Yesterday was a day of relative quiet on the email front, with just a couple of small enquiries but nothing too strenuous. When combined with my having caught up on some sleep it meant that I was able to get cracking on a new project, the Te Deum for choir and orchestra, which, although it will not be performed until November, needs to go to the front of the queue now so that the Parliament Choir can have a little run through before they break for the summer.
I had already sketched a couple of ideas for this a while back, awaiting the official signal to get writing, but they developed quickly into something else, and, having done a little research into the history and intention of the text, gestures and figures seemed to come fairly easily. As always with my pieces for the Parliament Choir (how good it still feels to write those words!) it is a question of giving them something they can get their teeth into and sing, without either compromising the musical integrity of the piece or speaking down to audience or choir.
In a rare display of fluent and confident writing, I managed to sketch out almost the entire first section of text, including inner parts and a basic orchestral score which would mean, if I were able to keep up this rate of progress, that the entire piece should be done by the beginning of next week. Were I workless and without commitment until then, that may possibly have been the case, but there are other things to do before Monday. However, with a relatively clear run next week it might be possible to have the piece ready to be printed out and rehearsed by Tuesday week, which would be good going.
I appeared once again in the local papers yesterday in a decent article about the events at Runnymede both 800 years ago and last Monday. Well written and, I thought, capturing my enthusiasm for it all, it was a decent half-pager, more of the drip-drip-drip which hopefully puts my name into the back of people’s consciousnesses as a composer. For the sake of absolute clarity, though, I should point out that I am not the conductor of the Parliament Choir but the chorus master. Simon Over is, has been and, I hope, will always remain the conductor of the choir, and I am very happy indeed in my role with the choir as it is.
In an effort to support new local businesses in Shepton Mallet we popped along to La Tavola d’Oro for a spot of food yesterday evening, an Italian restaurant, in case you had not already guessed, newly opened on the High Street. At six or so, when we arrived, the place was cavernous and empty, only four diners already there, and things did not look good for the place’s ongoing success, but I believe that you cannot complain about an empty High Street if you have not put some of your money into helping it along. Happily, though, by the time we left at gone eight the place was totally full, over a hundred diners in there having a wonderful time. I do not quite know where all these people came from, but we spotted neighbours and acquaintances, all of whom expressed delight at there being somewhere to go of an evening that did not involve either getting in a car or heading away from the centre of town.
Good luck to La Tavola d’Oro, I say, and may they be the first of many good places to go on the High Street. We had a wonderful time and will certainly be back, although it may be some time before I have burned off all of yesterday’s calorific intake. What’s the hourly burn rate for writing a Te Deum, I wonder..?