I am not sure that I have the energy to trawl back through my blog and find the point at which my near daily postings became weekly, but I strongly suspect that it had something to do with you-know-what, that as the monotony of lockdown after lockdown set in and brought with it the fossilisation of musical life I simply had nothing about which to write. Well, this week just past is the first time since whenever it was that I felt that maybe I needed to begin posting daily once more, so full of music has this time been.

Of course, for my music this was the occasion of the second performance of Sight Adjusts Itself To Darkness, following swiftly on the heels of the first performance last Sunday. The tricky performance for any new piece is always the second, but if you can get it then it means that the choir will have had a chance to let the piece bed in and understand what it is all about, and that was definitely the case this time around, and the work, reflecting upon illness, human resilience and the pandemic, seems to have had a powerful impact, which was what it needed to do. Based on the experience of these two performances I need to make a couple of minor tweaks, mainly involving phrasing in the organ part, and then I shall make the score available, so it will be out and about before too long.

Having looked forward to a couple of days off later in the week I ended up instead sourcing scores for the Maratona weekend in Anghiari, which now looks certain to go ahead after two years of nothing at all, so there were several emails going back and forth, a good deal of time scouring the internet for the right free editions, and then a good hour or two converting everything into pdfs and all the rest. By the end of Friday it was all done, but then Saturday was spent catching up on various things, including making sure that everything was in place for Sunday.

On Sunday morning I was in Hampstead directing the music – Harold Darke and Christopher Tye – before heading to Kensington for a performance of parts two and three of Messiah to a large and hugely appreciative audience. In my free moments I was putting together the final bookings for a cantata performance next week, not helped much by one of my singers pulling out without much of an explanation or apology and then making something of a mess of rebooking somebody. In the end I passed the job of rebooking on to somebody I trust, and by midnight I had a replacement in place with only eighteen hours to go until the first rehearsal.

As I look back on the week I can feel all the rehearsals and all the playing and all the emails manifesting themselves in the pain in my shoulders, but I keep reminding myself that not so long ago none of this existed. I have never taken any of this life for granted, but surely a year ago, in the middle of a seemingly never-ending lockdown, I could not have imagined that I would have been so busy again, and so soon. I know that I have missed this life deeply, but the past week has shown me how much other performers and especially audiences have missed this as well. It’s good to be back.

Two for the show…