Of the three and a bit pieces on the composing desk yesterday it was the symphony that called to me the most, and I managed to add a decent amount of extra detail to the second movement, which definitely improved what had been there only a few hours earlier. It was often merely a case of throwing down any ideas at all, but at least the result has given me something to work with rather than the rather bare textures I had before.

As I listened through to the first span of the work, the first two movements linked together, I realised that I have yet to hear the work that I have done on this piece and think that it is not good enough as a whole. There are definitely many moments that need improvement – the vast majority of the work, in fact – but at no point have I thought aboout abandoning the project, pressing delete and starting again.

That must bode well for the quality of the writing, I think, for I am very critical about what I write, not least when tight deadlines mean that something needs to go out that could just do with an extra bit of work here and there. At least this piece has some way still to travel and each step of that journey should make what is there better.

I also did some work on the competition piece that needs to go off at the end of the month, a work that will be subject to exactly the kind of tight deadline that I have just written about. I would like to focus on it to the exclusion of the other works until it is done, but I feel that I need to keep the symphony ticking over, that the magnitude of the task of getting it completed will be made slightly smaller each day if I keep chipping away until, at some point hopefully not too far in the future, it will be done.

I must admit that it felt a little like sacrilege to have the sketches playing on the laptop while the birds were singing contentedly outside in the early morning sun, but I hope that they forgave the intrusion. Not long now, I hope, until it will be warm enough to sit outside in the early hours and get some quiet work done out there, emerging from hibernation.