8.00 am. Email requests had accumulated over the weekend. I cannot turn to weightier matters before these things are cleared. That’s always been my habit: deal with the dutiful and the dull as early in the day as possible. A lower back complaint is circumscribing my activities, presently. My regime is to sit upright and walk around the room periodically. If the back seizes up or the muscles go into spasm, I’m stuffed. On with postgraduate examination admin and setting out my teaching plan for the week. 10.00 am. Back to the CD promotion and composing a covering letter, interspersed with follow up email correspondence in response to this morning’s earlier volley:
1.00 pm. Varieties of a version of the covering letter are now complete, I’ll be ready to post them and the sample CDs tomorrow morning.
2.00 pm. Following lunch, I went to the School to set up a meeting between our five, second year MA Fine Art students and a representative of CASW, who are offering the £1,000 David Tinker Award. David Tinker was a former Head, when the School was the Visual Art Department. I was courtesy personified.
4.00 pm. Off to town to honour my appointment with Mr Turner, the engraver at Merlin’s Heel Bar. I made a recording of the engraving — using an iPad and a highly sensitive stereo microphone — of the first clause of the Second Commandment (Exodus 20.4), taken from the Welsh Bible of 1588:
Na wnait ddelw gerfiedic, na llun dim a’r [a sydd] yn y nefoedd oddi vchod, mac a’r y [sydd] yn y ddaiar oddi isod: nac a’r [y sydd] yn y dwfr odditann y ddaiar.
7.30 pm. I returned to email duties and, in parallel, processed the visual and sound material obtained from the afternoon’s recordings. The raw material now needs to be coaxed in order to yield sonorities and tonalities that are presently masked. One must hear a recording within the recording. To do so requires many successive auditions and much trial and testing. (This is to come.) A thought occurs to me: Would it be feasible to combine this afternoon’s recording of the text in Welsh with another, which I made in 2008, of the Authorised Version of text engraved on another machine? Two languages, two machines running at different speeds, making two entirely dissimilar sounds, recorded seven years apart. (The seeds of the project go back that far!) The earlier machine (sadly, no longer with us), produced an aggressive, rasping sound and a deeper cut in the plate:
9.45 pm. Practice session 2.