Thursday, 9 September 2010

Aqui esta encerrada el alma de Benjamin

I'm in Vauxhall, which feels like the freakin’ Wild West to a genteel North Londoner like me. It’s full of grotty roads, darkened corners, bright neon lights and dirty bars. There doesn’t seem to be anywhere to go to to escape the noise and speed of inner-city living. Cars roar, club music pounds, tubes rattle. It’s hell encapsulated.

Ironically, I’ve just been to visit a group of folk singers, some of whom, I hope, will perform in The Pepys Motet. It was very interesting listening to them singing my music. In many cases they made total sense of the material. I’ve always had a tendency to write folky-sounding music. The issue they did raise, however, was the possible need for live amplification. Folk singers are not known for their loud voices, and I imagine, without some kind of assistance they’re going to be blasted out of the water by the opera singers, who'll sadly be standing right next to them!

I'm working so hard on this composition. I now know exactly what Elgar meant when he wrote his enigmatic inscription on the score of his violin concerto, “aqui esta encerrada el alma de...”herein is enshrined the soul of...” I don’t know that it would be possible for a writer to pour more of his body and soul into a work, or perhaps more accurately, I didn’t know it was possible for me to pour any more of myself into a composition. I'm now writing in such detail, with such precision and passion, that, for the first time in my life, I’m almost scared to place my trust in a group of musicians to take it to the next stage. I like it sitting here in my head and I'm scared about what the world will say when they hear my actual compositional voice. This isn't pastiche, or sountrack, or music written for a specific performer. This is my music. My voice. My soul. Aqui esta encerrada el amla de Benjamin...

Minty from Eastenders was milling around in the cafe today. He seemed to be with a toddler, who he handed for a while to a policewoman, until the child started to talk into her walkie-talkie and no one knew where to look. Minty, or Cliff, is a great deal more rotund than he looks on the telly. Strange, because they say the TV is meant to add pounds.

The whole court business continues to rumble onwards, like the traffic outside this bar. I’ve now served the papers, or whatever the term is, and the time has passed for the Defendant to get her defence in. This kind of implies she’s opted to do nothing. Perhaps she’s hoping it will all just go away, or maybe she’ll claim she never received the papers. It’s so hard to tell. The MU are advising me to wait a while as it sometimes takes the courts a fairly long period of time to get the papers back out. Her defence may have already been lodged. Whatever the case, it’s a violently hideous experience and I wish it were all over. At the same time, I absolutely refuse to back down. I will not live in a world where hard-working creative people are taken for granted any more than they already are.

September 9th was a Sunday, and Pepys went to St Olave's with his new best buddy, Sir William Penn. Mr Mills the vicar delivered a “very good sermon.” After church, Pepys took Penn home for a Sunday lunch, to introduce him not only to their new home but also to Elizabeth, who Sir William had never met.

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