December 8, 2017

8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 am: The Blackboard and TurnItIn sites on the university server weren’t functioning. They were either undergoing maintenance or else seasonally affected. (The strong Artic winds had buffeted the house all night. A patch of cold air beneath my study desk and around my knees remained a constant, no matter how warm the room grew.)

9.00 am: Studiology. I reviewed the ‘chaotic’ [identifying title] composition where I’d left off on Monday. The stereo fields of the samples comprising the session needed to be broader. I also paired back and economised without compromise. Away with superfluities. There’re no redundant cogs in a mechanical clock. 10.00 am: I approached the recording, which I’d made inside Bethel, of sounds coming from the outside interacting with the interior ambience. Similar sounds were evident on the original cassette-tape recordings: cars, pedestrians, doors banging etc. My recording, made with a sophisticated and sensitive technology, captured far more than was picked up on the preacher’s microphone back then.

11.30 am: How short can I make the composition? There’s an economy of size, too, to be considered, in other words. My penchant is for succinctness.

12.30: Kitted up with many layers, I headed for Holy Trinity Church where I’d lead the first in the series of Advent Light [extract] services:

The dreadful weather had kept many away (a useful conceit to offset the possibility that I may have been the reason for the low turnout). The Advent services last only half-an-hour. They offer the ‘un-churched’ community a bite-size taste of Christianity, and the faithful – a brief period of respite and reflection during the working day. Some city churches provide this opportunity on a daily basis. Wonderful!

1.30 pm: Cuppa-soup in hand, I returned to the mix and reviewed the morning’s work. The external sound meshed well within the existing framework of the composition. I completed a ‘proof’ mixdown, so that could play it on sound systems other than the desk monitors. (This is my usual policy). I then reviewed and made adjustments to several other pieces in the light of my experience of playing them at Bethel.

6.15 pm: I listened closely to suite of pieces as they were resolving. I suspect that there’ll be four compositions in all. There’re moments in this process when the work catches me off guard. I hear its virtue all of a sudden. (It’s rather like that experience of accidentally catching a painting you’ve made out of the corner of your eye.) And in that moment, I heard also their deficits as clearly, and with that the remedy. A blessing indeed.

Soli Deo gloria


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