February 26, 2016

O wretched man that I am! (Romans 7.24)

5.30 am. I awoke from a strange and unsettling dream in which a British PhD student living in the Middle East threatened to sue me (the supervisor) for criticising their work. (Perhaps this is the shape of things to come.) 8.00 am. An unburdening. Remorse. Weariness. Self-despair. Yearning. 8.45 am. A day in the sound studio. I placed two pieces, extracted from the same sound sample, together; something began to move. In the first part of the section’s narrative, God relays more laws to Moses; in the second part, Moses descends from the Mount and recounts them to the people; and, in the third part, he writes down those laws. Thus, the same information is conveyed in three different ways. This presented an idea for both the structure and process of composition.

The first part fell together, in terms of its general disposition, within an hour. But it took a further three hours to modify the samples. It represents, tokenly, what would have been in reality a long monologue, within a two and a half minute frame:


1.40 pm. A review of the first part, and the beginning of the second: Moses, having descended, tells the Israelites what he’s heard. This would have been a remarkable feat of memory, to say the least. The scene was resolved very quickly. Never despise answer to a problem that arrives immediately or easily. It’s sometimes the fruit of much failure, discipline, and hard work in the past. Devising a solution to the following scene — where Moses writes down the laws — was neither so straightforward nor particularly vexing. I appeared to be on a ‘roll’, as they say.

6.30 pm. Practice session 1. I returned to my sound workshop preparations for the evening. I felt like I was fitting a quart into a pint pot. Without trialling the workshop, I can’t complete or optimise it. Nevertheless, more practical exercises and demonstrations needed to be inserted:

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9.45 pm. Enough!