Four days is about as much time as I am happy to spend in London in a single stint, the pull of the West dragging me out almost from the moment I first pull into the driveway in Hounslow. I knew that the return to work after the summer break would be intense, but these first few days have been rigorous in their demands.
Parliament Choir began again last night as well, continuing our work on Carmina Burana for the concert later in the year. Once Parly Choir is back in place it really does feel as thought the rhythm of my work has been established once more.
The main project over the weekend, though, was the transcription, arranging and editing of a new piece for my collaborative saxophonist, and we have made impressive steps with something that was merely a fragmentary melody and a couple of other rough ideas only a week ago. This piece is a submission for somebody else to approve or not as they see fit, so we are keeping expectations low but fingers crossed for its journey into the world.
It also marks my move back into writing rock music for the first time in ages. I used to scribble songs all the time back in the old days, but the combination of having very little of interest to express and meeting far better songwriters convinced me that my efforts were better directed elsewhere.
Having said that, I think that my sensibilities are fairly finely tuned in terms of what works and what does not, and all that listening and quiet musing has been invaluable over the past week. Maybe my days of writing rock music really are behind me, but it is possible that there is a Nick-shaped niche out there for polishing and refining other people’s ideas.