Tempting though it is to sit in bed and listen to the dawn chorus, watch the sky brighten over the branches and buildings in the distance and revel in the calm of it all (no diesel cars performing lengthy and convoluted dances underneath my window here, no sir!), there is something to be said for an early start. We have moved our kitchen table to the centre of the room, meaning that breakfast can now be taken with the door open and looking out across our small terrace to the courtyard beyond. Oddly, having the table in the centre of the room actually makes it seem bigger, and an added bonus is that it is more practical for gaming – both side by side and head to head are now viable options.
At the desk bright and early this morning, I took the wraps off my digital piano to check a progression in my new Nunc Dimittis, as I like to write away from the sound and then maybe chip away once I have a closer idea of what I have written. I continued scribbling, getting concepts in place and running them up against each other to see what came out at the other end. So far, so good, and the product as it stands has the potential to be accessible, fresh and different, all at the same time. I’ll settle for those three qualities, especially as I know from the writing process that there are many rather nice technical details hidden under the surface to keep more inquisitive minds pondering for a while.
Now that we are into spring and that the countryside is coming alive, the tree opposite my office window bursting into radiant bloom as I write, I think it is safe to say that I am really warming to this new life, this calmer and more paced approach to things, and that the massive head-crushing stress of the move and all the associated paraphernalia were worth it for this result. At the time I reminded myself often that it was a temporary thing, an investment whose outcome would be well worth the effort.
Having come out also of the other side of writing 1215: Foundation Of Liberty, it has been surprising to find how much compositional time I have for tinkering after being buried in that project for over two years from top to tail. We are still adjusting various details of 1215, trying to work out what will be performed when, but, thanks to the efforts of many wonderful people, it looks as though the entire piece will receive its premiere this year.
My other half remarked to me that she has seen me relax into things over the past fortnight, acquire an air of calm relative to our time in Mitcham. All things are in a state of constant flux, of course, but I have to agree that the now is good, with some commissions on the go, a few arrangements to sort out, and performances on the horizon. If I’m waking up early as well of my own accord, then that might just mean that I am properly rested, and being at my desk as the day begins is surely a sign that my brain is ready for the task at hand and that I am enjoying it.