I was prepared to finish up “Sun & Moon Circus,” but I got dragged to a social event for a Chinese delegation, where I had some interestingly frank discussion with the coordinator of the program. He kept looking around while we talked.
Still, it’s not like I’m not working on the project. I have a CD of all the piano score arrangements of the entire work, and I’m listening to it in the car, getting in my head the kinds of orchestration I want before I sit down to do each piece.
I also had a lovely idea for staging of the end of “Milky Way.” The poem ends with Blake handing out stars to everyone, but “a handful of dirt to the rat.” The basses speak that line, then the coda sweeps up and out into the night sky. The other members of the cast continue their walk, but the rat is left alone downstage. As the music fades, a star comes within reach, and he reaches up hopefully for it as the lights fade. Good, eh wot?