Here’s two slip jigs written during meetings at work when I was.. ahem… not fully engaged with the business at hand.
‘Official Business’ started life as ‘The LTAC Jig’, where LTAC = Learning Teaching & Assessment Committee, in this case, the Faculty of Arts Learning Teaching & Assessment Committee. I remember that I was very pleased to be invited to attend this body for the first time but, having travelled up from Reading to Ealing specifically for this meeting, it turned out to be a bit of a non-event – basically there were barely enough members present to make it quorate (as an invited “in attendance” member, my presence didn’t count). I think I was paying attention to what was being discussed, but not enough to prevent this tune starting to form in my head. I must have scribbled it down surreptitiously on a piece of paper during the meeting – probably using ABC notation as a convenient shorthand – then tidied it up later.
The second tune came about in similar circumstances, although at least I only had to walk down the corridor to attend this meeting. A SAR, as anyone who has ever had the misfortune to have dealings with Ofsted will now, is a Self-Assessment Report. An important document for those concerned (at least, a document which it is important to get right), but in November 2009 the SAR being discussed had almost no relevance to the work I was doing, and I was quite literally brought onto the review panel to make up the numbers. Again, a tune managed to sidle into my consciousness; again, I managed to note it down somehow; again, it was in 9/8, a time signature I’ve never composed in before or since.
Initially I called it ‘The SAR Tsar’, as a nod to Jennie Pottle, the person chairing the meeting. Her actual job title was probably something like Director of Quality (Further Education), but she was the one who had to cajole SARs into being, and quality control them, then assemble them into an institutional SAR; and Tsars were in fashion at the time – Drugs Tsar, Discipline Tsar etc. etc. – so SAR Tsar seemed like an appropriately alliterative unofficial job title. Looking back, it’s just a shame that Jennie’s surname wasn’t Gabor…
Incidentally, I should add that I’ve changed my employers since then. These days, it goes without saying, when in a meeting my mind is always 100% switched on to the topics being discussed.
T: Official Business aka The LTAC Jig
C: © Andy Turner, 14/10/09
G2 B BAB dBA|G2 B B2G FGA|G2B BAB dBA|G2E FGA G3:|
|:A2 e e2f gfe|f2d def e2d|1 e2A A2B cde|d2 B GAB A2G :|2 e3 d3 cBA|B2G FGA G3||
Making up the numbers
T: Making up the numbers AKA The SAR Tsar
C: © Andy Turner, Nov 2009
G2 B dBA G2D|G2 B dBd A2D|G2 B dBA G2D|E2c AGF G3:|
|:e2 e efg d2G|ecc afe d3|e3 A2B cde |d2B cAF G3:||