Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Green socks

I slept very badly last night. I've no idea why. I think I had loads of stuff going on in my head, and because I was away from home, I got into that staying up and watching telly thing that you do in hotel rooms. I ended up falling asleep with some live gambling programme burbling away in the background, which has got to be as trashy as it gets. 

I woke up this morning and the glorious sunshine from yesterday had turned into ghastly rain. I'd brought my decent suit jacket down with me and made the decision not to wreck it by wearing it, so went out in a just a T-shirt and a waistcoat for warmth, but was immediately forced to stop at a pharmacy for an umbrella. 

At Hove station I happened upon a group of policemen sitting on a bench, waiting to get on a train. Now, I’m not a massive expert on the etiquette of police uniforms, but it strikes me that green socks and brown suede water-stained shoes are not exactly standard issue? I don’t think you’d find many Met officers chasing criminals through East End streets so artistically attired. 

It's rained on and off all day, really heavily in the afternoon, although the clouds vanished tonight and we were left with a glorious sunset, which we could see reflected on the metal table in PK's loft. 

Speaking of PK's loft, the two of us have just done a mammoth twelve-hour session up there on the Pepys Motet. We have chipped away at it bar-by-by, slowly polishing the piece until it comes into into colour. It's a astonishing complicated composition. I doubt I shall ever write something again which is so ambitious, over-scored and all-encompassing! I have no idea whether people will love it, be perplexed, entranced, moved, embarrassed or terrified. (Very much how I feel when I listen to Berio!) It is the product of so many different variations. It was initially a 40-part motet, then I did five drafts of a 20-part version, and this recording alone has taken us three years. We've added to it here and there as and when we could afford it, we've begged studio time, and stolen ten minutes here and there when other sessions on other projects have under-run. I'm incredibly proud that it's finally coming together. 

But it's slow-going. We've edged our way through two movements today, with another four to go. But we are getting there. I promise!

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