I had hoped to have the score and the parts for the Dunstan cantata finished by the end of the week, so to find myself on Tuesday afternoon having completed a pass of pretty much everything was very satisfactory indeed. I picked up an another couple of very small details either that I had missed or that Sibelius had got up to behind my back, and then formatted everything.

From this point it is all about proofing and attending to the smaller details, and while this is slow and painstaking work it still nevertheless takes hours, even days less time than it used to do illo tempore. Time was that I would be sitting down now with ruler, pencil, pens and manuscript and copying each one of those parts out meticulously by hand, and I am forever glad that those days are over.

I tinkered a little with my speech for the weekend as well, again complete in draft and again to be fine tuned over the next days, and pushed on ahead with some other smaller projects to boot. In all it was a productive day, even if there was nothing particularly new to show for it.

Still, progress is progress and sometimes that just manifests itself in making things look better on the paper and in bringing one’s experience to bear in choosing where page turns should best go to make life easier for the player. Many of these small bits of tinkering also result in learning just a little more about Sibelius.

In all, although it has taken a few weeks to get here, I seem to be in the middle of a small period of gentle calm, the daily rhythm of writing serving as the backdrop to a slightly less frenetic existence than over the past thirty years. Even the notion that I will be away for a night this weekend seems entirely novel, so long has it been since I was not at home from one evening to the following dawn.