September 8, 2017

7.45 am: I began writing my intercessions for Sunday morning’s service at Holy Trinity Church, and composing a response to a question that had been addressed to me yesterday evening. Some interrogations cut to the core of our being. This was one. 9.00 am: Studiology. I took up again the neckless of samples texts that made up MacMillan’s quotations from Psalm 23, and regularised their volume and channel balance. On, then, to the construction of an underlying drone and loops based upon the ‘silences’ derived from the sermon recordings:

Creative practice is a prolonged wrestling match between aspiration and desperation. Sometimes, I know what I want, but I can’t yet do it. At other times, I don’t know what I want, and I don’t know how to know. And, yet other times, I can do it, but have no need for it. Why do artists persevere against the odds and submit to routine humiliation at the hands of their own inability? Because the alternative (relenting, throwing in the towel, or walking away) is unthinkable. Better to feel the pain of struggle than the pain of self-betrayal. (One must always keep faith with oneself.) Better to fight and fail than to concede defeat.

1.30 pm: Following lunch, I donned the cans and micro-mixed the samples, each now looped for 4-minutes duration. The process involved an attentive listening to artefacts within each recording. The aim was to emphasise those characteristics, by teasing out and amplifying parts of the frequency spectrum, so that they were more immediately audible:

In order to distinguish the loop files, I gave them evocative names derived from either what they actually represented or suggested (and certainly weren’t): ‘motorcar’, ‘motorbike’, ‘suck’, ‘breath’, ‘stomp’, ‘boing’, and ‘pingpong’, among others.

7.30 pm: I continued in the same vein, while addressing discrepancies in the clarity of a number of ‘musical’ samples – being those capturing MacMillan’s flight into preacherly ecstasy – by removing the background 50 Hz ‘hum’:

In the background, my younger son prepared for his own flight from the nest, back to university tomorrow.


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