Monday 20 March 2006

What next?

Having completed a clutch of motets for Tempus per Annum I'm trying to work out what to work on next. I am currently sketching out a new mass, mainly because I don't have a recent, uptodate, ordinary 4-part mass; hopefully something with a bit of substance. I'm experimenting with the technique used by renaissance and baroque composers, where the incipit for each movement is the same - but I'm not really very good at sticking to rules like this.

But I have various other ideas which are circling round, none having settled yet. There's a 1-act play which is a modern version of a Jacobean revenge tragedy - its ideal in length but has only 2 characters which is tricky, if I do another opera then I'd like a few more characters, its less taxing for me and for the singers. There's another play based on the case of a Winchester school-boy who was dying and who was fought over by Catholics and Protestants; the play uses a lot of dialogue so, though I like the subject matters there's work to be done in creating a libretto. Then of course, there's the on-going idea to create an oratorio on the subject of Cranmer. But this requires reading of his biography again and the gathering of suitable episodes and texts. Not to mention the vexed problem of trying to estimate how long a libretto you need, I have a terrible tendency to over-write the text and this leads to length problems later.

Besides all this, there is the eternal desire to write more songs, if only I could find some poems that appealed to me; not to mention the on-going problem that if you set a contemporary poet you get into copyright problems. Not even contemporary poets, I've just discovered that Lord Alfred Douglas is in copyright until 2015.

And perhaps I should write another orchestral work, I've got an idea using a solo cello but not sure what shape the work will take.

Knowing me, I'll probably continue writing the mass and more motets until something else really hits me over the head.

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