April 14, 2018

The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love (Psalm 147.11)

Fear and love are unlikely bedfellows in a relationship. On the human plane, they’re opposites and, as such, don’t provide a basis for reciprocity. However, on the vertical axis of human and divine interaction, these two responses are in harmony. ‘Fear'(יָרֵא), in Hebrew, implies an attitude of reverence touched with awe. It’s not, in other words, the emotional reaction of an abused child to a wicked or neglectful parent. God is the maker and upholder of the universe, infinite in power, wisdom, compassion, and mercy, holy, and deeply committed to their lives. Thus, when believers approach him in prayer, a casual frame of heart and mind is inappropriate.

Those that fear God do so, also, in acknowledgement that his love towards them is consistent, constant, and reliable. (He’s not subject to their emotional and ethical vicissitudes.) Like reckless gamblers, they place all their bets on him alone. Because he never disappoints. Because he ‘is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that [they] ask or think’ (Ephesians 3.20). Nothing lies beyond the purview of what’s possible with God. Which is why they can lay before him their most knotty and intractable problems in full assurance that he can and will solve them.

Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of this relationship is that God takes pleasure it. Their deep respect for, and unconditional confidence in, him, and the love that he extends to them, gives him satisfaction.

7.00 am: A communion. 9.00 am: Off to the opticians to purchase spectacles, via the relatively new M&S/Tesco roof car park. This platform, high above street level, opens up views of the town that weren’t accessible previously. The companies ought to commission artists to render them. Ben Nicholson would have responded, for sure:

And Richard Diebenkorn would have had a field day:

Aberystwyth is such a wonderfully pictureable place.

9.40 am: At the opticians: ‘Does my nose look too big in this?’:

11.00 am: Studiology. I reviewed yesterday’s mix of ‘The Lesser Light’. It’s not there yet. But before doing anything, I considered, in very clear and definite terms, what was amiss. A failure at this juncture can lead to unnecessary fiddling and undoing. The next mix would be made at a far higher playback volume. I excised the last 2 minutes of the composition, having become aware that there was little more said in that section than had been already been said in the earlier 9 minutes or so. It felt drastic – like hacking off a third of a canvas. But, equally, it felt right. This now placed a major transition point at more or less the dead centre of the composition, temporally: balance, either side of a pivot.

After lunch, I listened to a stretch version of a my first composition for the ‘blind’ suite. It comprises all the incidents of ‘blind’ in the Bible laid end to end. It’s 30 seconds long. The slowed-down version is 5 minutes and 19 seconds. This is exactly the length of the narrative of the man born blind, which is by far the longest account of healing in the New Testament (John 9.1–41). This was entirely fortuitous. But such coincidences give one pause for thought. The stretch version is complete in itself, and sufficiently engaging to stand on its own feet. Therefore, could what serves as a rhythmic background to the spoken text in the other compositions serve, here, as the foreground to the piece? Scourby’s reading would be, then, barely audible – a like a radio broadcast heard in the distance – a kind of background noise.

3.00 pm: I put that aside and reviewed the source material for ‘Saul>Paul’, which deals with the conversion of the apostle, recorded in Acts. The recordings were oddly glitched. Nevertheless, some features might be serviceable. I made preparations to re-record the vinyls.

5.20 pm: ‘Cut!’. 7.30 pm. An evening watching a pop-corn movie: the antidote to all that hard thoughty stuff.

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