No Room at the Inn…

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As you’ll see from the notice on the front page, I am not taking any new orders for bespoke arrangements for the time being. It’s not that I’ll be slowing down in my arranging activity – it’s just that I’m booked up now until September, and that’s enough for the time being.

It was towards the end of last summer that I decided to regulate the flow of arrangement commissions by scheduling two per month. I had been hammering hard at it for some months already, and the requests started to come in faster than I could cope with them. It wasn’t just that I wanted to do other things with my every waking minute (I rather like going out and working with real live singers as well, for example), it was that I was starting to feel almost bloated with the amount of music I was absorbing in the process.

So, having booked up the two slots per month this far ahead, I have decided to stop accepting commissions until nearer the time I will be able to fulfil them. This is for both pragmatic and artistic reasons.

Pragmatically, in 7 months all kinds of things can happen to an ensemble. Quartets can split up or get a change of line-up for all kinds of unforeseen reasons. Happy occasions like pregnancies or promotions can have as devastating effect on a quartet’s long-term viability as unhappy ones like illness or interpersonal friction. Choruses tend to be a little more stable, but director changes can’t always be predicted, and the new incumbent may not want to be held to the repertoire planning decisions made by the outgoing one.

Artistically, any group that’s using its rehearsals to good effect will have changed in 7 months. The sound will be different, the ranges may have grown, the performing confidence and capacity to embrace challenging material will have developed. When people commission arrangements, they have an idea about how they’d like to grow with the song, the journey they want to take with it. After 7 months’ wait, the starting point of that journey will have moved, and the route they need to take next may not lie with the same song, or even with the same arranger.

So, I am going to stop taking orders for the time being, and knuckle on down with the work already scheduled. And I’m not going to keep a list of people wanting to get on the waiting list either (before someone asks!) – for the same reason that by the time I re-open it, they may have moved on.

In the meantime, I’ve got lots of cool songs coming out of their exclusivity period and into my catalogue, so nobody’s going to run out of fun things to sing!

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