I hope this evening will prove to be the Motet's darkest hour. I’ve just heard from the school teacher who promised me 7 trebles at the start of the week. He now tells me that the parents of just two have got back to him and furthermore that he could only offer me 40 minutes of practice with them during a lunch break before the recording. Obviously, I've thanked him for his time but told him that it's not going to be feasible. One suspects I gave the appropriate response. Had I suggested we try to make the situation work, I suspect a further email would have arrived with even more caveats! So, with just under a week and a half to go before the recording, I find myself without a choir of children and absolutely no possibility of finding one!
And it gets worse. In the same batch of emails, I also heard from our Royal Navy choir master. Two of their singers have been called in for some kind of appraisal that clashes with our recording session and he doesn't seem to think there's a possibility of finding any deps. We have to keep our fingers crossed that they can make the one other date in the studio I've been able to offer them.
And the woes continue... One of my folk singers may or may not be going into hospital on Friday which may or may not mean she can do the recording.
I still haven’t got a bass or a tenor in the gospel choir and one of the girls from said choir now tells me it’s more important for her to practice her jazz music the week of the recording than it is for her to rehearse my music. I’ve suggested that she might like to get involved in a different project. Maybe one that involves singing jazz music instead!
I feel resentful. I’m angry with the people, all the way along on this journey, who've taken forever to get back to me only to say they can’t help. I’m angry with silly people who can’t say no, so instead say yes, and then try to force me to say no on their behalf. I'm angry that it takes an hour each day to write a blog that no one seems to be reading, because if they were, more people would have told me that they were interested in coming to watch the bloomin’ piece. I’m angry that I can throw so much energy, passion and love into a project and end up in a place where I simply don’t know if I can move forward. I’m angry with people who earn money, and people who don’t have holes in their socks. I’m angry with religion. I am angry with Haringey council for chopping down our trees. I’m angry that I don’t know which way to turn and have no one to talk to about it. I am angry that I am feeling out of control and lost. I am handing the world something very precious and not enough people seem to care...
If I had a garden and a shed filled with unused flower pots, I'd go out there right now and smash the lot against the back wall!
Deep breath. All things must be kept in perspective. Nobody's died. People deal with far worse than this. The heart in my chest, that's currently beating at twice its normal speed, is a healthy heart. I no longer have constant pain in my feet. The sun shone all day and Iran has not yet attempted to blast Israel off the face of the earth. And Alfie Boe and his beautiful wife just cooked me a fabulous roast meal!
But is the Pepys Motet just too ambitious a project for one man to do on his own?
Problem is, I'm not a quitter. Giving up simply plays into the grubby little hands of the hoards of ridiculous people in this world who tell me what I'm doing is too ambitious. They periodically crawl out of the woodwork and predict failure it because it makes them feel wise and smug. Some predict failure because they're jealous, others try to derail the project early on, because they know if it happens, it will involve their being forced to do something they'll resent because it takes them out of their comfort zone or requires them to donate their time.
So I have to move forward..
Problem is, I don't know how.
Pepys started his day 350 years ago with a trip to Newgate Jail, where he hoped to see the execution of two more of Charles Ist’s regicides. Unfortunately, the blood-thirsty Pepys found they’d been given a reprieve until the following morning, so he took himself to his Aunt Fenner’s for a morning draft and then pottered off to see his father to demand a pair of breeches be lined in time for the winter.
He had lunch with his wife and Will Hewer's parents, whom he met for the first time. He returned home to find a very rude note from the precocious 8 year-old he'd avoided the day before. It seems Elizabeth had sent her a pair of doves, which the ghastly girl had returned because they'd not been offered in a high enough quality cage! Little wonder that Pepys hid in the garden.