April 30, 2018

Beneath the wind turned wave
Infinite peace
Islands join hands
‘Neathe heaven’s sea

(Pete Sinfield, ‘Islands’ (1971)).

6.00 am: The Promenade loop (again). It’s a 3-mile round trip, with a pause at ‘the bar‘ to take in a view of the Irish Sea. Today, it was calm (but not passive); still (but in motion); at ease (but not complacent); yielding (without submitting); inviting (without asking):

8.00 am: A communion. 8.45 am: Admin, and a look at the week ahead. It’s the last teaching week for undergraduates for the academic year. At the close of week, the studios will start emptying in readiness for a complete structuring in advance of the exhibition. I’ve postgraduate classes, tutorials, interviews, and assessment preparations in abundance to clear during the next four days, along with undergraduate tutorials, two medical appointments, and a degree-scheme review on Friday. But today would be for research.

9.40 am: A sprightly walk up Penglais Hill for an appointment with my new GP at 10.00 am:

A consultation that inspired confidence. I felt looked after. 10.45 am: Studiology. To begin, I returned to the ‘Write Up the Vision’ technology, with a view to testing the stethomicrophone using a 3 volt plug-in-power input. If this worked, I could, then, feed a monitoring output from the digital recorder into the mixer. I was surprised by how few of my various recorders had that facility:

None, however, would permit me to run a monitoring output while recording. I’d have to find a canny way of recording the stethomicrophone on a separate recorder and synchronising it with the two other mic outputs after they’d been recorded on the DAW. Not impossible; but, tricky. I’d wanted to attach the stethomicrophone to the surface of vinyl while it’s playing. This would be a post-lunch procedure.

12.30 pm: Back to ‘Saul>Paul’ and, also, a review of ‘The Lesser Light’, in the light of the new suite. They are close neighbours in terms of their means of production. But they’re wholly different in respect to emotional tenor: ‘The Lesser Light’ is fearful; ‘Nomine Numine’ (the title of the new suite) is mournful and reflective.

After lunch, I made a provisional, off-the-cuff, test of the stethomicrophone on the surface of one of the Scourby vinyls:

The weight of the device on the disc, prevented the latter from rotating. Moreover, the sounds produced, when I spun the table manually, were disappointing. Next, I secured it to the chassis of the deck. That produced a sound reminiscent of my first ever tape recorder – a Sony reel-to-reel (c. 1967). It had an appallingly insensitive microphone, with a very limited frequency span:

I, then, fixed a contact microphone to the tone arm:

Again, there was little gained that I’d not already acquired by close-mic recording. Sometimes, good ideas don’t yield good fruit. 4.00 pm: I returned to postgraduate admin for the remainder of the afternoon.

4.20 pm: A visit from the Vicar. 5.30 pm: Sundown:

7.30 pm: On with ‘Saul>Paul’. This beat track in section two had been pared back to a basic thump. It now needed some elaboration. Gulp! I’d undone a beat to text sync. All samples needed to be realigned throughout the second section.  That was my commitment for the remainder of the evening. So often, redoing work leads to betterment. These are among the mistakes in life that I don’t regret.