September 10, 2014

8.30 am. My appointments diary needed attention. As the days proceed towards the beginning of the new term, administrative meetings (institutional and departmental) proliferate. I began writing on the topic of British art students who developed careers as musicians. It’s lecture that I’ve wanted to develop for many years. I sense that the research will be, in part, a revelation to myself about myself.

Mid morning, I held two postgraduate tutorials with students who were finalising their MPhil dissertation and MA Fine Art exhibition respectively. In the wake of ends are new beginnings. Before I returned home, I took a last look at Reuben Knutson’s PhD exhibition: Utopian images of the past, present and future in a 1970s Welsh landscape:


He has accommodated the work to the gallery space in an exemplary fashion. The presentation is also an engaging synthesis of kinetic image and sound. And because the doctoral degree was taken under the banner of another department, I don’t have to belittle his effort by marking it.

After lunch, against a background of music by The Velvet Underground, I began to assemble parts of the new lecture. Bliss! I anticipate that this lecture could be self indulgent unless checked. Therefore, I proceed with caution and awareness. The Black Angel’s Death Song is remarkable. At their best, Lou Reed’s lyrics are poetry, as visceral and gutsy as anything conceived by Ginsberg, Kerouac, or Cassady. And then there’s what sounds like an air compressor on the track. Extraordinary, unnerving, and inexplicable!

Practice session 1:


In the evening, into the studio, and onto the bench to ‘IECify’ several plugboards. IEC plugs are so darned hard to wire: too many free-floating parts when disassembled. Tonight, I cracked it. The solution lay in the nature of the problem. This is a truism of life. Even so, it took an inordinate length of time to complete. IEC types are far safer in practice than the British, 13-ampere, 250-volt “impact resistant”, industrial grade, 3-pin, angled plugs: the naked metal prongs are recessed, and so cannot be touched inadvertently:


Afterwards, I sourced illustrations of British Pop Art and explored the UK pop charts for 1967.

9.40 pm. Practice session 2:


10.40 pm. During the ‘night watch’, I processed sound files in readiness for the mixdown and launch of Matt. 20.18 first thing tomorrow morning.


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