Sunday, 28 November 2010

My own choir

It must be freezing cold outside. There's still frost on the trees and the sun, which is the colour of golden syrup, is really low in the sky. It's nearly 4pm and I've done nothing but sit on my sofa underneath a rug, whilst watching the telly. I’m waiting for Nathan to get back from his rehearsal for Just So and then we’re going to bed down with a nice stir fry.

I'm currently toying with the seed of an idea, which is to create my own ensemble. I love my career. I love creating works for very specific ensembles in very specific corners of the world, but I also have to acknowledge that there often isn’t the potential for what I write to be performed again, and that's an incredibly important part of being a composer. I've never had anything published, for example, and that upsets me.

I've therefore decided to try and form a 16-voice choir, who will specialise in singing documentary compositions; works which are based on actuality, but could also be easily adapated for and performed by any choir. I would write much of the repertoire, but we’d also perform other work that fits the brief; even if this involves performing music by Purcell, for example, within the context of what was happening in the world at the time. I’d want the ensemble to be gifted singers, all able to perform as soloists, but with voices which have the capacity to blend as a chorus as well as being able to convey the emotion central to the works we perform.

In theory it all sounds incredibly exciting, but no doubt it will involve a great amount of hard word as I try to track down singers who want to join me on the journey. I’ve even thought about the first work I’d write for the ensemble; a choral piece based on letters written during the two world wars.

They say money breeds money, and on November 28th 1660 was Pepys received two large payments amounting to a mini-fortune of around 40l, which keen readers will remember was about the sum total of his worth at the start of the year. He was also thrilled to discover that his salary at the Navy office had been okayed by the treasury, so the money would continue to roll in at least for the time being. Unsurprisingly, there was much praising of God etc... Pepys was never happier than when earning huge sums of money!


  1. Count me in for choir if you need me! If I'm in the right country at the right time, that is..

  2. What a brilliant idea...can;t wait to hear the choir.