I have managed to get in a couple of very productive sessions on The Book Of Hours this week, the set of six piano pieces to accompany Tony Boydell’s card game Aleph Null, and the piece is very close to being finished. It has now been put aside for a little while to simmer, and I shall go back to it in a few days, fresh from not having listened to it for a while, and encounter it in a better position to hear what is wrong.
I do like the moment in a composition when I can add the title page and dedication and copyright notice. It is like a ritual that I save for myself as a reward for when the hardest work is done, and it helps that it all serves to polish the appearance of the piece and to make it look even more like a serious piece of music.
The Book Of Hours is not comfortable music, though. Instead, in keeping with the theme of the game, there needs to be an sense of uneasiness throughout, that notion of dipping one’s toes into areas where they should not be dipped, of getting just a little too involved in things one does not understand.
Where The Book Of Hours has proven to be a particular pleasure, of course, is that it has combined two of my very favourite things – writing music and playing games – into one single activity, and although there have been soundtracks for board and card games before, this still feels like something rather new and novel. It has even stirred the waters enough to have been mentioned on the official Twitter feed for Board Game Geek, the number one destination online for information about board games, which is quite something.
If you want something, though, then you need to go out and get it, and while I cannot in all truth say that I went hunting to write music for board games, it is nevertheless an avenue that I would definitely be keen to explore further. Find the things that you love to do and keep knocking at the door and you never know quite what might happen, and even if The Book Of Hours turns out to be my only effort in this area it has still proven to be an exciting and new experience, well worth the ride.