A weekend of more back and forthing, up to London through the deluge of Saturday night for a couple of services and a dab of teaching and then back to Somerset through the deluge of Sunday night. It only dawned on me last night as I wound my way home that I have probably played my last Sunday morning service for several months, and I went out on a high, accompanying a stirring rendition of Little Donkey in the nativity play.

I have found the carols a little less wearing this year even if I did find myself very tired over the weekend, something exacerbated by a lack of sleep both on Friday and Saturday nights. The coming days, even if still busy with various things, at least allow the chance to do a bit of catching up.

From tomorrow I hope to be back at work on the Dunstan cantata after a few days of arranging and preparing charts. The arrangements were done and dusted just before their deadline, while the charts are for a rehearsal this evening and a gig on Saturday.

While putting the charts together and listening to things like Stevie Wonder’s Superstition or David Bowie’s Let’s Dance through a decent set of headphones it hit me how well produced and arranged those songs are, details of placement and effect fizzing around, subtle touches apparent here, there and everywhere. They all sounded that much more monodimensional through the radio of the Talbot Samba on the way to Gloucester all those years ago, but maybe we were just waiting for the technology to catch up.

Thankfully, and despite all the predictions to the contrary, for all the music that is churned out via algorithms, the kind of fodder that gets pushed through the airwaves like offal through a mincer, the human element still makes a difference. Even better, most of us can still tell when that element is there, as long as we allow ourselves to do so.