It still seems incredible to believe that a year ago most of us had no idea what Zoom was nor how to use it, yet here we are at the beginning of March 2021 and it seems that the application’s window is barely closed. Yesterday morning there was a call to discuss the first performance of the Three Songs To Poems By Emily Dickinson, which will of course be online, and there was yet more Zoom-related madness later on, while separate meetings took place in other parts of the house.
I know that I mention it often, but I still remember the days when I used to have to traipse to the copy shop with the latest score and a bag of 50p pieces and photocopy everything laboriously before sending it off to people. On one occasion I seem to recall a late dash into central London to drop off a score at the dead of night, which would sound glamorous had the likes of James Bond ever undertaken to deliver contemporary music. Double-oh-seven-in-a-bar, maybe.
Yet now, barely twenty years after that, we are going to be stitching together an online event from people in different places and at different times, and it is all going to look spectacular, I have no doubt. To have arrived at the stage where I have no qualms whatsoever about this set of performances shows just how far the technology and the ability to harness it have come.
I also only realised a few days ago that there were no first performances of my music at all in 2020, which might well say something about my expectations, but also shows quite how much the world changed last year. There should have been The Cantata Of Saint Dunstan and the Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis on Bb at the very least, plus various Christmas carols, but, for the first time possibly for over thirty years there was nothing, a quiet time.
All of which means that the prospect of having some music, any music, performed is to be embraced, more so because this is not going to be something just thrown together, but which has a team involved and promises to be more than just a short recital. More details, of course, as things begin to take shape, but this really does feel like another small sign that a way out of this is becoming visible at last.