where the hero is a builder? No, no, because they never f*****g turn up in the nick of time. Bat-builder? Spider-builder? Huh? That’s why you never see a superhero with a hod!