The cold callers are back and bothering me on my TPS registered line, a clear indication that the world has gone back to work after the Christmas break, so it is time for me to get up and running as well. As usual, the tip into the New Year has caused a little bit of reflection – not too much, though – and sharpened my focus on what I would really like to do in my life. The top answer remains, as it has always done, composition, so then everything falls into place around that, and I need to carve out the time to be able to do it, pursue it, and develop my voice.
Last year was hugely encouraging for my music, and yet I sit here without a commission on the table at the moment, so I have decided to write something for myself, to take action on a proposition I wrote a couple of years ago for a substantial organ work, probably around twelve or so minutes long. As it happens, there were various sketches in various folders which have been put to good use, a reminder not to throw anything created away, and I have linked them together in a not-quite-Frankenstein kind of way which makes them sound generally ok for a first draft. I am interested to see where this piece goes, especially as it is currently flitting between two or three different designs. At some point it will settle down and have a much firmer idea of its direction, but not quite yet. I could always sit around and grind through some technical exercises, of course, which are less of a grind than they might sound, but it is so much more fulfilling to be able to apply technical work to some kind of practical use. My competition entries are often just that, experimental sounding boards for some new idea, so I think very much that this new work will fall into the same category, though with the broad remit of being something that I can play, forward on to other players, and maybe submit for a competition in its own right should the occasion arise.
For the freelancer this is a calm and quiet time of year, nicely so after the running around and incessant Hark-The-Heralding of December, a chance to catch one’s breath and, in my case, to get to Bath and Wells, sit in coffee shops and watch the world go by without some oppressive deadlines or other, pencil in hand, manuscript notebook open on the table. It is a valuable chance to get on with things before concert seasons arrives once more.