August 11, 2017

An amendment to the system entered my consciousness on the brink of sleep last night. This adjustment would, hypothetically, permit the two sampler/loopers’ (the Boss and Boomerang III) outputs to be entirely independent (in parallel), rather than follow on from another (in series):

I’m conscious of under-using the Boomerang IIIs, and of trying to fix problems that the device is already capable of resolving. A thorough investigation of their potential would occupy the afternoon.

8.30 am: Yesterday evening I received a sound file from a postgraduate student from another department. They’d attended my PhD training workshop on ‘Working with Sound’ (presumably). In the accompanying email, the correspondent wrote:

Inspired by your work I tried to capture Stendhal Syndrome in audio while I was in Florence, Italy. Some tourists are made crazy by the numinous quality of the art in the city and start seeing angels. I thought the singers in the streets heard from far away could be mistaken for Renaissance angels. 

They have a keen ear and intelligence. The recording is a lovely vignette. Stendhal Syndrome may also explain some people’s quasi-spiritual response to Rothko’s paintings. (The artistic and religious sensibilities aren’t so far apart.) The phenomenon cries out to be explored through practice-based research.

Florence (2010)

9.00 am: Talking of which … I recommenced my appraisal of the PhD Fine Art draft submissions. In the background, I listened to Italian Renaissance music for the viola de gamba.

11.30 am: Off to town for a mop-mow. The sky was emotionally ‘dead’, passionless, motionless, colourless, and bearing down. When meteorologists speak of a ‘depression’ in the weather, they touch upon a very apposite sensory metaphor for the psychological condition. 12.15 pm: On, then, with a YouTube Boomerang III tutorial. So much more engaging, straightforward, and enabling than the manual. There’s no substitute for a teacher giving a practical demonstration.

2.00 pm: Studiology: the implementation of last night’s amendment, in part. (I await components in order to complete the change.). Boomerangology:

I was in a bind as to whether the two devices should be placed at my finger tips or toes. ‘Try them one way and then the other, John!’, remarked the ‘intutor’. Indeed. Experience is the best laboratory in which to experiment. At the same time, I amended the amendment. By the close of the afternoon:

  1. two Boomerang III (B3) sampler/loopers were in operation in parallel;
  2. each B3 had an independent signal path in the turnable’s ‘send’ and ‘receive’ extension loop;
  3. each B3 could be synchronised internally but not externally, with its sibling.

By having a double bank of sampler/loopers, I would be able to fade the one out while the other was being filled, enabling a seamless transition from one phase of the composition to another. All that remained was for me to install a Korg Kaos Quad Pad in place of the Boss sampler/looper:

Technology, whether it be electronic devices or paint or a camera, is not independent of the creative process. Rather, it’s a collaborator with such. Thus, I will not begin the process of composition when the system is complete. (And it was, now.) On the contrary, the composition started when I first began to assemble the system.

6.00 am: A trip to the Arts Centre cinema to see David Lynch: The Art Life (2017). It’s a documentary that every young painter ought to see. He’s not one of those artists who begrudge making art. (I’ve known a number of very good ones who resented the process, disliked the product, and had no appetite for exhibiting.) Lynch, however, makes art like an artisan baker bakes loaves – with love, craft, necessity, and constancy. His curiosity and creative energy seem self-replenishing. His drive exceeds that of many artists fifty years his junior. The consistency of his vision and sensibility is even more impressive. An image from his art school day could just as readily have been made yesterday. ‘Is it the future or is it the past?’ (Philip Gerrard/Mike).