The week began with the first run through by Parly Choir of my latest offering, an arrangement of a Slovenian carol in anticipation of the choir’s trip to Slovenia in December. I would hardly say that the harmonic language would frighten any horses, but I think that it works well as a piece and has some quite satisfying (for me) writing, especially in the final verse when things begin to blossom. The singers seemed to enjoy it as well, which is always good news, and the first performance should be at the Westminster Christmas concert in St. John’s, Smith Square early in December.

Most of the rest of the week was taken up with arranging rather than composing, a couple of items for a wedding in November which had me adopting my “backing vocals” mindset rather than writing for a traditional choir. By Friday morning this had all been finished to a decent standard, at which point I put the pieces aside to let them simmer for a while, and I shall go back to them over the next day or so to make sure that everything is okay and then send them off.

Meanwhile over in Germany at the annual board game bonanza that is the Essen expo, Tony Boydell’s card game Aleph Null was released, and apparently the English version sold out very quickly indeed. This would be of very little import at all to the musical me (even if the board gaming me would be keeping an eye on things) were it not for the fact that I have written the background music for this game, and the first movement of that piano suite The Book Of Hours is printed right there in the rules. It was quite a new experience to see people having fun with the game with my music presumably playing in the background, and it definitely counts as one of those things that I never really knew that I wanted to achieve, and is deeply satisfying.

Back in the non-gaming world it looks as though my piece Levavi Oculos might be getting an airing in November in a concert by Cantores Salicium, the choir for which it was written, and there are whispers of performances of other pieces around as well, all of which looks very promising indeed. Keeping the music out there to be performed and heard is critically important, after all, and is the reason why most of my scores are available for free download, so I am always grateful to anybody who programmes my work, aware and appreciative of the effort that needs to be put in.

In terms of current projects there is the symphony – still – as well as many other pieces dotted around, including another carol and three orchestral works at the last count. These may well suffer the fate of so much of my catalogue and be sent off for a competition or a call for scores, be rejected and then go into storage in some folder or other, but you never know where these kinds of things might lead, and every note written is another decision made, another step along the road to better and more assured music.

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