A happy day yesterday, out on the terrace in the early morning shade and the late afternoon sun, a delivery of games to play and review, and a dab of study and writing along the way. My brother and I even managed to make a little progress in terms of putting our father’s affairs in order, which was a pleasant step forwards.
I was knocked slightly sideways by this last thing, though. I know that there is that jokey remark that death is so very final, but the wrapping up of things is all about bringing a person to a close, and, as probably happens so often, there are things in this case that I think I’ll never quite understand. How about some cheering Fawlty Towers?
Dr. Price: I don’t understand. He’s been dead for about ten hours.
Basil Fawlty: Yes, it’s so final, isn’t it?
Sybil Fawlty: Basil!
Basil Fawlty: Well, wouldn’t you say it was final, dear? I’d say it was pretty bloody final.
I started sketching out a new piece for a competition entry, as described yesterday, also doing a fair bit of preparatory reading, and then grinding to a halt because Sibelius – at least my copy – cannot cope with multiple time signatures. I know that I am not up to date with the latest version, which maybe rectifies this, but given that there is so much with which it copes magnificently it crashes the gears to come up against something that is significantly faster when done by hand.
The upshot (or downside if your glass is half empty) to this is that I’ll be sketching this piece out almost entirely by hand, which is pretty much what I was intending to do anyway. I am intending the work to be for unpitched percussion, an exploration of rhythm and timbre without the parameter of pitch, so might as well push the boat out with a few odd ideas, see what happens, and maybe I will learn something about music typesetting along the way.
Yesterday was very much the outline, the basic form of the piece, and today will see the start of the muddy work of sifting through all the material. I am getting quite used to this, both literally and figuratively, as various plants take up their summer positions on the terrace, and that is where I intend to get my morning work done, at least until my “proper” work kicks in later on.