Either I have been uncharacteristically organised or things have been uncharacteristically quiet, but I have had the impression of late that I am reasonably ahead of things, that the pressing deadlines that seem to be a part of my life are absent, at least for a while.  This does not mean that those deadlines are not there, of course, merely that they are far enough away to give me at least a little breathing space for the time being.  Even so, the orchestration of Tu Es Petrus is coming together with the luxury, for once, of leaving me plenty of time to tweak and proof and correct and refine, given that it is unlikely that the orchestra will have a run at it until at least April.  I will therefore have the chance to make sure that I do not write some impossible double-stopping for the violas, something I was shocked to see that I had done at one point.  I gave myself a telling off and a “must try harder”…

There is a decent amount of other arranging to be getting on with over the next two weeks, however, and the trusty Toyota has been pounding the miles between Somerset and London with tiring regularity, shrinking the hours available for sleep and reducing the efficiency of my immune system accordingly, so the opportunity to sit in front of my computer and play with some notes is something to which I’m looking forward, as well as sitting at the table and pushing some meeples around.  Added to that there are a few issues to be dealt with on the personal front, but nothing that, in my current state of mind, I cannot cope with.

It is also coming up to concert season, and there is some wonderful repertoire on the menu, including two concerts of music by Patrick Gowers with Trinity Laban, Purcell, Blow and Humfrey with the University of London Chamber Choir, and the continuing exploration of various musically interesting nooks and crannies at St. Mary Abbots, Albinoni and Corelli this weekend.  Meanwhile my ears are full of Beethoven’s rugged (although that word hardly begins to do it justice) Hammerklavier’ Sonata, various pieces by Max Reger, and my fingers and feet have been wrapped around the greatest organ piece of all, Bach’s Passacaglia & Fugue in c, a performance of which earned me a tip of humbling generosity last week.  For all the stresses and strains, the pressures and pitfalls, this is far from the worst field in which to work, and one in which the dangers stop pretty much at a stubbed finger…although I did once have a light bulb leap out of a lamp and smash on the pedals mid-voluntary…

In terms of my own compositions the performances are coming in, pieces such as Te Deum Laudamus, This Joyful Eastertide and Missa Sancti Nicolai all lined up at various venues around the capital alongside the premieres of Tu Es Petrus and Levavi Oculos.  It is good to have it all ticking along, and the “Performances” tab up there at the top of the page lists the dates according to the latest information in my possession.  There might well be some more to come as well.

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