Small beginnings, major triumph and Matilda

Today’s is a portmanteau post. I will start with the major triumph which is that Carrion Comfort has, at long, long, long, long last, gone to the printers. Yup, it’s done. I have had to make a couple of compromises because of the amateur nature of the ensemble it’s destined for, but the original timpani part at least will go into the final post-(hopeful)-workshop score. I felt it would just confuse when sending the score to a group I know doesn’t have timpani.

And tonight we went to see Tim Minchin’s musical version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. It was supposed to be D’s Christmas present, but he didn’t like it pretty much at all, while Djeli and I agreed that we can squish up our list of “Best Theatrical Performances Ever” to make room for another one. Amazing stuff, great voices, the kids in the cast were simply astonishing. It was funny and heartbreaking and the staging was superb. I could find nothing wrong with it all. Get a ticket. That’s all there is to be said. How could you miss a bunch of extraordinarily talented kids singing a song called “Revolting Children” and loving every minute of it?

Today has also, of course, been the first day of the RPM Challenge. Obviously most of my time has been taken up with getting Carrion Comfort out of the house, but I was able to spend some time thinking about RPM, I pulled out Egg the Ninth and tinkered around with the time signatures which need changing (I think it should be in a mix of 6/8 and 9/8, not just one or the other). I also came up with an idea for an improv piece – create a tape part using the field recordings of trams and some other street sounds in Zurich several years ago, then improvise a flute part over the top. I’ve got some ideas I’ve been thinking about for the various flute pieces I have to write in the next few months and I might use this as an opportunity to mess about with them and see what happens.

I can’t believe how excited I am about RPM now. It’s like getting rid of Carrion Comfort (which had become a bit of an albatross around my neck) has been such a relief, I just want to work on something that’s about as different as it can be – which is what RPM represents. I’ve started re-reading Michael Nyman’s Experimental Music too – just seemed like the right time to revisit this one. So many ideas floating around! Hope I can get down to some real work tomorrow!

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