Only a few short weeks ago I had serious doubts that I would ever reach this stage, but after an early start and a decent push this morning I can report that Brindisi, my new orchestral piece, is finished. It goes into rehearsal on the 19th and the first performance will be at the closing concert of the Anghiari Festival at the end of the month.
Sometimes a new piece gets going very easily, and sometimes it takes real effort to get the ball rolling, and Brindisi fell solidly and immovably into the latter category, not helped by my ambitious plans for the piece which, in retrospect, were too complicated for its purpose. Once the deadline came into view I was forced to begin scribbling and had to rely on some of the tricks of the trade to get things done, the craft rather than the inspiration.
I have written many times about how important it is for a writer to be able to work themselves out of a hole, to be able to generate ideas out of existing material in an attempt to engender new possibilities, and I really had to fall back on that for Brindisi. Count that as a lesson learned.
One other tricky thing about this piece is that it is meant to be fun, and fun is not something that has frequently found its way into my music. It is not all gloom and darkness in my oeuvre, but cheery and light music seldom comes from my pencil, and I found this assignment tricky. Who was it who said that there is nothing funny about writing comedy? I think that they have a point.
So the piece is done and part of the delay has been in proofing and tinkering, part of the reason that the piece as sent out bears the moniker “Draft Version”. This is more to cover myself for lapses in proofing than for any other reason, even if secretly, as always, I hope that the piece is just fine and dandy as supplied.