Space for Music

The ever-decreasing space I’ve had for music

Lately I’ve been both fortunate and unfortunate in equal measure. I’ve taken up a new job – an exciting and stimulating job that has me working in the music industry full-time; I’ve managed to find myself a new home; I’m working on a commission from the London Sinfonietta for a solo double bass piece to be premiered at the Southbank Centre in December; and – the cherry on the cake – my partner will be over from Brazil for Christmas. Good times. On the other hand, the mayhem of moving across the country, having to buy white goods that have since spectacularly failed, and finding the people I need to contact aren’t available at useful times has devoured a significant portion of my life recently. Now I’m happy but exhausted, bereft of mental space, and fast approaching my commission deadline with very little to show for the time I’m supposed to have spent working on it. First world problems, I know. Nevertheless, this evening has been the first real opportunity in a month or so that I’ve had to collate my thoughts on the commission, to challenge myself, and to steer myself clear of writing something well-crafted-but-generic with only a couple of weeks to go.

I’ve decided to blog about the process for two reasons. First, I think more composers (and all creative artists) should be open about their creative processes, partly to share ideas and partly to undermine the idea of the genius-composer working secretively in their ivory tower – a view held by too many people (including composers). Secondly, I’ve been able to draw on a number of creative catalysts from a host of sources, almost none of which are related to dots-on-page musical matters.