Saturday, 18 August 2012

The hottest day

I woke up on the hottest day of the year almost sad that I couldn't spend the day soaking up the sun. The sea at the end of Fiona's road was deep blue and inviting, so I threw caution to the wind and took myself for a vegetarian cooked breakfast on the beach. You could tell that the good people of Hove were preparing for a scorcher. There was an air of relaxed barminess, and the seafront businesses were plainly preparing for an influx of tourists. 

Unfortunately this hot day seems to have coincided with a nasty attack of hay fever. I'm sort of wondering if it's not also a case of unfamiliar pollens in the air in the beautiful rural retreat where we're working. Whatever the case, my nose is running and I'm sneezing like a trouper! I've been sitting for most of the day with a pair of tissues stuffed into my nostrils. There's watery snot pouring out! As the day goes on, and the studio we're in gets hotter and hotter, I begin to wonder if we're actually melting! 

I arrived at the studios to hear Pie Jesu coming out of the upstairs window, which sounds magical. We're now working on the most insane movement of the lot; the Libera Me. When I started to write the requiem, Nathan made me promise that there would be at least one movement where I wasn't afraid to "go big." (This, from the man who says, like John Lewis, I've "never knowingly under-scored...")  He got his wish, because the Libera Me is just enormous. Heaven knows what was going through my head when I wrote it. It sounds like I opened a box of musical instruments and rolled them all simultaneously across the floor. It's six minutes of perpetual semi-quaver, hell-burning, finger-busting, vocal-chord stripping, "breathe-and-you miss-it" mayhem.  Until we've mixed it, I don't even know if it's going to work! At the moment PK is simply wading through the treacly madness. It could be extraordinary. One thing's for certain. It's completely out of control! The choir's vocals in the first 20 bars are right on the edge of a) decency b) sanity and c) being in tune! 

The day ended in Bermondsey where I dropped off Janie's artwork to a photographer in the most amazing art deco complex called Alaska House, which genuinely feels like somewhere in Florida! It's midnight. I'm sitting outside. I just want to go home.

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