May 24, 2017

8.30 am: Wait over: The Ego article will appear in the July edition of the magazine. Inbox tidying and assessment admining. 9.00 am: Studiology. On to the turntables in order to explore techniques of manipulation. The objective was to develop practical analogues for the theological concepts that I’d discerned in the text to James’ epistle:

There was some movement today (which sounds like the report of an optimistic sufferer from chronic constipation) towards an understanding of what could be achieved between the record deck, the DJ mixer, and the loopers. I just needed to keep playing. It was as simple as that. In and around my play, I dispatched seasonal admin.

I’ve been drawn to Alan Chamberlain‘s The Pedal Effect project. In my sphere, effect pedals are bought and, then, sold when redundant; I’m not sentimental about them. I don’t hoard or collect them. The pedal that I remember most fondly, however, is the first one I bought, at 14 years of age in 1973. It was a fuzz/wah pedal. The pedal was subjected to circuit bending processes in order to eke out sounds that it wasn’t intended to produce. Through it I played a Stylophone, which was likewise mangled beyond its design parameters. I’m inclined to putatively reconstruct both (although the original pedal was consigned to the dustbin – burnt out – several years later):

1.40 pm: On returning to the text of James’ epistle, I extracted a list of keywords and their interrelations associated with concepts that will inform actions and procedures on the turntables:

4.00 pm: More play. I’ve improved with just one hour’s practise. Think what might be achieved after one day’s effort. Actually, less than one would imagine. Skill acquisition tends to be logarithmic rather than exponential. Thus, we gain new facilities more quickly earlier in the period of learning than we do later on. In the latter part, skills are, instead, grounded, matured, and refined. (This is an observation derived from my experience as a learner and teacher, rather than from any established educational theory.)

7.15 pm: I opened a space in my head to think more broadly than the affairs at hand and my current situation. For me, the past cannot remain in the past. Through diary entries, letters, and photographs, it seeps into the present. So many people I knew back then now exist only within them. For some reason, I stopped writing my diary on 9 March 1994. The last sentence read: ‘My foot is still swollen’.  The habit of writing was revived, for a brief period, on 31 December 1999.



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