August 7, 2014

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom (Ecclesiastes 9.10). Cognizance of the ultimate deadline sharpens concentration and spurs endeavour.

I continue to work through the agenda of tasks outlined in my studio notebook:

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I eased myself into the day by modifying the text of the John Harvey: Blog site. Afterwards, I returned to my Keeley compressor, which I’d left hissing rebelliously on my pedal board last night. I’d thought the problem was caused by the effector’s proximity to the AC and DC power supplies. However, the remedy lay in the pedal’s situation within the overall array. Once it was placed at the start of the system, the noise vanished (or whatever is the corresponding metaphor in the realm of sound). Now, alas, I can’t compress the output of any pedal placed before it. It’s one of life’s truisms: every solution creates its own problem. But with the compressor feeding a signal into the distortion effectors, a considerable and gritty sustain can be attained. Sometimes a problem yields a potential and, therefore, should not be solved.

I relocated my relatively cheap but entirely adequate Joyo Power Supply 2 under the pedal board, a Wampler buffer at the rear (the final effector in the chain), and set my hands to some proper work: soldering – a hard-, and sometimes painfully-, won skill:

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Thereafter, the call was to arrange the effectors in such a way as to maximize their effectiveness individually and collectively – the ideal of any well-organised community:

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In the evening I reviewed the completed tracks that contribute to The Floating Bible: Miracle of the Risen Word (Recto) suite of sound works. A further 17 tracks are required to fulfil this half of the project:

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I estimate that, in all, four months will have been expended on this two-part piece. The entirety will consist of 52 separate elements, all the same length, and each having taken two or more days to render. Once all the tracks are overlaid, the completed work will last only 7 minutes and 22 seconds. It will have been a great expense of time and effort on my part for a comparatively small outcome. But sometimes it’s not what we require of the art so much as what the art requires of us.

To close the day, I looped a fascinating sound sample of a school orchestra in rehearsal, which my younger son captured on his recent trip to Japan.

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