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We had a good jaunt over the fields yesterday, although our attempt to get to Wells by foot was stymied by bad terrain, mud, thistles, nettles and corn, of all things.  We had a decent trek, though, but ended by putting some money into the pockets of the local bus operator, returning home the easier way before venturing into Wells in the evening instead.  It was a light day for work, but today has been much more productive, and I have been pushing the Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis on Eb towards completion, erasing the telltale signs of earlier versions, and refining (always refining) the little links until I am sure that they bear some relevance to what is going on elsewhere.  It is in the links that composers can come to grief, and there are some quite famous ones who never quite mastered them…

Still, the piece is good, I think, and I am enjoying listening to it in my head and on the computer as I proof it.  At this stage in a composition it will live in the brain, especially when there are moments that are not quite right in terms of pacing and design – I have deleted a whole bar today, for example, in a moment that just felt a fraction too long, and now it feels right – , and it is only really by listening to the piece hundreds of times that those minor irritations can be identified and rectified.  I think it is fair to say that, even before its first performance, I have heard this piece more times than probably anyone else will ever have to do.  See how we sacrifice ourselves!

There is another, smaller piece to finish over the weekend, and a proposal as well, and then most of the work of the summer will have been completed.  Then it will be time to look forward, and, apart from writing my lecture notes for the term, I’ll be orchestrating the Te Deum Laudamus, amongst other things.  Those other things will definitely include tramping over the fields, and maybe the inspiration will even get me as far as Wells one day.

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