After yet another hiatus, this one lasting a few weeks, I finally bit the bullet and loaded up the symphony (The Symphony) again yesterday afternoon, and spent a decent amount of time tackling the final movement. By the time I tidied my digital table and tucked the file away once more in its folder I was in the position – finally – of seeing the end of it.

After months of planning and scribbling and deleting – and several weeks of absolutely nothing, to be fair – I think that the structure is in place and able to stand on its own, able to run from beginning to end without any substantial reworking, and although there is still a need for more material to flesh out the sketches, the main scaffolding is done. All the things that should happen happen, and more or less in the right place, to boot.

One of the many things I have learned in this process is that planning is worth its weight in gold, that the abstract doodling of figures and proportions and calculations eventually leads to satisfaction in terms of structure, if applied correctly. The proportions I have applied will remain a secret, partially because I really do not want to give too much of the craft away and partially because the whole thing is probably quite boring, but everything in this piece happens for a reason.

On the most basic level there is something deeply satisfying about setting oneself the target of writing a half-hour long piece of coherent symphonic music and, nearly a year later, being able to comprehend the shape of it all, of that sound travelling through time. Without all the breaks it could have been done more quickly, but, then again, perhaps it all needed time to percolate at the back of my mind, to settle into its intended state.

I think but cannot be sure that I began proper work on the piece in May last year, and although I am keen to finish the piano score by the end of this month there really is no rush, but finishing the core of it within twelve months will suit me nicely. The end is certainly nearer than the beginning, though, and the best thing about being at this stage is that each run through the piece is suggesting extra details, that the work is creating its own momentum as it moves towards its close.