Yes, we have 19 bars and things are looking up. I should say, that's 19 bars of vocal music, but I'm still pleased about it.
Of course, if my daughter decided she'd sleep during the day instead of shout at me, it would make life a little easier. But them's the breaks.
I am working on a Gwen Harwood poem. However I just heard from the publishers that they do not hold the rights to the poem so I've had to write to someone else about it. I hope they let me use the poem, it would be a big step backwards to have to find another one. You've got to love a text that starts:
"Late-night music: frogs' irregular rhythm,
bubble-recitative across the hill."
It's interesting when setting very musically-inspired texts, and ones that use direct links such as the names of instruments or obvious statements like "irregular rhythm" because it's very easy to be obvious right back in the way one shapes the music, the metre, the instrumentation. I find that I try to avoid the obvious links, but it's rare to find a wonderful poem that sounds musical enough without having to draw attention to it. So where it says "frog-fugue", I won't be writin' a fugue. Too hard! I think I'll let the text speak for itself. As it should.