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Getting the music performed is stage one, getting it done well is an added bonus, and, when it comes to writing and performances, I tend to say yes first and then work around problems later, better, I think, for all kinds of reasons.  And so it was that yesterday evening at St. Clement Danes I took part in a performance of my arrangement of We Three Kings which was part mine and part the version from the Oxford Book Of Carols, my music taking the verses, the choruses covered by that august seasonal publication.  Accompanied by yours truly (verses) or military band (choruses) and sung by choir (verses) or congregation (choruses) it was a strange old combination, but worked well enough to make me wonder whether there might be some traction in lining it up as an alternative version.  I’ll count it as a performance, anyway, and curious listeners will be able to hear the “proper” version next Tuesday evening in the same church.

At this time of year what might look like smooth and seamlessly-running carol services can often involve some frenetic tinkering behind the scenes, making sure, for instance, that words in service sheets match those in carol books (yesterday we had “Gory to the new born King”, which altered the meaning a little), or that disparate groups of performers are all playing from the same hymn sheet.  Sometimes it works and sometimes we make it sound as though it is working, but I am glad that I sit in a comfy second-in-command position for all of this, out of the firing line.  A colleague of mine thinks similarly and has been criticised in the past for what some see as a lack of ambition, but why play with your happiness when you find yourself in the right place?  Pascal said something along the lines of a man’s tragedy being that he cannot sit still in an empty room, and there is certainly some truth in that.

Today is a much-needed day off, for many miles have been travelled over recent days and many notes played.  My intention is to stay at home, catch up on my very select iPlayer viewing and get in some gaming before it all kicks off again tomorrow for the final mad run of the season, after which, as always, things calm down a little as schools break up, office workers disperse and people find themselves mince pied out.  All roads over the next few days will lead to the cinema on Thursday, and though the darkest corners of my heart fear that it will be a massive disappointment, the seven year old in this forty five year old body is desperate to be thrilled once more…

After all the waiting this had better be good…