It looks as thought there might be a new choral work on the horizon, as I had a chat with the director of one of the choirs that I work for at the end of last week to discuss various things, among which were the very preliminary details of a work to be performed next year. This seems like a long way off but, firstly, in compositional terms there is no such thing as “a long way off” and, secondly, next year seems to be a wise guess when hazarding when choirs might be able to get back together and sing again.

Anyway, said piece falls right into what I would like to write, being not only long, around thirty minutes we think, but also with an orchestral accompaniment. It would not be a full orchestra, but there would certainly enough of it there for me to be able to go painting in sound and creating some interesting textures.

I have already gone hunting for some texts that I might be able to set, for I see this as a multi-movement work which will set a variety of writers whose writings will centre around a single unified theme. I have even got as far as scribbling a very rudimentary introduction and a possible first entry for the choir, textless at the moment.

The opening, which may well change substantially between now and completion, has distinct echoes of the slow movement of the symphony, and although such cross-fertilisation may not always be a good idea, for a new piece really should stand on its own, all else being equal, I think that here I quite like it. The symphony is after all music born out of a period of plague and the new choral piece will probably need to reflect these times as well, so it seems right to have one of these works reflected in the other.

There is a long, long way to go yet before the piano score of the piece needs to be done, so I have already set a couple of months aside in my compositional calendar to get it written. We may even be looking at two performances in 2022, and if we add those to the delayed concerts from this year and the last it is just possible that next year could be a bumper time for my music.