Next week is going to be full of obligations, so I am making the proverbial hay while the sun shines at home.  Being away is not my favourite thing, even though I am aware that it needs to be done, so the emphasis is on using the time at home wisely and fruitfully.  That means a balance of work and play, getting ahead with sending the emails, chasing the commissions, writing lecture notes (’tis that time of year) and creating the music, while still getting some freshly punched cardboard to the table and attempting to reduce the pile of unwatched DVDs.

The main project at present, nearly done, is the orchestration of The Human Seasons for the Parliament Choir concert in November.  I had set sail on this with the intention of scoring it for a standard orchestra, but the nature of the music in the concert means that we shall be having a slightly smaller ensemble, and while this reduces the expressive possibilities of the sound, it nevertheless provides and intriguing challenge, as the resources come down more or less to strings with a couple of extra instruments.  The presence of both organ and harpsichord, however, could let me have a little fun, especially as it looks as though they will be stacked, Rick Wakeman style, one atop the other.  It could only be more prog if they were at a 90 degree angle, but I suspect there’s not enough space on the stage for that.

Once that is written I shall be straight onto the next project, which has already been started.  I should be ready to announce this early next week, and I’ll be writing it alongside a couple of other bits and pieces for the Parliament Choir Christmas concert, including what I hope will be an arrangement of O Little Town Of Bethlehem, but using the Kingsfold melody, which we heard when we were in Notre Dame.

I was contacted, quite by coincidence, by an old friend of the family the other day, the son of the lady who first took my parents aside and whispered to them that I might be musical, and I was happy to let him know that my career has been ticking along ok.  As it happens, he had been following things in any case, but I am coming more and more to the impression that Notre Dame this year is going to remain one of those high points that I will look back on in years to come.  “Special” doesn’t begin to describe it.


It’s going to take a long time to forget all this.