Three weeks ago, I noted that I was finishing up my ninth straight commission and wondered what the post-commission depression would feel like. Funny, instead of depression, I’ve been feeling pretty elated so far. I’ve actually taken three weeks off from composing – the most in twenty years – and I’m enjoying it immensely. It’s nice to wrap my mind around other things that deserve my attention.
During the day, that is. I’ve had a bunch of restless nights this month, with very vivid music that keeps my mind from shutting down into sleep. Music for all manner of ensembles, from little solo pieces to immense orchestral works. It’s the kind of experience that gives me moments of pleasure, but longer stretches of discomfort, as it becomes apparent that I am in for another whirl of tossing and turning in the dark.
I think my mind is grappling with the sudden immensity of options. For twenty years, I’ve been going to bed at night knowing what kind of compositional work I’d be doing the following day. Now it could be anything, or nothing. As I try to drift off, more musical gestures float by – some very vague, some remarkably clear – than I could possibly get to the following day, month or year.
Oddly enough, when daytime comes, I feel pretty good about not working on anything. We’ll see how long that lasts.