Back to earth with the slightest of bumps, I have been up early over the past couple of days with the intention of getting into some kind of work rhythm, something to which it is difficult to adhere when your timetable is as improvisatory as mine, including such things as driving up to London and back in a single day. London, of course, is the gift that keeps giving, a car crash (not involving me), overcrowded tubes and twenty minute walks in the pouring rain all being part of my experience in only a few hours yesterday, not to mention the various personal habits many Londoners seem to think they absolutely, definitely must have.
The Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis on Eb has been topmost on my work list, and I have slept badly over the past few days as the music, nearly complete, has swirled round and round my head, unsure whether the speed relationship between sections should be 3:2 or 2:1. Eventually I went for 4:3 but, still unsatisfied, found a speed that works all the way through the Mag, carefully pitched so that the music is neither too fast nor two slow throughout, despite the changes in pulse. It is a narrow target of speed, but encouragingly it is a piece I am enjoying hearing in my head, and, layout done in its first version, I am now down to tidying the small details before I can call it done.
There is one other piece as well, something smaller in scale, and then a proposal to get done by the end of the month, so I’ll need to adhere to my early-to-rise plan if I am have a chance of getting it all finished. Workwise, through, this is the calm before the storm, so there is time to get things done, even if they overrun ever so slightly.
I was saddened to read of the death this morning of Justin Wilson, the British former Formula One driver, after injuries sustained in the race in America over the weekend. A long time ago I sat immediately across the aisle from him on a budget flight from Italy to England. He was there with (I presume) his father and, in the third seat of his row, his race seat. I knew from my reading of Autosport the previous week that he had been in Italy to do some testing for a couple of F3000 teams, which was then the rung below Formula One and he went on to win that championship in 2001. As usual, I did not want to disturb him, but he seemed to be a quiet and pleasant chap, unlike some other celebs I have seen in airports, and I followed his progress up the rungs with keen interest. He never (I thought) had a fair crack of the whip in F1, at 6’4″ tall just too big for modern cars which favour the jockey-like physique of most, but had since pursued a successful career in the US. Of course, motor racing is dangerous, and it says as much on the back of your ticket when you go to watch it, but it can also be very cruel.