They were back on Sunday.

The two crows.

As I walked up the small incline that lead out of the field to the edge of the Adur river, there they were. Once more they landed before me, then took off, played on the wind, landed, walked a little ahead of me.

Oscar completely ignored them – far more interested in the river, or finding a stick.

I’d been to the river many times since they last behaved in that way, but here they were again.

I had written the spoken word sections of the Third Branch of the Mabinogi many months ago but just couldn’t find a quiet enough couple of hours to record them. The spoken word sections of the Second Branch had been recorded whilst the white cloak of the Beast from the East lay outside. Snow covered the roads, and very little traffic passed by our house that day. It was perfect. I had tried a number of times to record the Third Branch but then the sand-blasting of the power station chimney started, or a moped or a petrol-head with their huge exhaust went by, or a slow train, or a light aircraft from Shoreham airport. They were the worst. I could hear them miles away, very slowly getting closer, the passing by achingly slow, until the sound lessened and I could start again, only for another to come along moments later.

It just didn’t work.

But there they were.

The two crows.

Looking up at me saying, “Come on! Get on with it! Finish our tale!”

So at about 9.00 pm on Sunday night, I headed into the studio to try again. It was much quieter, most of the cars had stopped, the light aircraft had been grounded, just a few trains. I read the tale and recorded it. But just as before, the first time I read it through the pace of my words were just that little bit too fast. So I started again and slowed right down. I finished at about 11.15 pm and didn’t listen to it back straight away.

Yesterday afternoon I did the editing and I have to say I’m so pleased with the result! The pacing was right and, although I had written the words, hearing it through as you will when you get it brought the tale so much more to life for me. I can hear where the incidental music and the songs will go.

The project has now truly begun.

It’s taken some time. By this time last year I was just about to invite some friends over for a ‘beta test’ night, with them listening to the nearly-completed album. I’m nowhere near that moment yet, but it’s so good to feel the cogs working again. I have a tune for the first song, and I think the melody of that song might influence the theme and opening orchestral movement too, but we shall see how that goes.

My friends, Y Mabinogi – The Third Branch, is under way!