I've spent more time on this 5 minute anthem than I spent on the 45 minute wine and cheese cantata. It’s finally finished. It’s been hard work and a lot of revision. The move I suspect, has disrupted my instincts. Still, whether it's the high road of inspiration or the low road of deliberate craft and much redrafting is irrelevant to an audience. Because I’m writing the anthem set in Egypt, I based the piece in Dorian mode, which apparently appealed to ancient Egyptians because it has the same tone/semitone pattern ascending and descending. It was good to explore dorian for a choir ie harmonically. The progression of chord III to IV to V (with a raised leading note) has three major chords, a tone away from each other. Which makes for a bright sentence! I’ll be able to share it with you after it’s premiered in December.
In the meantime, I have also been working on a poem in response to a stunning dance company's work on the stories of people from Fukushima and their experience of the 2011 tsunami. It felt similarly hard to write about, I was collecting more and more pages of notes and snippets. But the emotion is too big to try on - to write from inside - it's too much. Thankfully the muse turned up and said the beauty of the dance came from reporting the facts. Just be matter of fact. Hopefully that'll work for the anthem too.