July 28, 2018

Rarely can a person rescue themselves from themselves by themselves. 

8.30 am: A good night’s sleep. I woke only once. There was much to do today. I’ve been, in between tasks, rebuilding my iTunes library after the iMac’s collapse a month ago. In the background, I played Nomine Numine. I’m still learning from this suite about both sound and life. There was a painting to be re-installed in the studio (the initial securing device had developed a fault), and domestics to be undertaken. And all this in between the meat of the day’s studio work. 9.15 am: I reviewed yesterday’s efforts. My first response on returning to a composition in progress is: ‘What can be removed?’ Economy and efficiency. Simplicity and brevity. In contrast to Nomine Numine, ‘Write the Vision …’ proceeds deliberately, second by second. While happy accidents do occur, chance isn’t a determinant. (Which isn’t to say that my ‘muse’ is absent.)

In the studio, I introduced the MoogFooger MidiMurf and ClusterFlux (best said slowly, to avoid embarrassment) filters into the turntable’s effects loop:

The initial recordings were made, without modulation, on both turntables with the mixer’s low-pass filter in operation. The output was scratchy and insect-like. I recalled the opening scene of Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return (2017): ‘Listen to the sounds‘.

1.30 pm: Off to town, with a view to buying an old illustrated Bible:

My usual supplier didn’t have any edition with the illustration that I was seeking: an engraving depicting Samuel’s recount to Eli of his experience of having heard God’s voice (1 Samuel 3.). The image, which was a staple of pulpit and family Bibles in the nineteenth century, is about telling sound. Before returning home, I took sustenance at my usual watering hole. ‘Someone has taken my chair!’, I protested, inwardly. (I can be very proprietorial, and far too habitual for my own good.) The chair and its table are situated at the sweet-spot of the wifi signal’s strength. Hence … .

The cafe was unusually busy and full. The return of the rain, wind, and turbulent skies had driven folk indoors:

2.45 pm: Back to homebase and the studio, where I carried on the morning’s work. At the other end of the tonal spectrum, I made manual (motor off) gyrations on both turntables simultaneously, with the high-pass filters in operation. Distant thunder, woeful forebodings, bleak prospects, and dark judgements were evoked. I was in ‘Image and Inscription’ territory, once again. 5.00 pm: ‘Press Esc!’

8.00 pm: An evening at the Aberystwyth Music Fest’s Gala Opening, held at the Arts Centre’s Great Hall. Even if a composition doesn’t touch my soul (and Haydn never does), its performance may nevertheless. (Music = composition + performance + committed listening.) And it’s always instructive to see how professional musicians conduct themselves in public:

 

 

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