November 10, 2017

7.30 am: A communion. Yesterday felt cruel and relentless. I took it hour by hour, asking for strength to be measured out accordingly. There are times when many and fierce cross currents converge upon one’s life. This morning brought with it a renewed resolve. 8.30 am: Homebase. The decorators arrived with lining paper. Always a good sign. There were a few small admin matters that required my attention before I bit into the meat of the day.

9.00 am: Studiology. There was still the residue of equipment to be put away, now that the Turn Table composition was finished. I’m a stickler for studio discipline. Discipline begins from within, extends outwards, and returns to its point of origin. Discipline, properly conceived, gradually and progressively embraces every aspect of our lives: how we think, what we allow ourselves to feel, what we say in speech and writing, what we take into our bodies, how we cherish those bodies for ourselves and for others, and how we respond to our shortcomings, as well as to those of others.

I reviewed Monday’s resolution to the Turn Table composition. I still liked it. (Always a good sign.) However, the initial composition, which I’d rejected, still beckoned. Perhaps it required a complete rethink. What I’d got was fine, but only fine. And too complete to improve upon, maybe. I permitted myself an hour to re-engage it. In my mind’s ear, I kept hearing a psychotic electric guitar improvisation accompanying it. Should I bite that bullet?

I began making electronic sounds when I was 14 years of age and playing for Hunter. This was a front-room band, as distinct from a garage band, and completely non-viable as a performing unit. It, and my subsequent bands, gave me an education that far outstripped anything that I’d received in school at the time. Not that I paid that much attention to teachers back then. For I’d descended to the level of their expectations for me. Big mistake! (It took the Creator of the universe to pull me out of that deep pit.) Sound and music helped me to hear and define myself for the first time. In this realm I was confident, even though untrained and unable by any standard definition of musical competence. For I knew that I possessed an instinct and determination that would overcome the deficits.  All I needed to do is determine my own rules and values rather than follow those that’d been already established. One ought never to lose faith with oneself. What once we were, and are, doesn’t determine what we may yet become.

The next outing on the horizon was the I. Nothing. Lack. presentation on 24 November. Mid-morning, I decided to review all the samples that’d been already resolved for this project. But, first, I chose my Oblique Strategy at random:

That confirmed my decision. I’ve never applied this method of aided decision making to any other aspect of my life. I wonder what the outcomes might be?

I’d forgotten how much I’d achieved before breaking off from the project. Presently, I’m preparing more or less completed compositions for presentation on the day. However, my expectation is that the indeterminate outcomes of my efforts on the day will provide further material with which to work in the studio. For the remainder of the morning, I remixed sessions and brought them into a condition suitable for PA projection in situ. I was dealing with massive files (3 GB+), which took an age to process. (Watching the paint dry.)

1.45 pm: I’d been asked to submit photographs, related to the I. Nothing. Lack. project, to publicise the paper that I’ll deliver at the Digital Past 2018 conference. 2.20 pm: Job done:

I’d intended to be pushing real-world faders by the afternoon, but I’d not anticipated how much new material there was for the project at hand. That was an encouraging discovery. Knob twiddling would have to be postponed until the evening.

But it never came to pass. I’d got caught up in critically evaluating the samples processed throughout the day. Certain problems and their solutions sometimes  become far clearer to me when the sounds are heard at the periphery of my attention while in a state of contemplative ease. On these occasions, I’m far more alert to their textural consistency and transitions. If I’m lulled by the work, then it works. If I’m distracted, then I know something is amiss.




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