All of this is very inspiring to me, as I've been interested in the stories of Scott and Shackleton for some time. I wrote some themes and put them together in an overture to get a feel for the task. I've just added this to my player, so please take a listen and let me know if you like it!
This was my first experience of a really tight deadline, as I began on Tuesday and had to have it ready by Friday. It taught me a few things about how important it is for composers undertaking such work to look after their health. I was doing a day job each day, and staying up until 3am writing music. On one of the nights I got to bed at 6am and got up at 7am. How I managed to get through the next day, I'm not sure. All I know is that I kept going. This weekend I am paying for it with general tiredness and headaches. It has really woken me up to the importance of diet and exercise - two things that I used to treat with great respect before I became a composer. They seem to have moved down the priority list, but last week was an ominous reminder that these things should not be neglected if one is going to be working under extreme pressure.
Do you agree? Do you have your own stories of ridiculous all-nighters and impossible deadlines? I'd like to hear about them!