Alastair tells me that he found himself having to explain about my “artistic schizophrenia” this morning, after confusion arose over the fact that my newly-completed song cycle (which he is premiering at the Fitzwilliam museum this Sunday) bears little resemblance to Tony Blair – the Musical. Clearly my vaguely modernist tendencies, considered altogether too conservative when I was studying composition at university, are going to upset people hoping that Alastair will be singing a cycle of pastiche Cole Porter and power ballads with the odd lyric comparing Michael Howard’s face to an arse.
“Versatility” might have been a kinder word to use than schizophrenia, I feel. That said, the whole “popular” style vs “serious” style discussion seems a little odd to me when my harmonic and melodic language is pretty consistent throughout. But perhaps you have to be me to spot that.
The musical is going well, by the way. I’m very happy with at least 70% of it, Chris Mundy is doing a superb job of orchestrating it, the cast we have are unbelievably talented and I canâ€™t wait for rehearsals to begin (just two weeks more to wait). I spent much of the last month stuck on Tony Blairâ€™s final song, knowing that it had to strike just the right balance of pathos, sincerity and poetry, then Blair made a speech exactly a week ago that showed me exactly what I should be aiming for. Job done. Heâ€™s even chosen a perfect leaving date to tie in with our press releases.
Since Iâ€™m on the subject itâ€™s probably worth reminding you that you can help the show out financially by buying a peerage at our website – and I have to say, the certificates of conferment we’re dishing out look pretty stunning on any wall. When I saw them I very nearly forked out for a peerage myself, before realising that Iâ€™ve already put an absurd amount of money into the show myself and probably ought to be able to claim some kind of royal title by now.