At some point yesterday morning I joined two rather large bits of music together and combined them into a single movement, both of them part of this ongoing piece for orchestra. Currently it is written for piano – well, two pianos, to be precise – with an extra stave for a percussion part as well, and the material is rather threadbare at many points, if truth be told.

However, it does now run from start to finish without any gaps, and although there is a long, long way to go on it, at least I am able to hear the movement travel in time across its eleven and a bit minute span. I imagine that when the movement is finally finished, all the links and details in place, whenever that might be, it will run closer to twelve and a half minutes, which is where I think I would like it to be.

I need to come clean and say right now that I doubt very much that the piece will be ready to be submitted by the middle of June, and if I were to submit it that it would be in a very rough and ready state. Thankfully, this particular submission is one of the ones that charges a fee, so I will at least have to consider the value of what I have written, rather than simply sending off something with bits hanging off it and hoping that the adjudicators fail to notice.

On the other hand, that freedom from the June deadline means that I can continue work on the piece at my own pace, letting ideas percolate and ferment and all sorts of other things, harmonies coming into shape and redefining the material around them, which in turn redefines the harmonies themselves. This has started to happen over the past week and is simultaneously exciting and disorientating, for I have no idea where it will all end up.

One thing is certain, though. Well, two things. Firstly, the core of this material is very, very dark indeed, possibly as a result of where we find ourselves at the moment, but maybe not. It journeys towards lighter pastures but does not necessarily find resolution, a quality which brings me to my second thing, namely that this current movement is not entire in and of itself, but instead seeks further expression. In other words, it may just be the opening of a larger form that has sat at the back of my head for a while, but which currently dares not speak its name.