April 25, 2015

8.00 pm. Feet on the bedroom carpet. 9.00 am. I set out my teaching schedule and issued notifications for classes in the coming week. 10.30 am. On with the ‘mark fest’. Having completed the BA Art History dissertations, I’m moving up the School with an MA Art History project, followed by a PhD Art History thesis:

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The soundtrack for Image & Inscription churns over in the background. Thereafter, Purcell’s (England’s greatest composer) Funeral Music for Queen Mary  gave gravitas to my academic judgement. If this was the last thing I ever heard, I’d die a contented man. The music is majestic, stately, and austere — purifying the soul. It bears the weight of death’s solemnity. The spatial distance and reverberation of the military drums and the colouration of the brass in this recording is spot on. Then, a little website updating towards lunchtime.

1.30 pm. On with marking, with Captain Beefheart’s Doc at the Radar Station lubricating the brain on this occasion. Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) was also a figurative-cum-abstract expressionist painter, and an extraordinary lyricist too: ‘Vagabond/Bad vuggum’ (‘Sue Egypt’). Wonderful! 2.30 pm. The MA Research Project is done! Thereafter, BA Dissertation feedback forms were completed. 3.00 pm. A further audition of Image & Inscription. (Hearing and listening — like seeing and looking — are qualitatively different activities.) On, then, with the PhD thesis, and an initial read-through. I’ve been looking forward to this. But … before I do … my postal vote needs to be completed. This has been a most difficult decision. How does one reconcile the person (the candidate’s integrity and track record) and the politics (their party’s failure in both these respects)? Which man or woman will best serve this constituency? It comes down to that:

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I couldn’t resist making an iTunes purchase of King Crimson’s Live at the Orpheum: an object lesson in how to return to your past without indulging in a cloying nostalgia. I look forward to seeing the band live in September. So many Saturday afternoon’s in my mid to late teens were spent, with friends, listening  to them on my Dansette Bermuda record player — at the absolute centre of the stereo field —  as we poured over the artwork and every word printed on the cover and gatefold of the albums. In those days, domestic music was afforded the same degree of focussed attention as a live concert. Merely hearing was not enough:

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5.15 pm. Suffice! 6.30 pm. Practice session 1. 7.30 pm. An evening with the family.

 

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