As happens so often after some time away, yesterday was pretty much a washout as far as work was concerned, although, having said that, I did get down to “inbox zero” (briefly) and sort out a few compositional pieces here and there. I also caught up on Ghosts on iPlayer, which has one or two really touching moments tucked in the middle of some very sharp comedic writing, then listened to the latest episode of the sparkling Ed Reardon’s Week, now on series thirteen and still the best thing on the radio.

Today is one of those out-and-about days, but I shall be hauling my laptop with me and getting on with some work on the book, also getting started on the introductions for the Anghiari Festival. This latter task used to take over nearly an entire week, but my master document of all the introductions I have written over the years combined with repeat performances has made this a slightly easier task of late, and it is clear that my knowledge of Italian grammar has improved slightly over the years as well.

The sooner those two tasks are done the sooner I can get on with the serious compositional business of the week, two submissions and the cantata. I have sketched and doodled some material for Dunstan and can feel the cogs and gears turning in my mind, but I really hanker after a clear patch in order to get things done.

I was chatting to somebody in Anghiari, a real high achiever, comparing our approaches to writing, and I think that we agreed that the most precious resource available to a scribbler is time. Many people write music, many people want to write music, but the complaint I hear most often is that they do not have enough time to do as much of it as they would like.

Although work in music brings many knock on effects for other aspects of work in music, I have always viewed the financial side as a means to an end, as a tool for carving out time off. I shall be putting that plan into proper action next year, see where it takes me, but for today I think that I need to use my couple of quiet hours with the laptop and clear the decks for the quietude that may come my way later in the week.

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