After having scurried away and hidden from it for a few weeks, telling myself that other things needed to be done with more urgency, which they did, more or less, it felt almost like a relief to get back to the orchestral piece this morning, and I was surprised to see that the vague sketches still hold up after some time away. Yes, I am still in the early stages of the detail in most areas, and even sketchier in others, but the structure and the bones are holding up well.
I am working on the beginning of the second span of the work, and at the moment the plan is for this to begin with a long and slow section before working up some energy which will then lead into the final drive for home. The word that sits at the back of my mind when writing ideas for this area is desolate, and I am resisting as much as possible the temptation to shift gears too quickly and too early.
This is, after all, something that is intended to articulate its emotion over a significant period of time, and that will be undermined if I lose my nerve. The first area of music needs to be long enough and strong enough to make sense in and of itself, but also to require more material. It also needs to be of a size and weight that will make it work properly in the context of this whole slow movement, which, in turn, will need to do the same in the context of the whole work. So, no pressure.
It has been interesting this morning to notice that the material I have has managed to fill out that whole of the first area (of three, probably) of this slow section in a way that I think makes sense, and which hopefully should make the onward journey slightly easier. I intend this to be the emotional core of the work, so it is important to get it right, but it is definitely heading in the right direction.
Even more interesting is the notion that perhaps the picking up of energy and the run for home might not need to exist at all, that in fact the slow movement could be extended and continue to the end of the piece. In other words, should the piece triumph over darkness or should it instead be weighed down by defeat? At the moment I have no real idea which one of the infinity of endings it will possess, how that multitude of possibilities will collapse into a single manifestation of all the music that this could be.