Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose and poetry

Tanka #11 / Novel Writing/ Early Music Concerts


Lost in her tale,
the writer became a fox
leaping boundaries.
See that bushy red tail
vanishing into the blue.


This tanka is a surreal explanation of why I’m being less attentive to my fellow bloggers than usual. Please bear with me, as  I’ve reached the halfway mark with my work-in-progress started on January 1st. My speculative novel has removed me to a different time and place, but I should return to relative normality by mid-July.

At present, our town’s annual cultural festival is taking place. It opened on 30th March and runs until 21st April. Although this festival is eating into my writing time, it does stop me becoming surgically attached to my computer. Last week, our early music chamber choir, LuxAeterna, gave a recital, which included in the programme a fiendishly difficult, not often performed Mass by Giovanni Animuccia (c 1500-1571).


LuxAeterna Early Music Chamber Choir

For those who are interested, here’s our programme (all music composed before c 1630):

The Curtain drawn – Giles Farnaby
A little pretty bonnie lass – John Farmer
Il bianco e dolce cigno – Jacob Arcadelt
Le Sourvenir – Robert Morton
Though Philomela lost her love – Thomas Morley
Thus said fair Chloris bright – John Wilbye
Flow not so fast ye fountains – John Dowland
(Organ – Canzona Ariosa by Andrea Gabrielli)
Au joli bois – Claudin de Sermisy
Chambriere – Jean Planson
Il est bel est bon – Pierre Passereau
Ave verum corpus – Solesmes
Sacerdotes Domini – William Byrd
Adoramus te – Jacob Clemens non Papa
(Organ -Variations on ‘Mein junges Leben hat ein Eng’ by Jan Pietersoon Sweelinck)
Hymnus ‘Condiro Alme Siderum’
Miss ‘Conditor Alme Siderum’ (Kyrie, Sanctus, Benedictus, & Gloria) – Giovanni Animuccia

My husband, Victor, also gave a harpsichord recital on an instrument he has restored and re-strung. This was a nerve-wracking experience for him, as this was his first full length recital on the instrument and he didn’t know if the strings would hold up to prolonged use. Fortunately, he didn’t have to stop playing to re-tune the instrument and there were no embarrassing loud pings in the middle of a piece. My job was as page-turner, which rather daunted me, as harpsichord music has loads of ornamentation which is open to interpretation by the player. This means that there are all sorts of twiddly bits that are not fully written out, making it very hard for a page-turner to follow the music.

The maestro himself

Victor at the harpsichord

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10 thoughts on “Tanka #11 / Novel Writing/ Early Music Concerts

  1. It’s nice to read about others spending hours “playing” with words too. I sometimes have the impression nobody understands the satisfaction we get from a well written piece, at least in our humble opinion.
    Thanks for sharing!


    • Oh, yes, that feeling of satisfaction 🙂 When I read back work I’ve written, I often wonder where all my strange words and concepts come from. I guess it’s down to the Muse.
      Thanks for visiting.


  2. No worries Sarah – we all understand 😉
    Go forth and conquer!!


  3. The festival sounds fun! Oh yes we understand days get busy 🙂


  4. Dear Sarah,
    Real life before blogging! I am so proud of you! Halfway through a novel is HUGE! And you are finding a balance and inspiration with your music. Thank you for sharing that part of your life with us too.


    • I’m feeling very neglectful of my blogging friends. Just really behind with everything — especially housework D: Have to clean the kitchen floor and toilets, before Mister complains that my writing is taking up too much time!

      The way for me to liberate some extra time, is to get on faster in the morning. I get out of bed between 6-6.30 every day, but never seem to get to the breakfast table until 8.30 at the earliest. I don’t know where the time goes.


  5. I am a big fan of early music. I would love to hear you sing.


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