I was in Bath yesterday for the afternoon, doing a few bits of this and a few bits of that before settling down in one of my hideaways of choice while my better half did her own thing for a while. With my laptop now back up to something approaching its previous level of stamina thanks to a new battery left for it under the Christmas tree (or so I tell it) I got on with some more research on the book and continued to beaver away at the Missa Festiva, which is coming together with something approaching the difficulty I had expected.

What was the Missa In Adventu Domini and is now the Missa Brevis (keep up at the back!) has vocal parts that it will share with the Missa Festiva, the idea being that these pieces will represent two sides of the same coin, darkness and light. Liturgically this would mean something along the lines of Advent and Christmas or Lent and Easter, but the music should also be for more general use.

The task at hand with the Missa Festiva version is to add an organ part that will eventually feel as if it has been there right from the start, and I am currently only at the stage of throwing ideas down as they come, leaving the refinement and the critical process until much later in the day. Come to the Festiva without knowing the Brevis and ideally it should make complete sense on its own and show no sign of having been derived from something else.

On which note, I need to mention a busker I heard in Bath yesterday, down towards the baths, who was performing Tempted by Squeeze with such accuracy that I had to look very, very closely indeed to make sure that it was not Glen Tilbrook doing one of those incognito things that the BBC like to film surreptitiously to show that the people have no critical taste (P. T. Barnum q.v.). Only when he segued into Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears, who, fact fans, are from Bath did I become sure that this was no subterfuge but just a really, really good player.

Maybe it is just me being precious or maybe it is just me being a musician, but I really dislike badly performed music, especially when it comes with that can’t-be-arsed approach, whether by a symphony orchestra, a busker, or me, so yesterday was a real fillip, especially when I remember a certain gent who twangs his guitar at me in London on a Monday afternoon with aleatoric zeal. So if you find yourself in Bath and think that Squeeze are doing an acoustic gig in the shopping centre, pop down and have a listen, because it will be worth your while.

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