We spent most of yesterday without internet, an upgrade that was quoted as taking two hours eventually resulting in all sorts of shenenigans that took us through to the ten hour mark. At least running on phone data made for a parsimonious day as far as surfing the web was concerned, and I grasped the offline nettle instead, getting on with further work on the symphony.

By the end of the afternoon I had hammered some kind of shape (Ha! I initially wrote “shame”) into both the slow movement and finale, to the extent that the piece does now in some places sound like a symphony. There are some moments where the texture is very, very thin indeed, but also some fully fleshed areas, and it is running from start to finish without a break.

That top-to-tailness marks an important moment, some eleven months or so after I started work on the piece, because now I can actually stand back from the canvas and appreciate just how large the frames are and how all the proportions sound. They should work, because I have spent innumerable hours working them out, but the experience of sound truly is in the motion through time, and what looks good on the page does not necessarily translate well to listening.

There is about a minute’s worth of material still to go in until it is where I really want it to be in terms of structure, and my focus has shifted to the slow movement now that the finale is running smoothly (more or less) from beginning to end. This middle section, the opening of the second span, is long and desolate in places, more than I had initially expected, and I am still working out what material should go where, but progress is being made.

Once most of the slow movement is in place I shall know more about the link via which it progresses to the finale, and this is where I imagine most of the missing minute to be. As ever, there is a long way to go, but I am absolutely sure that the end is nearer than the beginning, and maybe even in sight if I squint ever so keenly at the horizon.