Saturday was quite the epic, up at four in the morning, owls hooting in the darkness, and then in the car to drive up to London only an hour later. By mid-morning I was hunched over the laptop, saxophonist by my side, as we tweaked, edited, honed and polished arrangements, scores and parts for the next ten hours.
By the time I made it back to the burrow in Hounslow I was tired, but with a kind of earned weariness rather than can’t-stay-awake exhaustion. It had been a crammed and pressured day, pushing on into an extra hour in order to get everything signed off and sent out to various musicians on Sunday.
Now comes a little calm before preliminary rehearsals begin in a couple of weeks. We have five new and fully scored pieces ready to record in sessions at the end of March, and then the second half of the project will begin in earnest for recording in June.
Place two opinionated musicians next to each other in a cramped space for a nineish-hour stretch each week and the conditions are probably just about right for tantrums and strops, especially when tiredness kicks in. Opinions can be difficult to relinquish, likewise the ownership of one’s own music.
However, this has been a genuine and open collaboration. We certainly have different strengths, which is possibly a strength in itself, but the focus comes in striving for a common goal that we both believe is better than either of us would be able to achieve individually, so we are quietly excited as we put stage one to bed at last and now look forward to the business of bringing all this music to life.