10.00 am. I returned from Farmers’ Marketeering with the fruit of the land and life’s essentials:
10.30 am. Having received notification of a sound art residency on ‘playing the rural landscape’, my thoughts returned to earlier ruminations on the post-industrial and pre-industrial landscapes of South Wales. The former bears the remnants of over two centuries of metal and coal mining, industries which are, now, barely visible in the imprint of buildings, partial and rudely hewn walls suffocated by dandelions and ferns, and grassed-over coal tips. The latter, in the view of the Edmund Jones (1702-93), the Calvinistic Methodist minister and author, manifested the vestiges of the past too, only in this case — phantoms of the dead and myriad and very present evil entities. The question I ask myself is: Could these two worlds that bookend the industrial revolution be evoked, interpreted, ‘observed’, and represented sonically? One would be dealing with the landscape’s now invisible (for the most part), no longer inaudible, and irretrievable aspects — summoning up the ‘ghosts’ of history, as did the witch of Endor the spirit of Samuel (1 Samuel 28.3-25).
11.15 am. I made several minor but, collectively, significant changes to the current sound composition. My anticipation is that it’s approaching optimum resolution. I can see more clearly what needs to be added and subtracted. Henceforth, I proceed slowly:
1.30 pm. After lunch, I balanced the amplitudes of the tracks comprising the piece before taking second look at the new sampler device — which I now need to learn how to operate. For the purpose of the auto-tutorial, I sampled tracks from a BBC recording released after World War II. It consists of the spoken word (clearly annunciated and in period style), field recordings, and a good deal of useable static and clicks:
It’s almost an axiom among users of electronic equipment that the clever bods who design the equipment are not so when it comes to explaining its functionality in instruction books. YouTube tutorials are, by far, a better means of learning — ‘show and tell’, as it were:
Most devices are capable of performing far more functions than I require. Thus, having mastered the basics, I withdraw until I need to know more. 4.30 pm. A final review for the day of the composition, and of the sound material stock from which the composition is derived. From this I gathered further, useable sound samples. 5.40 pm. An appropriate juncture at which to pause.