It has taken a little time to get everything into the right order but at last I think I have all my current commissions lined up and placed into order of priority, and it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling to be able to write “all my current commissions”, so I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.  Commissions have a tendency to lead to more commissions of course, so this is undoubtedly a good start to the year.

Only over the past week have I begun to realise quite how much other matters have intruded into my composing time, if intruded is the right word.  Those nearest to me will know that there have been other pressing issues over the past three months or so, all of which have required care, attention and immediate action when needed, and it is hard to build up any kind of steam at all when all those things are clamouring for attention in the background.

The saxophone project has also been a major focus of the past months, but now that we are looking forward to rehearsals there is a feeling that the heavy lifting has been done.  What is to come will be lighter and more readily dealt with precisely because of the effort we have put in, an investment into an easier future.

Only now has the beginning of my year swung back into the kind of quiet zone with which I would normally associate it, and, intending to make the most of that feeling, I began to take advantage of it first thing this morning, scribbling away on a new commission before my coffee had even emerged from the magic machine atop the hob.  Just as last week when working on another piece, today’s work sprang into my mind with a phrase fully formed, always a good omen, and by the middle of the afternoon there was enough material in place to bode well for a swift and effective compositional process.

I have never quite decided whether it is better to focus on a single piece or to have two or three on the go at any one time.  Whatever the right decision, it is an enjoyable luxury to be able to splash around in several different directions, also to feel in charge of what is appearing from the scratchings of my pencil.


Beginnings of things.