Tuesday, 22 January 2013


I started to condense the Pepys Motet today from a work for 40 singers, to a work for 20. I want the Rebel Chorus to be able to sing it, and feel a piece for 20 voices is probably more commercially viable – especially if we’re going to try and record it.

It’s proving almost impossible to cut half of the parts. The original score is ridiculously complicated and I don’t want to end up with a piece where the 20 singers sing almost constantly just so that all the harmonies are covered. It’s all about thinning things out, without losing the essence of the writing. My friend Fiona once very wisely told me that the key to good writing was to get everything on the page... and then cut half, so that’s what I’m going to do. Unfortunately, my original files keep crashing, so I sense a long, thankless task ahead of me. Still, I’m glad to be back in the game with a project I can sit in cafes working on!

We went to the gym this afternoon and Nathan took me through a series of stretches in front of the mirror. Believe it or not, I haven’t looked at myself in a mirror for some time, and did not like the little frumpy dumpling that was staring back at me. I also didn’t like the fact that I’m almost entirely without coordination. I simply couldn’t make my body move in the way that Nathan was moving. He’s suggested I try yoga. My osteopath says all my leg muscles are over-developed and need to be repeatedly stretched, so he might be on to something. I just think I’d feel like a bit of a tit in a yoga class. I also think that women wouldn’t necessarily appreciate a man in their midst whilst they stretch their legs around their shoulders with their biddy bits all over the place. Yoga feels very much like a private women’s club. I don’t know why. I’m acutely aware that many men do it...

Cas the rat had a lovely run around the living room today, and spent a good deal of time behind the sofa ripping up pieces of paper, which is his favourite thing to do, so he’s on his way to recovery. His appetite, however, seems to have not fully returned, or possibly altered. Difficult, because our only way of administering pain killers is through his food, and he regularly turns his nose up at what we offer!

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