Today we had our final rehearsal, prior to the premiere of Toi Huarewa. It’s been an amazing process and, as usual, I’m anticipating the performance with a mixture of excitement and terror.
There really is something surreal about spending so many months immersed in a project, and then seeing all of that time and care finally being concentrated into a single moment in time – having it travel into the ears and memories of other people. In a way, it’s like watching water rushing down a plug-hole… it might seem to be draining slowly at first, but in the end it disappears quickly and violently.
There’s a part of me that hates to finish a piece – I have a beloved collection of unfinished pieces at home and every now and then I revisit them, write a bit more, change things, remove things… and generally revel in the fact that, until I decide otherwise, their final form is plastic and unknown. Perhaps it’s because so much of my musical life is spent working to deadlines, but I don’t know if I’ll ever come to terms with surrendering my more private music to the outside world.
Writing a commission has a great freedom to it… you can present anything you want… but there is the small matter of the piece needing to be finished for the performance.
Which is not to say that I’m not looking forward to it! The music couldn’t be in better hands than those of the dexterous and sympathetic NZTrio and Horomona Horo, who have been the happiest and most inspiring of performers and collaborators.
Here’s a link to a lovely article that William Dart wrote about Toi Huarewa in todays New Zealand Herald. To read it, click here.