Tuesday, 28 February 2012

BOO to PRS

I did a morning’s work on the Fleet Singer’s composition, before being engulfed by the London Requiem... Hundreds of emails came dancing into my inbox; all manner of stuff pertaining to arts-based projects in graveyards, and other projects which have nothing to do with graveyards, but everything to do with death. If I wasn’t depressed before reading them, I was afterwards. Sadly, we still have a small amount of fundraising to do to make sure the live performance of the Requiem in September goes smoothly, and I don’t know if I have the head-space to deal with two separate quests for money. Obviously my absolute priority has to be the recording; it has the potential to dramatically change the direction of my career, and it’s the thing that has the power to leave a legacy that will never be deleted. That said, we have to fund the live performance or we’ll end up looking very silly indeed. Somewhere within the murk and gloom of fundraising bids and too many emails are the two commissions that I have to complete by the end of April... If only I were superman!
There’s really not a great deal else to say. I spent the day today applying to the Arts Council for some help with the requiem, because, for the umpteenth time in my career, the man from PRS, he say no! I don’t know what you need to do to get money out of the PRS foundation. I can only assume that their entire system is either based on a series of backhanders awarded to “favourites” or a misleading set of guidelines about what they actually want to fund. Perhaps they’re more interested in avant garde music. Maybe they don’t like community projects, or perhaps they claim to have larger sums of money than are actually available. They turned down Oranges and Lemons, The Pepys Motet, The York 800 project, Metro: The Musical, and now the London Requiem. All of these projects were picked up and funded elsewhere, so it’s not like they were invalid or just a bit crap. PRS always refuses to give feedback about the application process, so everything feels a little murky in complete contrast to the Arts Council which is always very open and honest about what it funds. Hurrah for the Arts Council... Boo to PRS!
I went to the gym and now I feel sick. But look at the Requiometer...

350 years ago, and Pepys’ boy, Wayneman, forgot to wake his master up as early as he’d requested. Pepys decided to whip the lad as punishment, which seems a tad unjust.

He needed to be up early to visit the Duke of York and present him with a “fine” map of Tangiers which had been drawn by a Swedish companion of Lord Sanwich’s. The Duke seemed much taken with his gift, and spent ages, in Pepys’ company, staring at it. Pepys returned from Westminster to find his clerk, Thomas Hater, had taken delivery of half a year’s salary. Pepys, flushed with wealth, and good to his word, asked for a cane, and took his boy into one of the upper rooms of the Comptroller’s House “towards the garden” and “there I reckoned all his faults, and whipped him soundly, but the rods were so small that I fear they did not much hurt to him, but only to my arm, which I am already, within a quarter of an hour, not able to stir almost.” Well, I’m tempted to say it serves him right for being so genuinely horrible.

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