I managed to dig out a few new opportunities a couple of days ago, which will give me something on which to focus over the coming weeks. It turns out that some of the pieces I wrote at the beginning of the year may well be useful for these, so that was time well spent.
It can be difficult to remember that any time spent on composition is time well spent, mainly because the results of the tasks are often so nebulous and difficult to measure. A piece fails to be selected for a competition or call for scores, but how close did it come? Could the little bit of technical work I did over breakfast end up unlocking the flood gates for a larger piece somewhere along the line?
As always, success is the product of small efforts made day in and day out, but the glacial pace of progress in composition means that we writers need to get used to a different understanding of time entirely. Best to keep the pencils sharp, though, even during the stasis of lockdown.
Yesterday morning I sat out on the terrace in the relative cool of the early hours as those around us headed off to work, and I scribbled some new ideas for the orchestral piece, telling myself constantly that it did not need to be good, it just had to exist. All the tidying up can happen later.
None of what I wrote yesterday will make much sense for a few weeks, at least until I have some idea of where the rest of the piece is going, but I already feel as though the daily efforts I have spent on the first half of the work are bearing fruit, not necessarily yet in where the remainder of the music should go and what it should say, but certainly in terms of approaching large spans. At some point, off there in the future, I shall have a sketch for the whole thing, and even further away will be the moment when it is all finished. Who knows when or if this might even be performed, but the lessons learned are already proving to be valuable.