I took this commemorative snap of the side of my keyboard having finished my latest composition a few weeks ago. If you know your Bible, you’ll be able to work out that the text I’ve just finished setting to music, on the left hand side page facing Psalm 1, must be the last page of the Book of Job. (I wish I could have set every single word of this great, enigmatic, poetic book, but I’m not Wagner.)
This has been a Proms commission,which I’ve been working at over the last eight months, and it was a great feeling to have sent everything off, including even the programme note, in the weeks before the Proms season announcement today . So often (I think I can speak for a few colleagues here as well as myself) this press conference comes just when you’re most desperately scribbling to meet the deadline, and generally acts as a rather horrible reminder of how much more there is to do.
On the day of the launch, someone helpfully warned me that that because our concert (by the BBC Singers and the Nash Ensemble under David Hill) is on a Saturday afternoon in a non-Albert Hall venue (Southwark Cathedral) it may not figure so strongly on the Proms’ radar. If so, that seems to me quite wrong for such a wonderful space, ensemble and programme (including a Palestrina Mass) so I’m going to be mentioning it regularly on the blog in the months to come. Tickets for these ‘off-site’ concerts go on sale on 23 June, and the concert takes place on 12 August.