Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Redemption from Tyranny

It’s been a somewhat frantic day. I’m feeling a very tangible sense that time is running out. I sat in the cafe composing for 6 hours flat, desperately trying to make inroads into the last movement whilst wishing that I could press a button and hold time, even for just a day, so that I could finish what I’m doing and then dive back into the world when I’m ready for it to start turning again.

I’m afraid there’s not much more to report. It’s been raining miserably all day and water has been dripping through the skylights in our loft and onto the bed up there. I’m currently taking a break to eat some food and watch Britain’s Got Talent, but then the work needs to start again. I can see myself having to write until the wee smalls...

Some of the musicians from the project are now phoning up to point out some of the mistakes I’ve made in the process of writing up the parts. Obviously it’s incredibly important that they feel they can do this, but it can be highly stressful and ends up lodging unnecessesary seeds of doubt in my mind. It makes the limited rehearsals I have in Yorkshire even more important, especially for some of the stranger instruments in the piece...

Friday 1st June 1660, and Pepys “fooled away” the afternoon with endless games of ninepins, all of which he lost. Letters came from London bringing news from a city that was feeling “gallant and joyful.” Parliament had ordered that the King’s birthday, May 29th, should be kept forever as a “day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny.” I’m not sure Parliament stipulated how long “forever” needed to be, but I’m pretty certain the bank holiday we've just had celebrated Whitsunday rather than an escape from tyranny!

Pepys discovered that his wife had been in London for the past week, and had therefore been lucky enough to witness the King’s entrance into the city. Much as I’m sure she found the whole experience hugely exciting, the message that came back to her husband was loud and clear. She was missing him, missing her home in Axe Yard and she wanted him back...

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