In the middle of various other matters, including preparation for some work on the house, I sat down for a couple of hours yesterday and did another stint of work on the Missa Loquebantur Variis Linguis. The sketches for this have been scattered around on several bits of paper, so this was an opportunity to assemble them all into a single place and to see how the piece stands at present.
The Kyrie is already fairly well fleshed out, likewise the Sanctus, but the other movements are yet to be started, so yesterday’s stint was really a transcription of what is already there. Once it was rewritten properly and my various scribbles deciphered I was even able to begin to add details and develop the material that was already there.
The initial sketches of the Kyrie are reasonably simple, the voices slotting in mainly on the offbeats at the organ sticks to the pulse, but this is without doubt the first version, and already yesterday I was able to develop this, bringing in two new ideas. The first is a syncopated pedal line, turning the held notes of the first sketch into a dynamic line with its own rhythmic character, while the second is a decoration, rendering an upwards scale much more interesting and, again, defining it much more securely in terms of rhythm.
Importantly, both of these new ideas have aspects that may be developed later in the work for new themes, motifs and rhythmic cells. Thus they should provide me with enough material to get out of any holes, but also serve to bind the work together.
My initial impression is that this work should progress relatively easily as long as I can find the time for it. It seems more and more that the writing is the easier bit these days, while it is finding the time for it that is proving more tricky.