Friday, 21 November 2014


You know those days when the s**t hits the fan and just keeps hitting it; almost as though there's a chimpanzee on the prowl, flinging the poo of every member of his extended family directly into the blades? That! My body has reacted physically. My neck is in spasms, it hurts when I swallow and I keep going dizzy. Joy!

I slept for eleven hours last night, and woke up naturally for the first time in an age. As a result, I experienced a series of peculiar dreams as I drifted in and out of sleep. I can't remember any of them, but woke up feeling anxious, so they can't have been a great deal of fun.

The morning was spent emailing. Emailing, emailing. Admin. Admin. We're trying to sort out some potential dates for the Brass cast recording, which is a most complicated jigsaw puzzle, involving the availabilities of fifty young performers, plus, more crucially, a series of recording studios, who all seem to be curiously busy in early January. It's hell on toast.

The frustration really started ramping it up on my way to the gym when I received an email from a friend which made me feel dreadful, and then, as I came out, I found a parking ticket on my car. The last time we went to the gym, we were handed a little permit which allows us to park in the car park for free. I immediately placed mine on the dashboard and said it had to stay there because it's exactly the sort of thing I'd forget. It turns out the silly thing must have blown away, because it was no longer there this afternoon. Hence the fine. Hence me going into slight meltdown.

At that point I simultaneously found out that the two dates I'd earmarked for brass player sessions on Brass were problematic for players, and then, via a generic "Dear Sir/Madam" email, that our song has not been shortlisted for this year's Eurovision. If I'm completely honest, I wasn't really expecting it to be. The BBC plainly has its own desperate-to-fail agenda when it comes to the competition. The generic letter was at least one step-up on the response to the last song I entered, which wasn't even acknowledged! Apparently, due to the large number of people who entered, they can't give us individual feedback regarding why we weren't selected, but they very kindly wished me luck in the future. Talk about feeling crushed by a brutal machine. I'm a soddin' BBC composer! And I'm 40!

I personally believe that if people have taken time to find singers and create demos, and you're a subsidised broadcaster, you have a duty to find the five minutes it takes to tell them why they've not been successful. They plainly weren't inundated with entries. Frankly, anyone with an ounce of compassion would realise that you have to be a little bit careful with the feelings of creative people if you want them to continue to create in the future. What makes things even more perplexing is that I'd just sent an email to the woman at the BBC I'd been exchanging countless Eurovision-related emails with, asking if there was any news. A politer individual might have emailed me back with a personal message.

It reminded me of the time I was called in for a meeting with Stephen Daldry and half a tonne of other swanky people about the possibility of my becoming the resident director on Billy Elliot. We had a lovely dinner in a pub and a two-hour chat. A few weeks later, a letter came through the post which read, "Dear Mr Till, thank you for your interest in this position. There were a number of very strong applicants for the role, and I'm really sorry we didn't get a chance to meet with you on this occasion. Good luck with your future career etc etc..." Sometimes a generic letter can cut to the heart!

...Oh, I shall be watching very carefully to see what the BBC actually selects this year. If it's anything short of genius I shall stamp my little foot incredibly hard. And next year? Well, I shall turn my attention to a different European country and show the BBC how it's bloody done!

I'm currently speeding my way back to Highgate after a phone message from my neighbour, Little Welsh Natalie, who tells me that we are currently experiencing a power cut! A power cut?! Oh joy of joys! What next?

Basically, the moral of this blog is that if anyone else has some poo to fling at me, they might as well do it right now. Gladiators? Ready! Poo flingers? Ready! I'm gonna eat myself into a coma.

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