It is good finally to have the decks clear enough to get on with a bit of proper composition. I spent Monday catching up with various things that needed to be done, and then hid away in Westminster Music Library in an attempt to garner information about composers so obscure that they fail even to feature in the Grove dictionary, with moderate success.

Yesterday I did a little more catching up, and also sketched out some more ideas for the new piece for the Parliament Choir, which looks as if it will be called A Certain Everlasting Polyphony, which I think is a really wonderful title. At the moment I am still in the stages of very preliminary planning, but the ideas are coming together.

Harmonically and structurally I think I know now what I would like to achieve, which means that I need to settle into that stage where I just throw ideas onto paper and unhook my critical mind that keeps telling me that what I write is not good enough. The good enough will come with the refining and the polishing, and for now I just need to create material with which I can work, throwing lumps of clay onto the potter’s wheel.

Early ideas. Don’t judge me!

Today has settled into the rhythm that I have come to know over the past weeks, namely work on the book first and foremost, a little bit of admin, and then to the manuscript. While a sensible composer might ideally do their writing first, the deadline is so tight on the book that it needs to rise to the top of the daily list.

I have to say that I have discovered some really fascinating musical snippets along the way, from the very first named composer through to a sadly fictional account of a sixteenth century Cuban writer, with all sorts of stops along the way, some of them well known, some decidedly obscure. Almost entirely by accident I also came upon the name of a writer who lived in the same town as my grandparents in what was then Italy, and whose music is impressive from the briefest of listens, and about which I will certainly be doing some more digging. The more one discovers the more there remains to discover.

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