It still has not sunk in. In fact, I would have to say that it has not even begun to sink in. The whole Notre Dame thing was, in a way, another concert to me because, on its lowliest level, that is what it was, but it was a concert in Notre Dame, something which is being driven home to me by other people’s reactions to the event. Friends in Shepton Mallet were agog when we told them, neighbours and fellow bar-stoppers at the pub alike happy to stop me and talk at length about composing and composers. Often the questions are the same, but my goodness I do enjoy talking about something I love doing, and, once started, I am hard to stop.
I think it is the photos that are the most impressive. I need to seek permission before I post any on the blog, but to see moments captured against the background of that (sorry to say it again) majestic Cathedral literally gives me a perspective I did not have at the time. One day, probably not for a while, it will all sink in.
Meanwhile, though, it appears that Tu Es Petrus went down well. The choir enjoyed it, some audience members wanted it to be longer, and it looks as though it will be performed at the Anghiari Festival in July as well. As it happens, Anghiari is where I am. I made it home for around twenty four hours, and then it was back abroad. Anghiari is a home from home, though, a place where I am recognised and welcomed, and feel like part of the community. Here to direct a concert on Sunday, I shuffled into the rehearsal room this evening to be greeted by a round of applause – if only it were always that easy! – and then we went a-singing. There are people here for whom this concert means a huge amount, and, yet again, I feel the need to point out how powerful and how restorative music and music making can be.
Dum Committeret Bellum also gets an outing on Sunday, at the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, so the run of performances trundles on, slowly and inexorably. Sitting in the corner of my Somerset local it is fascinating to see people’s reactions when somebody (never me, I have to say) points out that I am a composer. At those times I feel like an exotic species in a zoo, something rich and strange, and at times I wonder if I have the credentials to bear it out, but I do, I really do, Notre Dame and all that. I also remember a singer from one of my choirs who was so pleased for me when I gave up the teaching to put more effort into composition. In another life, he said, with other talents, it was what he would have done, but it meant so much to him to know it could be possible to make that leap of faith.