Resolution number one for next year is definitely to take back control of my diary. Being in demand and travelling here and there for work is hugely satisfying and a wondrous thing after so many years of struggle, but all those miles on the road, all those nights spent away from home, are becoming a little tiring, and my available time for composition seems to be vanishing like the evening sun.
I still need to get through to the end of the year before I can implement some changes, though, so for the time being I need to get knee deep, possibly deeper, into various projects just to keep up with the game, let alone get ahead of it. The writing of music gets tucked into those few minutes here and there when space is available and the brain is ready.
The plantings of previous years continue to bear fruit, however, which is greatly heartening. This Light Of Reason, the carol I was commissioned to write in memory of Jo Cox MP, has picked up another two performances, and it should seem obvious that the circumstances of this piece’s composition make it important for me that this work continues to be performed, also tidily reinforcing the text’s theme of a single candle spreading into a great light.
Sweet Was The Song is also swinging into view again, the nearest I have come, I think, to writing something that genuinely will become a part of the repertoire, although I am told that my earthy arrangement of We Three Kings comes close. The odd this about Sweet is that I have very clear memories of writing it in a certain place and at a certain time, which is not always the case, but this was a particularly happy space in my life, and I think that it was also my first commission for the Parliament Choir.
These pieces and all the others were products of thought and space and time, and those are the most valuable commodities that I need to seek out within the next couple of months in order to add to that list of compositions and not to let new pieces fall by the wayside. There is a performances link in this blog which I shall attempt to keep updated, and all those linked scores are free to download and distribute, so feel free to pass them on to anybody that you think might be interested, help a struggling composer keep himself in manuscript and pencils, and all that…