Friday 22 September 2000
Starting to get my head around the music for next week’s gig. I always find it difficult to know exactly how to prepare for rehearsals, as so much depends on how the musicians’ personalities interact. With some people, you can start completely open-minded and wait to see what happens on the day. And with others, it’s a good idea to decide beforehand how every single note goes, and then just dictate it ruthlessly. So I’m sitting at the harpsichord thinking ‘how would so-and-so play this bit?’
What makes it more difficult is that there’s no singing in this concert. With vocal music, there’s a text which usually means something, so you can say in rehearsal: this bit should be angry, sexy, tired, contented – whatever, and there’s an instant sense of common purpose. But when you’ve only got notes, they can mean precisely opposite things to two different people, and then those people still have to play them together. Still, I recognise this musing as my usual week-before-the-gig spell of self-doubt, which will pass soon enough.
Had a long meeting with Philip Hobbs at Linn Records this week – as is our wont, we talked about everything other than the next CD, and I got home at about 2am wondering if casting Ewan McGregor in The Gentle Shepherd would really be such a bright idea.
Next week is going to be busy – the morning after the concert I go straight into the studio with my producer’s hat on, to record Mr McFall’s Chamber doing tango numbers.