It is hard to know whether my blue funk yesterday was to do with feeling myself behind on the cantata or with the crushing realisation that we appear now to live in a country that, apparently by design from on high, is losing any sense of decency. While there is little I can do about the latter, sorry state of affairs apart from to tweet the text that I set in the commission in the memory of Jo Cox MP at least I can get on with the cantata in an attempt to brighten my mood.

In fact, I have proofed all five movements of the vocal score this morning, and I think that my demeanour has lightened a little as a result, although there is still a little way to go. This needs to be submitted by Tuesday, so my intention is to proof again tomorrow, once more on Sunday and then for a final time on Monday…unless I can squeak in a quick view first thing on Tuesday morning, of course.

This is the stage at which one needs to be aware of the things that Sibelius has been doing behind one’s back, quietly extending crescendi beyond bar lines, attempting to respace voices but instead overlapping them – small things that make a difference. Thankfully I have a compendium of tips and tricks tucked away in the back of my cerebellum, compiled over my many years of working through and around just these problems, and these are helping me through this process.

Also rather useful is knowing that each successive proof will leave less to be fixed as I keep chipping away at small pieces of granite to get the result that I want, and I keep my eyes fixed on Tuesday, when I shall probably dive straight into the Christmas piece for the Parliament Choir. I had sketched a few ideas for a carol a month or so ago, but now I begin to wonder if there is a better, more appropriate text that I might be able to find, more useful for the present time.

In the meantime I guess we just carry on with all the other stuff and keep doing decent things from day to day, being as kind, considerate and thoughtful as we can possibly be, a quiet resistance. I’ll probably be a little like Sibelius, doing small things that make a difference, maybe not always absolutely correctly but certainly with the very best of intentions.

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