Thursday, 22 December 2011

Multi-task-tastic!

I’m multi-tasking like a crazy thing. I’m doing five minutes of tidying, whilst thinking of lyrics for the Hattersley piece, before washing the floor, before sending emails to recording studios, before sitting down with interview transcripts and thinking of more lyrics, before sending text messages to Paul in Manchester to find out if elderly Mancunians use the word “grand” in the same way as Yorkshire folk. I’m on fire! (Incidentally Paul maintains that the word “sound” is more appropriate than "grand", but if anyone reading this has any thoughts, then please add a comment...)
I worked in the cafe all morning, trying to whip the Hattersley songs into shape. I now have a rough framework. I know what needs to be said, and am debating leaving quite a lot of the lines verbatim – simply setting exactly what was said in interview to music. It means there won’t be any rhymes, but I’m not sure that matters. It’s much more authentic. Besides, Kate Bush very rarely rhymes her lyrics.
We’re off to the Midlands tomorrow for Christmas, which explains the cleaning frenzy. I want to have the house looking decent before Nathan gets back from work, but there’s also that hideous sense that the world will stop if things aren’t sorted before the big day. You try to meet friends for a pre-Yuletide drink. You leave your house nice and tidy. You deal with every last piece of admin in your inbox. In my world, if it’s not sorted before Christmas, nothing will happen before the end of January. People who work in telly must really cane it at the New Year. They don’t even return to their offices until about the 10th!

I had lunch with Fiona and Paul today who are back from Prague, where it apparently snowed “filmically”. I am obviously very jealous. I would absolutely love a holiday.

In the last ten minutes I swept through the bathroom and cleaned the sink and the bath before sticking my hand all the way down the pan of the loo. I feel rather proud of myself for doing that... I’m hardcore. I didn’t even use a rubber glove. I don’t like rubber gloves. They’re weirdly kinky.  

We have a record company interested in releasing the Requiem should we find the funds to get it recorded. They’re well-respected and I would be more than happy to go with them. Gone are the days when record companies would hand over ridiculous sums of money to make albums. Even the big companies are not prepared to take a risk, so the model these days is that you have to record it first and then find the company who will release it. I guess it’s similar to film in that respect – and it allows a creative person a great deal more control. Anyway, I’ve done a costing – and come up with a figure of £20K (over half of which would be used to pay musicians and singers.) It sounds like a lot of money, because it IS a lot of money – but when you consider that there are shows in the West End which need to take £200,000 per week in ticket sales just to break even, then the figure suddenly seems rather reasonable. The joy with a recording is that it never goes away. It could suddenly chart in ten years' time.

This project isn’t about hand-outs, however, it’s about investment, so I will come up with a plan early in the New Year and start ruthlessly searching for wealthy people with a few extra pounds in this hideous financial climate. If the same number of people brought the London Requiem as bought the DVD of A Symphony For Yorkshire, we’d make a profit, which is a comforting thought.

350 years ago, and Pepys was picking arguments with his wife again; “home to dinner, and there I took occasion, from the blacknesse of the meat as it came out of the pot, to fall out with my wife and my maid for their sluttery, and so left the table, and went up to read.”

I think Pepys probably soon regretted his grumpy outburst, for later on, when he and Elizabeth went to church, they found themselves joined in their posh gallery pew by Captain Robert Holmes in his “gold-laced suit”. Pepys was wary of Holmes because of some “old business” involving Elizabeth, which obviously dated to the time before the diary. One assumes it was some kind of sexual advance, which is why Pepys was so intimidated by the man appearing in his fancy suit, just after he’d given his wife a million and one reasons to be unhappy!

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