The BBC were on hand once more during the Parliament Choir rehearsal last night, this time accumulating footage for a documentary about the House of Lords, after their series on the Commons a couple of years ago.  I tend to do the warm-up for the choir, and it can be a literal term during the summer, for it can be a little on the stuffy side down there in the chapel, even on a Monday eve.  Safely installed back at the organ I removed my jumper, safe in the knowledge that the cameraman would be interested only in the choir.  Not so, however, for I felt the presence of a lens very close to me for a decent period of time and felt distinctly underdressed for the occasion in my Nostromo T-shirt.  Still, that’s how I often play for rehearsal, and if you are making a documentary you might as well film things as they are.  I’m sure I’ll be excised from the final cut anyway, but I had a little chuckle at the absurdity of the thing.


The Nostromo wakes up.  This won’t end well.

I also had a brief chat yesterday about a couple of commissions that are on the table, one large and one a little less large.  Commissioning is not just about getting somebody to ask you to write a piece, it is also about finding somebody to perform said piece, something you need to do if commissioner and performer are different entities.  Of course, it is possible to plough on straight ahead and simply to see how the land lies when you are in the middle of writing, but you run the risk of having a piece all dressed up and with nowhere to go, which is not the ideal situation.  Still, there has not been a “no” to either piece, so I hammer on with the sketching and the cajoling and the persuading.

Personally, though, this weekend has been an odd one.  I have had some worrying news about a good friend, though I am hoping that all is set fair for good news about said person further down the line, and I am digging in for some rough news about somebody else rather closer to home.  I’m sure Twitter will tell me that I can’t see the stars until it gets dark, or something similar, not that I needed to be reminded of such stuff in 140 characters, but I feel that the knowledge that life can be short means that my energies are far better spent doing things I enjoy, and that, happily, includes my job.  Somebody I was speaking to yesterday told me, authoritatively, that musicians have it easy, they do a couple of hours of playing every now and again and wait for the royalties to roll in.  After I had stopped laughing I explained that, yes, it may look easy, but only if you have done many years of hard and mind-numbing work behind the scenes and continue to do so.  I have earned where I am and make no excuses for it.  As for the royalties, well…