So I am back to things today after a little time taking things a touch more gently, but the real question is back to what? This was about the time that everything would be restarting after a few months dedicated to myself, but the world has changed since then, seen unprecedented uses of the word unprecedented, and life as we knew it seems a long time ago.

The arts have and still are suffering very badly indeed, and I must count myself lucky that a few dribs and drabs of work have begun to come in – a socially distanced concert here and a virtual gig there – but in terms of regular things everything is still very much touch and go. I am not sure if this is how things will always be, but my intention is to make a virtue out of necessity, to come out of this stronger and better and fitter and all the rest.

At least it means that my intention going into the sabbatical, to be in a position at the end of it to spend the majority of my time on composition, has been fulfilled, though not in the manner that I had expected. Although opportunities have fallen away dramatically that does not mean that one cannot continue to write and tinker and improve and seek out new avenues.

I did think that I would retreat into writing miniatures, because for the time being that is all that most performers are going to be able to achieve, but the ongoing work on the orchestral piece has pulled me in an entirely different direction. I have taken a few weeks off from this, but intend to get back to it in earnest, beginning almost as soon as I have posted this, and still believe that this, my biggest orchestral statement, is worth pushing on with, even if the chances of its being performed are currently on the slim side.

Then there is also The Book Of Hours, accompaniment to a card game by Tony Boydell, which is a fascinating project. These pieces are miniatures, but I have learned about my own style and technique in writing them, and wonder what else there might be to discover in that particular field in the months to come.