Tuesday, 26 February 2013


I woke up this morning feeling like death warmed up. I hadn’t slept nearly long enough the night before, and was awoken in the night by a curious alarm and flashing light coming from under the curtains in the bedroom. Unbeknownst to me, Nathan had taken possession of some kind of smart phone, which had been given to him in rehearsals as lost property. He’d very kindly decided to take it home and charge it up to find out who it belonged to, but what he didn’t realise is that it was set to ring some kind of bizarre wake-up alarm at shit o’clock in the morning. The thing made me jump out of my skin and in my half-sleeping state I couldn’t work out how to switch it off. I took a look at it earlier actually, and still don't know. It seemed to stop of its own accord, but went off again some ten minutes later, freaking me out all over again. I wanted to throw it at a wall like an alarm clock in a cartoon.

I feel rather like I’ve wasted today. I’ve been working, but at a lethargic kind of pace. I’m in a No-man’s-land between commissions and can’t start writing the White City musical until we’ve found all our contributors in another few weeks. I’ve just put the final touches to the latest draft of the Pepys Motet, and need to turn my attention now to the Four Colours songs, but have that “standing on the edge of a diving board” feeling, where the thought of jumping off and getting embroiled in yet another world of tiny dots on a page is not exactly thrilling. Of course, it’s fine once I’ve started. I just need to take the plunge.

Nathan has just phoned to say that the car’s broken down, which is about the last thing we could do with right now. He’s stuck in a lay-by near the M25, somewhere close to Weybridge, and is terribly hungry. The AA say they might be as long as two hours. Apparently the clutch has stopped working, which sounds horribly expensive and what neither of us has right now is money; certainly not the sort of money it might cost to repair our car. I can’t begin to imagine what kind of a knock-on effect this is going to have. Still, I know of so many people who are having it much worse at the moment, so there’s sod all point in complaining. We all had the option of studying maths at school and going into banking! I don’t think I’d be any happier with lots of money anyhow. I’d just be worrying about a different set of problems. The wealthiest people I know are undoubtedly the most miserable.
Incidentally, can someone tell me what a "classically trained" chef is? I'm often described as a classically trained composer, but surely all composers have learnt a classical instrument at some point, even if it's just the recorder? Would anyone call themselves an "un-classically trained" composer? I remember hearing about a bloke who wrote musicals, once, who made a big thing about the fact that he didn't read music. Music was, according to him, "too constraining." I just laughed. That's like a poet saying they don't know how to hold a pen.

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