I am sitting at my desk on another very cold night listening to the friendly geriatric whirr of my faithful printer. It's printing out the 64 page draft of my piece.
Now, before anyone gets too excited (least of all, me), there are still a few gaps that need filling. The piano reduction is half-done, which is a blessing. Man-o-man what a tedious job that is! Although cut-and-paste with Finale 08 is a beautiful thing when doing a piano reduction, so it's made that job slightly less onerous than a friend told me it would be.
The harp part is mostly complete, a few more passages to wrangle. I just love writing for the orchestral harp. I remember the little pnemonic that an Eastman harpist friend told me, in order to remember the pedals, three on the left and four on the right: Did Columbus Bring Enough Food Going (to) America? Thank you to the wonderful Genevieve Lang, TSO harpist, who is happy to answer emails with comprehensive instructions - I love that in a harpist! (And a guitarist... those stringy instruments that I don't play are a little tricky.) Much more useful than being crabby at the composer during rehearsals - believe me I've had that before... not from a harpist, I might add.
There are occasional flashes of articulation and the odd dynamic appears in certain specific passages that I was obviously thinking about somewhat lucidly at the time. Sadly the timpani and percussion parts haven't featured all that prominently in my thinking about this piece. I think that's because it's obviously a choral piece, so I have really been focused on the text and how to harmonise it appropriately. So I need to have a good think about percussion next.
Pens not quite down yet, but the end is in sight. I find it easier at this stage to be able to see all the lines of the stave at one time, something a computer screen doesn't manage unless your monitor is as big as a plasma-screen television. Which mine isn't. But I'll be able to do my best Villa-Lobos impersonation tomorrow while I have two children at home, doing some composing at the dining table with the children playing around me. That is, until one falls over like the sitting skittle she is, and the other badgers me for food every twenty minutes. Ah well, one can dream of getting things accomplished.
And in case anyone is wondering, no we are still not getting enough sleep.