Yesterday brought with it once more the feeling of being a proper composer, something which used to happen from time to time but which I now realise has been absent for around eighteen months or so. Happily, the same piece formed this most recent experience and the one before it, all the way back at the start of 2020, and that piece is the Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis on Bb.
Of course, I have continued writing since then, but the gap between that piece’s competition win and its delayed first performance was a time of sabbatical and then pandemic, so to hear the music performed live across the web yesterday was a reminder of how things were and, with fingers crossed, how they will be again. Also, the piece has held up well, and as I listened to the first performance live and then once more later with the score in front of me I was pleased with the freshness of the music, and delighted with the efforts of the musicians who brought it to life.
The performance was part of Evensong to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the current building of Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork, and I was interviewed at the start of the service, my image placed in the pulpit while I sat in the vicar’s parlour at Mabbots in Kensington. One imagines that this kind of technological feat, something that we now do daily without too much fuss or bother, would not have occurred without the sudden ubiquity of Zoom during the pandemic, so at least some progress has come out of it.
Among the congregation was the Taoiseach, a real honour, as well as many other luminaries, and my only regret is that I could not be there in person, but the world is what it is and I hope to be able to visit some other time instead. As it was, I updated the website a little and uploaded the score, so if you would like a copy please do take a look.
In fact, if you click on the Recordings tab half way down this page you can watch the service once more and make your own mind up about the piece, and, in a happy coda to the whole occasion, Evensong was brought to a close with an organ piece by Francis Pott, who was kind enough to write to me out of the blue after my first competition win many years ago and encourage me to keep going. Yes, yesterday was a good day.