After the hectic beginning to the month with performance upon performance, last week was much more relaxed and I was finally able to catch up on some things that had been pushed aside a little. There was still an outing for some of my music on Sunday morning, my lopsided arrangement of This Joyful Eastertide, but otherwise on the musical front things were rather quiet, even if plans for the rest of the year continued to fall into place.

I know that I have written about this before, but I really have been taken aback by how enthusiastically people have returned to music since the lockdowns and the choral rule of six (unless, of course, you were at a sporting event), and that enthusiasm shows no sign of abating. If everything goes ahead as planned, I am looking at five foreign jaunts before the end of the year in addition to all the concert and writing and directing work, and the diary is looking close to being complete right up to the start of 2023.

This is something that I could not have imagined at this time last year, but I am very much aware of how fortunate I am to be in this kind of position and, as I opined to a group of singers last week, I am never again going to complain about how busy I am, especially in today’s world. I had, after all, embarked upon my sabbatical with the intention of sorting out Act III of my life, and it does seem as if those plans are falling into place, even if two years later than anticipated.

Those plans also look different from how I had imagined them being, better too, and there are some particular developments which are both unexpected and exciting, reminding me of how much pleasure there is to be had in making music with other people. My experience is beginning to bear fruit in areas which, maybe even five years ago, I might have been hesitant to embrace, so the vista ahead is certainly different from that behind, and there is a definite sense of reaping the rewards of previous efforts.

Writing, though, remains central to everything, but I must admit that it has been invigorating to take just a little time off, after the strains of the symphony and the most recent cantata. I needed to step away for a bit and let my brain process all those new ideas and threads, and over the past couple of days I have felt my enthusiasm return, as if a fresh and cleansing wave has suddenly washed away the remnants of previous projects. The symphony is still there to be orchestrated, and there is another orchestral piece to begin, but I think that my next tasks will be to do a little bit of tidying on the organ part of Sight Adjusts Itself To Darkness and then to embark upon the commission for a setting of O Nata Lux.