Thursday, 22 September 2011

Waiting for a call

Day 97 of my cold, and things seems to be turning nasty again. Plainly the antibiotics aren’t working. Today I started to wonder if I have pneumonia, or TB, or some new air-born disease that there’s no name for yet. Or perhaps it’s simply my body saying; “don’t ever put me through that level of stress again.” I tend to think that bodies are very good at letting a brain know when enough is enough! I’m cooking a big plate of chips for Nathan, ‘cus God knows we deserve something nice for tea. After eating, we shall curl up like little prunes and another night will pass...

I picked up the car from the MOT place today. No work has been done on it, and we’ve taken the decision that it’s better for the car to be with us whilst we enter the process of trying to get the garage to accept responsibility for the problem. From my perspective they're very clearly in the wrong, but then again, I thought doing 4 months’ work on a music commission would guarantee my being paid. I’m obviously slightly out of touch! Anyway, I walked down to the garage, the cold making me sweat profusely with every step. I spoke to the mechanic, who is a slightly peculiar chap with little sense of social etiquette. What seems particularly weird is that he refuses to “bother” his boss with the problem, because his boss is “a very busy man.” So we’re in a bit of a stand-off. How does one get in contact with a boss who is protected so carefully by his staff? We've sent an email and are waiting for his call...

The rest of the day has found me revisiting old scores, most notably those from Someone Whistled, which was the disastrous opera/ vanity project that cost me a fortune in 1997. Philippa, who produced the piece, sent me a text after I’d written about it in the blog a few days ago to say, “Aw, Someone Whistled! A learning curve... Anyway, it looked and sounded fantastic even if no one saw it!” And this got me thinking. Perhaps it wasn’t quite as bad as I’d always believed. I think when you’re hit with a commercial and critical catastrophe, it begins to take on a sort of mythical status as the years roll by. Every time I thought about the work, it tended to take another step away from being the piece I was so proud of creating on its opening night. It would be impossible for the work to be as appalling as I’d remembered it, so, I got the scores out a few days ago and started to work my way through them. Arnold Wesker always used to describe the show as being “filled with the promise and naiveté of a young, gifted composer.” I don’t know about the gifted bit, the work is certainly naive, but it also had some rather lovely musical moments. I recorded two of the tracks a few years ago, to sort of save them from obscurity (hear them on my website here), but I believe there are at least two other songs from the piece which also deserve not to be forgotten... So I’m dusting them off, and re-orchestrating them.

Sunday September 22nd, and Pepys went to church in Brampton with his father. They heard a "dull" sermon by one Mr Case, who redeemed himself slightly by singing well. There’s little else to say. Things are quiet out in the sticks.

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