March 10, 2017

8.30 Off to town for an early-morning aborted attempt at a mop cut. The barber shop was closed. Well, at least it got me out of the house; and I enjoy being in town as it wakes. 9.15 am: Studiology. I’m not where I want to be on The Aural Bible III project (I need a title, too). The process of extraction has proved to be slow. But first, I inspected my new, old Stylophone (c. 1968). ‘Oh, dear!’:

In the late 1960s, the disgraced Antipodean fronted the manufacturer’s advertising campaign. I suspect he was chosen, in part, for his association with exotic or unusual instruments, such as the indigenous northern Australia didgeridoo. But how does one adjust the device’s volume? Having consulted the appropriate on-line forums, I discovered that the original had no volume control. How extraordinary. No wonder my parents complained.

The original Stylophone was based around a solid state circuit that produced a rudimentary, if gritty, square wave, which could be cross-modulated with a sine wave LFO to produce vibrato:

The larger biblical books — Leviticus, Chronicles, Kings, etc. — present considerable challenges to a chapter/verse word search. Often, I have had to listen to most of a long chapter before I discover which one it is. While doing so, I put together and tested further components for the notional Stylophone rig. Thus, I ping-ponged from one activity to another all morning and afternoon. Outside the studio, the day was uncomfortably still and noiseless. (‘Quiet’ summons, for me, a more reconciled and comforting absence of conspicuous sound. This it was not this.) The Stylophonic project isn’t intended to reach a conclusion. A recording or performance or both may ensue. But my commitment is, presently, to play and process.

6.30 pm: Practise session 1. 7.30 pm: The School is approaching its quinquennial review. There’s a raft of documentation to complete and a good deal of organising to initiate. The sections on Research and taught postgraduates on the departmental self-evaluation form fell to me. I wanted to complete this before bed, so that I could devote tomorrow to completing the word extraction process. Into the early hours …

 

 

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