July 23, 2018

On Friday, my younger son graduated from Manchester University with a BSc (Hons.). Now both children are on the royal road to their careers. I’m very proud of them. They’ve worked hard and deserved their success, and more. Saturday was a set aside for housework: the studio and study needed a dust and polish in readiness for my return to work on Monday. The preparations of the context of action is, itself, a preparation for action within that context. My mind has already engaged prospective new projects, including drawings derived from the ‘blind’ texts upon which the sound compositions have been based, and the construction of a portable DJ/sound rig for the October conference. I’m itching to get started. Following the morning service and lunch on Sunday, I resumed my running routine (which had been put on hold due to a an Achilles tendon strain). Llanbadarn Church (situated at the half-way point on my route) provided a welcome shelter from the heat and a place in which to remember those who’ve been removed from my life. There, too, I offered importunate prayers for ‘matters outstanding’ – the longstanding, unresolved, and unreconciled ‘issues of life’:

Today. 8.00 am: A communion. 8.40 am: Off to School for a morning of postgraduate interviews and consultations. A desultory day: overcast, close, and apathetic. On the threshold:

8.50 am: I booted up my office computer and prepared to wade into the inbox of accumulated unanswered emails. There were tutorials to arrange for later in the week, and some delicate letters to compose. The first day back is to be feared. I’ve got into the bad habit of monitoring my incoming mail on vacation; I like to know what I’ll have to face on my return. But this means that there’s no longer an absolute separation between work and rest. Not good!

10.00 am: The first of two appointments, accompanied by Mr Croft, with folk interested in the applying for the PhD Fine Art degree. The initial discussion is always wide-ranging and informal. The objective is to for the staff and the applicant to understand the latter’s vision, motivations, and expectations. Embarking upon such a program will cost them a great deal, both professionally and personally. Like marriage, PhD study should not be ‘undertaken unadvisedly’. If I can dissuade them from this course of action, then I’ll count that a success. Only the wilful, obstinate, obsessed, focussed, and committed will pass through this filter.

1.45 pm: I caught up on a little admin before proceeding, tentatively, to assemble my performative rig in preparation for the October conference. The plan is to develop a tree structure of branches (tables) balanced either side of a trunk (a microphone stand):

The afternoon was spent learning what needed to be known about the DJ interface. It has limited functionality (relative to the full spectrum of possibilities that my larger and more complex array is capable of), but adequate for the task at hand. And, the interface provides a helpful introduction to the potential of virtual DJing:

Shortly, the vinyl transfers of the writing sounds will arrive. These will permit a far more rigorous and extensive manipulation of the source.

7.30 pm: Tomorrow, I’d begin the process of text extraction for ‘Write the Vision …’. I’m considering using an iPad as a sampler launch pad. For pre-prepared samples (where the modulation has already been applied to the source), the touch-screen interface may provide more launchers than my press-pad devices. The arc of learning is ever before me. An evening light: