August 18, 2017

Yesterday. During the morning I continued reviewing PhD Fine Art thesis submissions, in between spurts of activity at my studio desk. There, I endeavoured to establish a conversation between three pieces of sound software related to Royal Commission project (working title: I. Nothing. Lack.). Sometimes, simple digital connections are more imponderable than complex analogue ones. In the end, I was defeated by an insuperable problem: my laptop couldn’t cope with the drain on its RAM. There was no way around this. The device’s memory capacity had already ‘maxed-out’, as they say.

In the course of the struggle, it struck me that what I ought to be considering is a predominantly analogue approach to the project. The device on which the source sermons would have been recorded in the late 1970s is likely to have been a cassette-tape recorder. Why evade the obvious? The source (which I’ll receive in a digital format) should be converted back into tape. The new recordings could, then, be manipulated on several portable players in a very physical, push-button, manner, integrated on an analogue mixer, processed through effectors designed to adjust EQ values, and the output routed to amplifiers and a reel-to-reel tape recorder:

Today. 8.00 am: a communion:

9.00 am: Adminy things, before a power-walk up Penglais Hill to the surgery for an encounter with a vamperic nurse. 9.40 am: Adminy things (reprise). 10.00 am: There were two items on the morning’s worksheet: first, dragooning students to contribute to the Royal Commission’s memory event day, as well as sourcing materials for my own efforts in this respect, and, secondly, corresponding with potential running partners for the ‘Bible & Sound’ conference project.

My [I. Nothing. Lack.] project’s venue needed to be arranged. An analogue letter to that effect was dispatched:

12.30 pm: On with the second item. The draft CPF and correspondence were concluded by lunchtime. I was on track.

1.30 pm: Studiology. I started to compose the sound system for [I. Nothing. Lack.] – a far simpler organisation than that required for the ‘Double Bind’ performance equipment. Where discernible, improvements to the existing components were implemented. Optimisation is a constant. The set-up would not be thoroughly tested until the input source (the technology and the recorded content) was finalised. In its most uncompromising state, this could comprise five separate and identical cassette-tape recorders fed into as many channels on the mixer. Nevertheless, I was able to put the signal to and from the reel-to-reel tape recorder through its paces:

7.30 pm: There are two possible configurations for the system; possibly three, if configuration one and two are combined:


Leave a Reply