We've been in rehearsals all day today. 9am to 9pm. It's an utterly gruelling schedule, but we're achieving great things. It's been mostly music all day. Song after song. We throw incredibly complicated harmonies at the cast, and basically hope they'll stick. Often there are three, sometimes four musical rehearsals happening simultaneously. We have a music team of four including me.
I walked the corridors of the school at one point this afternoon and heard snippet after snippet of music from the show... It was like the Brass mega-mix! Here a trumpeter practising complicated runs, there a couple of girls running through a duet from the show. It's a little surreal, really, because in these sorts of instances, you begin to get a sense of your own musical language. The little suspensions, and intervals and runs which crop up in my writing more often than others. The cliches, if you like, of my sonic world.
Still, everyone seems very impressed by the music. Part of me feels incredibly relieved whilst the other part thinks "why wouldn't they be impressed? I've worked hard enough at making it sound this good!"
There are still moments when my heart fills with pride, however. The moments when the cast hears a new song for the first time and get excited or moved by it. The moments when they make a point of coming up to me to say how much they're enjoying the music, or the experience of being in the show. The moments when I see Sara and Matt deep in conversation about some aspect of the piece. My show. The baby I've carefully nurtured and carried around for fifteen months!
We came home this evening and the entire creative team watched an ITV documentary about Pals Regiments, which was really very moving. We crammed into a little television room and had treats and snacks.
There was a rather stirring moment when an ancient man, interviewed in the 1990s, was talking about leaving England on his journey to fight in France and how an entire ship of soldiers spontaneously burst into song. Just at that moment I could hear some of the girls from our cast in a distant room singing through the song in Brass where the women wave their men off to war. It felt like such an extraordinary moment of synergy.