As of yesterday afternoon I officially have four pieces on the go – two choral works, a set of songs for mezzo soprano and piano, and an organ piece. My traditional vacillations between training my thoughts on a single work or instead spreading my work between many have been sidetracked by the necessities of cruel deadlines.
I did not really have much choice about getting these various works started, and not just because of the deadlines. For each of them an idea popped into my head at a decidedly inopportune moment and demanded to be written down, forcing me to begin that particular piece.
I would far rather have it happen that way than stare at a blank piece of paper and try to force out an idea. I can work with material that I already have, twist it and turn it and develop it, but the initial seed needs to be appropriate, and I have found in the past that a bad feeling at the very start of a piece tends to mean bad news later on.
One can therefore assume that a good feeling at the beginning might mean that the writing of a piece then becomes a walk in the park, but that is not quite true. A country ramble, maybe, with some quizzical consultation of the map in the middle, but at least something positive.
When writing this entry I initially wrote that I had three pieces on the go, the fourth only popping back into my head a couple of paragraphs in. Each of these is a commission, so to have so many in progress so early in the year is definitely a good sign.