October 23, 2017

Don’t interrupt the sorrow (Joni Mitchell, The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975))

Sunday. I’ve entered a phase of waking from dreams with female song songwriters counselling me in my ear. Who could complain? Mitchell, at her best, was as good as Dylan at his, in my opinion. I was given a cassette-tape of her The Hissing of Summer Lawns in the year that it was released; the previous owner had hated it. Much of my teenage music education was resourced by other people’s rejects. I’m so grateful for their poor taste and limited outlook in this department of life.

Mid afternoon, between rain showers, I went for a jog to and from Llanbadarn Village, via the church. It’s one of the few Anglican churches in the area that remains open all week. A place of solace, wherein to draw breath and exhale prayer:

My return home was via the cemetery, so that I could pay my respects to Eifion Gwynne, who died a year ago this Sunday as a result of a tragic car accident. His wife bears an irrevocable loss that’s far my beyond reckoning. They were married and remained lovers to the end:

Today.  8.15 am: ‘A Letter’. ‘A Response’. Some things are far, far more important than art. From my studio window, I could discern a small patch of blue sky on the horizon, somewhere far out at sea. There’s always blue sky above the dark clouds. That’s one of the most remarkable realisations you experience on flying for the first time. The metaphors proliferate. It’s all a question of perspective – where you’re looking from. God is both above and below the cloud line. He refused to remain in the realms of pristine white, sun-soaked cumulousness. He came down, dirtied his hand, and got stuck in with us as one of us. That’s why he can ’empathize with our weaknesses’. Who’d worship a God that always kept their distance?

10.00 am: I’ve a busy week ahead. Tutorials need to be compressed into fewer days, so that I can can be ‘out of office’ from Thursday to Friday at another university, serving as an external examiner at a PhD viva. 11.30 am: I edged back into the studio and towards the Turn Table project.

1.30 pm: I tested the system: silence. ‘Useful to plug in the monitor speakers. John!’ Oh, yeah! I was off:

The objective was to create the sounds of a tumult, to suggest the overturning of the tables. I wasn’t prepared to upturn my own turntables. (But I know sound artists who are.) Mine are punishingly heavy. But I can get pretty aggressiveness with a disc and a tone arm. So, no problem. However, control is everything.

7.30 pm: Some tedious but necessary admin needed to be prepared in advance of my travels on Thursday.

 

A short season of diary sabbatical.

 

 

 

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