It is a beautiful and overcast morning (just) here in my summer hideaway, and we arrived here late yesterday evening after a long drive, punctuated by a couple of stops and thankfully relatively free of traffic snarl-ups, although a Friday evening is always going to mean some kind of trouble.  Time was that the summer retreat was a haven from the chaos, angst and general aggression of Mitcham, but the irony now is that last year we found the same place all rather loud compared with the tranquility of Shepton.  How things change.  After our first evening in a quieter bolthole than last year, situated in a more tranquil part of the village, it already seems as if we have found an even better option than last time around, and, as I sit at the back of the house in the open air, listening to the distant sounds of activity, it already feels like a break.

Once I have recovered a little energy, though, I need to get straight on with the new piece for the Parliament Choir, especially as I have chosen to jettison everything I had sketched up to now.  The revised effort is going to be something different again from pieces like Petrus and the Te Deum.  I am trying hard not to refer to it as a pastiche, but it will definitely be inspired by some other music.  In my thoughts it should fit well for our autumn concert, certainly better than the original idea, so that is a plus point.

The first stage of that writing is going to be the collecting and collating of material, the assembling of the colours and paints I will use to assemble the piece.  I find the process a lot of fun, even if it can be difficult to know where to start, but the more is down on paper the easier it becomes to work out some kind of direction and narrative for the piece.  Time is fairly tight on this, and I would like to have it finished in a fortnight or so, meaning that my mornings will be busy, even if I would like to keep the rest of the days free for other activities.