Month: October 2015

October 31, 2015

All Hallows’ Eve

8.45 am. I ruminated on yesterday’s sonic efforts. In so doing, my mind returned to John Tavener’s Fall and Resurrection (2000). It was premiered at St Paul’s Cathedral on 4 January of that year. I was conducting research in London at that time. I recall hearing, from the balcony of a flat at Blackfriars where I was staying, the peel of the Cathedral’s bells drifting across the Thames, late in the evening (which was unusual). What I was also listening too, unbeknown to me at the time, was the closing moments of the composition’s finale, ‘Cosmic Dance of the Resurrection: All is Transfigured’. Inside the Cathedral, the orchestra and choir had reached an ecstatic crescendo — creating a wall of sound (noise, almost) — which ceased suddenly; and as the final note reverberated throughout the capacious interior, the ringing benediction was revealed.


11.00 am. I returned to the composition entitled ‘Amen Amen’. For some time, I’ve been discontent with the two-tone drone (one semitone apart) that underlies the composition; it’s insufficiently forward in the mix. Unfortunately, the errant tones are sealed within a bounced track, and so cannot be amplified independently of all the other sounds embedded along with it. The only solution was to manufacture drones of an identical timbre and to run them in parallel and beneath the original bounced track. A heavily distorted note, produced by an electric guitar played through effectors, was digitally sampled, frozen, recorded, imported into the composition’s session, and further modified to match the fabric of the whole. (Invisible mending, of sorts.):


1.40 pm. The additional samples were edited to match the pattern of oscillation formed by the two original drones. Finally, monaural copies of the adjusted samples, pitched one octave lower, were layered beneath, and the composition realigned to balance the stereo field:

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 14.44.54

I never complete the master mix in the same session as the composition. I’ll need to come back to it, later, with a fresh ear.

2.30 pm. I returned to ‘Image and Inscription’ and commenced mapping a timeline of events leading up to, during, and following Moses’s receipt of the Ten Commandments. While the composition is focussed upon the prohibitions of the Second Commandment, nevertheless the context is important. Not least because this in the environment in which the visual and acoustic drama takes places. The framework of the sound piece will begin with the first of many ascents and descents of the Mount made by Moses, and end with his destruction of the two tables of the law. The act was symbolic of the Israelite’s transgression of Second Commandment (and, thus, of all ten) by fashioning the golden calf (Exod. 32.4):


5.15 pm. Glory (unashamedly). Pause (necessarily). Stop:


6.30 pm. An evening with my wife.

October 30, 2015

8.00 am. Yesterday evening’s server downtime was over. (Phew!) I put together Thursday’s dairy page from my draft notes, responded to emails, and took time to reflect, before my 9.00 am start in the sound studio. Today’s objective was to fabricate a sound that evoked (rather than imitated) a trumpet blast. Obstacle: Having upgraded the IOS on my MacBook, I discovered that one of my sound software programmes was no longer compatible. Why am I not surprised? A work around was required.

For my first effort, the source sound for the trumpet (Hebrew:יוֹבֵל) was the prolonged screech of the engraving machine — by which the English version of the second commandment was inscribed — as it returned from the right side to the left side of the plate to begin each a new line. The sample was then dropped in pitch, two octaves. Four distinct ‘carriage returns’ were then superimposed and filtered through external modulators in order to modify the timbre of the composit and make it sound more breathy and hollow:


Unsuccessful. Analysis: This was due to my recognition that the original sound already possessed characteristics which I associate with the shofar (שׁוֹפָר) : the ram’s horn trumpet — one of the earliest forms of wind instrument, which the Israelites would have played and, most likely, the sound that they heard from Mount Sinai. (As a matter of principle, one should interfere with a source as little as possible and as much as necessary.)

12.30 pm. I reduced the number of components making up the composit to two, with one pitched five semitones below the other. 1.40 pm. Having made a final adjustment to the equalisation and channel delay, I imported the sample into main body of the existing composition. There, I lowered the pitch by a further six semitones in order to integrate the sample with the dominant low tone of the other tracks. Curiously, my ‘trumpet’ now sounded like the fog horns on the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, which I’d recorded while on holiday there in 2013. (One’s life and aesthetic experiences touch at so many points. Extraordinary!):


3.00 pm. I made several (ultimately failed) attempts to manufacture trumpet-like drones, this time using material from the data bending output of the visual engraving. 4.15 pm. Off to the osteopath for a little correcting.

7.30 pm. My sole, successful sample had evoked the trumpet’s voice as it would sounded when heard from a distance, by the people at the foot of the mountain. I needed, now, to make a louder and more insistent trumpet sound — to summon Moses’s experience of the same, on the mountain.  This was a much tougher call. The character of the shofar was supposed to resemble the cry of human voice. To this end, I explored the constructive potential of the voice samples, which I’d derived from my 24-hour vinyl record manipulation at the National Library of Wales. By stretching portions of the spoken words by 800%, I was able to extract samples of extended vowel annunciation that, when treated with a ten-voice chorus modulator, produced a throaty timbre not unlike that blast from a ram’s horn heard at close proximity:

Alphonse Lévy, Shofar

In the Exodus text, the Hebrew word for ‘voice’ (קוֹל) is the same as that for sound. Thus the ‘voice of the trumpet’ (Exod. 19.16) and the ‘voice’ of God (Exod. 23.22) were in some respects intertwined. This is a concept that I’ll need to explore further. By night-time, I’d produced four useable versions of a ‘trumpet’ sound.

October 29, 2015

7.50 am. Diary upload to Twitter and Facebook and a period of contemplation before heading out towards the Old College to begin a punishing day’s teaching (9.00 am – 6.00 pm, non-stop). 8.50 am: An Autumn storm had hit the promenade with moderate ferocity overnight. Some of the beach was on the pathway, and the toddlers’ paddling pool was filled with sea:


9.00 am. The first of three third-year fine art tutorials. In the course of one conversation we considered the horizon line (which is conspicuously visible through the windows of the West Classroom) in relation to the sky and sea. At the horizon, they both appear to touch, intimately; and yet these two elements are, in reality far, far apart. This paradox is a metaphor for something that eludes me at present. ‘There Things. Contact Arrange’. Is this a clue?:


10.40 am. Back at the mothership, I proceeded with second year painting tutorials. Some principles and observations derived from today’s encounters:

  • When a musician practises and muffs a piece, there’s no residue of their lack of competence. The visual artist is often in the unfortunate position of having the bruised fruit of their labours preserved in a tangible form for others to see.
  • Significant changes to one’s practice should be made gradually and progressively, one element at a time. Make too many changes too soon and without sufficient consideration, and you’ll end up with another version of the problem that you were hoping to resolve.
  • Just once, aim to make a bad painting. It’s liberating! And, ironically, it’ll likely turn out to be a good painting, but one made without the anxiety of having to be successful. Now, what does that teach you?
  • Do a risk assessment? If you discover that you aren’t taking risks, you’ve failed it.
  • The A-level doctrine of so-called ‘supporting work’ is devilishly hard to exorcise from students. It’s a pedantic, deterministic, self-serving, dull, and wasteful exercise, which fails to acknowledge that true creativity does not necessarily proceed methodically. Each type of work demands a bespoke mode of preparation. One size does not fit all.
  • Don’t try to envision the finished work. ‘Visions’ of the end product tantalize and frustrate us, for rarely do they come with instructions on how to achieve the goal.
  • All things are possible things, but not all things are either necessary or appropriate.

12.50 pm. A hurried, harried lunch before the 1.10 pm Professional Practice lecture ‘Pixels and Pictures’ (aka ‘Pretzels and Pixies’) on the use of digital technology in the artist’s and art historian’s promotional strategy. 2.00 pm. Then, straight into further second year painting tutorials, until 4.50 pm. A Great Tit had breached the School’s hull (as they say in Star Trek). Phil ‘the Porter’ raised the intruder alert and opened wide the window through which the bird had passed, in the hope that it would re-construe the entrance as an exit. No chance:



I had a brief period of respite and time to prepare for a rather heavy 5.10 pm lecture on Clement Greenberg’s theory of Modernism, for the Abstraction module. The gift of fortitude is a great blessing:


7.30 pm. An evening of module admin and teaching prep in readiness for Monday: Blackboard uploads; register updates; absentee chases; email dispatches; and PowerPoint revivifying. My website was presently non-contactable. I assumed this was a service provider ‘issue’. (‘Issue’ = a frustrating, an irritating, an inconvenient, and nothing short of a, problem.)

October 28, 2015

8.50 am. At the School: the first half hour was given over to postgraduate admin. (Wednesday is my focal-day for the activity.) Each week, I rid my office of dead paperwork associated with defunct modules and administrative roles. I came across a box file of teaching material produced for the School’s (then, department’s) Foundation in Art Course, which began in 1986. I designed and ran it, single-handedly, as a distance-learning provision; students came from all over, as well as from outside, Wales:


9.30 am. An essay tutorial with one of the students on my Abstraction module. There’s some mileage in discussing the preliminaries to essay writing in terms of the students’ preparations for image making: notational studies, compositional sketches, drafts/proofs, etc. 10.00 am. In my role as second supervisor, I held a tutorial with one of our PhD Fine Art students. Another box of words; this time, of Aboriginal origin:


11.10 am. Homebase, and on with a review of PhD Fine Art text submissions. Writing about one’s own work in a detached, precise, reasoned, and methodical manner is a tough call. Many students have considered this to be the most demanding aspects of the PhD. It’s the acid test of whether an artist really knows what they’re doing. There’ll always be a dimension of our practice that extends into a place where words cannot go. But while we cannot know our work exhaustively, we can know it (and ourselves) sufficiently.

1.40 pm. Back to words, and to the source text for the ‘Image and Inscription’ sound work (Exod. 19-20). I read through the account of Moses reception of the Ten Commandments, paying particular attention to descriptions of the concomitant sounds and natural, physical phenomenon: thunder, lighting, smoke, fire, quakes:


There are a number of recurrent motifs and patterns that are adaptable as instructions and ideas for sound composition: dark tonality (the cloud); voices (of God, Moses, and the people); repetition, recitation, and restatement (God’s words to Moses, and Moses’s words to the people); a sustained note of a trumpet; and the sound of a trumpet that gets progressively louder.

6.30 pm. Practise session 1. 7.30 pm. ‘The trumpet shall sound’. The objective was to construct a sound that evoked, rather than imitated, a trumpet blast, using the material that I’ve gleaned from the sound of the engraved image, plate, and vinyl recording. This will not be like rolling off a log. By the end of the evening, I’d nailed my source sound.

10.30 pm. ‘The night watch’. I dispatched a backlog of alumni job references.

October 27, 2015

8.45 am. ‘Off to School’, as they’d say in the Janet and John books. Punctuality is a courtesy, an efficiency, and often a necessity. But its practice is in decline, I fear. I’m uncomfortable about the students’ use of the term ‘research’ to describe any form of preparation for practice that involves looking at other artists’ work. It sounds too dutiful and mechanistic. One ought to look at the work produced by others as a matter of habit, and as the result of an overflow of enthusiasm for the subject. Ask any aspiring athlete to name half a dozen top-draw competitors in their field that they admire, and they’ll give you twenty. These aspirants are not ‘researchers’; they’re fans. Too often, if you ask an art student to name just a few professional artists who have significance for them, the response is silence. This should not be.

9.00 am. A catch-up second year painting tutorial followed by some catch-up postgraduate admin and teaching prep. 10.00 am. One of two MA fine art tutorials today. 11.10 am. Vocational Practice, and the second class on how to deliver lectures:


Within one hour of practice, and a smidgen of advice, each student improved their performance 200%. But the most important thing they’ve to yet learn (and this can only come with the fruit of greater experience) is to find themselves as lecturers. Never emulate anyone; never envy another person’s gifts; and never betray your own wacky and idiosyncratic way of doing things. Be you … always.

2.00 pm. The second of the day’s two MA fine art tutorials:


Among the attributes of ‘mastery’ at the heart of MA studies are, a willingness to:

  • extend beyond the boundaries of one’s proven competence;
  • court risk and failure as a necessary condition of achieving anything of worth;
  • either rebuild or abandon any or every aspect of one’s practice, if called for;
  • confront the best and the worst in oneself.

3.00 pm. Homeward to complete teaching admin related to today’s Vocational Practice and Thursday’s Abstraction classes. Each MA student received a sound file of this morning’s ‘performance’, to repent of at their leisure. We learn more from our inadequacies than from our virtues. Although, today, this bunch acquitted themselves very well.

6.15 pm. Practise session 1. 7.15 pm. I re-engaged the possible introduction to ‘Image and Inscription’. The length of the work will, to great extent, determine the pace of change. I laid down the equivalent of a dark background wash — the sound work’s ‘ground’. Like a painterly ground, it both vanquishes the emptiness (the silence) of the ‘canvas’ and provides a unifying tone on which to build forward. Am I treading too delicately?


October 26, 2015

8.30 am. I’d been deleting and responding to emails periodically during my weekend away, so as not to have to face a dispiriting column of them reaching up to heaven, first thing on Monday morning. Having replied to few that remained, I took time to turn over my experiences on Friday. The common threads running through my encounter with the chapel, church, and hotel were:  visualisations and remembrances of death, vestigial presence, ‘ghosts’ of images and texts, and supernatural denotations and allusions.


When history and the present, the present and future worlds, the tangible and invisible, life and death, the sublime and the absurd, and past and current research, converge upon one another like this, I know something is afoot; something will come of it.

12.00 am. This reinvigoration of my interest in biblical visual culture is also timely. The commission to produce a book on the subject, currently being negotiated with Bloomsbury Publishing, while coming entirely out of the blue, will provide a context for a much broader and deeper inquiry than it was possible to achieve in my The Bible as Visual Culture book. I need, now, to put together a conspectus of imagined themes, topics, and methodologies to place before the publisher at our mid November discussion in London. Over the weekend, the BBC confirmed that the program series on invisibility was going forward. I await their call for interviews.

2.10 pm. Abstraction, from a socio-political perspective on America in the period from the 1950s to early 70s:


Either you see the importance of this discussion or you don’t. Personally, I find the forward projection of this period onto the wall of our contemporary political context both fascinating and alarming. The dynamics of history (global, national, and individual) are sometimes all too predictable. In part, this is because we often fail to learn from our mistakes, and find it almost impossible to replicate our successes.

3.10 pm. A second-year fine art, catch-up, mini tutorial. The discussion began with painted pebbles and moved on to sailors’ painted sea chests, the Ark of the Covenant (and the Indiana Jones film based on the same), reliquaries, and, finally, the embodiment of memory. 3.30 pm. A time for admin: references for students, my teaching diary, and notifications regarding such. The week is now in order. 4.00 pm. I began addressing queries that I’d received, having canvassed students on the Abstraction module regarding essay writing in general and the module’s essay in particular:


Among the returns were many revealing questions related to style, structure, sourcing information, referencing, grammar, and content. The students’ lack of confidence was conspicuous. This is appreciable; at secondary-school level, they’ve been given little by way of instruction regarding writing methods, and too few occasions on which to develop them. More often than not, at university level, students are still battling with the essay’s form rather than its content.

7.00 pm. On with the likely introductory section for ‘Image and Inscription’. I’ve no idea how the whole will fit together, and only the faintest notion of what the introduction ought to sound like. I can feel it, but I’ve yet to hear it. I would have it no other other way.

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 20.28.11

In view of the size of the component files, completed portions of the whole will have to be bounced down into a single mix before they can be amalgamated with other portions. It’ll be like constructing a very large house room by room rather than brick by brick.

9.30 pm. Practise session 2.

October 23, 2015

7.15 am. Arose. 9.15 am. A trip to Rhug Chapel, Denbyshire. I was first made aware of it in 1983, at the outset of my research into the visual culture of Welsh Nonconformist chapels … of which this not an example. The church was (very high) Anglican and built in 1637 by William Salisbury as a private chapel, in collaboration with William Morgan, the translator of the first Welsh Bible:


(I’ve been dealing with Morgan’s translation of the Second Commandment in my ‘Image and Inscription’ sound work.)


The interior has one foot still firmly placed in the medieval world. Remarkably, it escaped Cromwell’s wreckers. The decorative painting and carving have an almost ecstatic intensity. This is a visual testament to a sure-fired conviction about the reality of the eternal heavenly realm and its proximity to the temporal material world:


A reconciliation with our own temporality was enjoined by a memento mori painted high up on the wall in front of the gallery:


Lest we despair … carved angels look down, benignly and as though offering benediction, from the rafters. (I recalled the angelic appearance in the Red Room at the close of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me):


I was also put in mind of stories that emerged in Wales and elsewhere during times of revival concerning the phenomenon called ‘the singing in the air’. Witnesses testified to hearing invisible choirs of angels singing in the rafters of the chapels during times of particularly intense religious fervour during the services.

1.30 pm. I arrived at Llangar Old Parish Chapel, established in the twelfth century:


The vestiges of several overlaid wall paintings (ghosts of images) from the fifteenth century are still visible. They’d been preserved due largely to having been painted over (and thereby protected) with lime wash by the Protestant spoilers in the seventeenth century:


There’s also evidence of post-Reformation text-based painting on the front wall of the gallery (which was a later edition to the interior). Curiously, while the painter’s name is intact, their work has almost completely dematerialised. I’m intrigued by this idea of a disappearing text, and suspect that I’ll return to it in the near future:



None of the walls of the church are perpendicular; the interior lurches sideways, like buildings in Ben Nicholson’s drawings. The key-holder provided a running commentary on the site’s known history (which appears to be comparatively slight). CADW ought to invest more in promoting these buildings, and to open them at times when people are most likely to visit.

Situated in the same place as the example in Rhug Chapel — high on the wall and and close to the gallery’s frontside  — was another memento mori. In this respect at least, I conjecture that Llangar Church exerted an influence on the subsequent development of Salisbury’s project:


3.30 pm. Then, on to Llangollen for a quick whizz-round the town before driving to the Ponctcysyllte Aquaduct, built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop, and completed in 1805. It’s the tallest and longest of its kind in Great Britain:



4.30 pm. I arrived at my hotel for the evening: Sweeney Hall, Shropshire. A newspaper in the entrance hallway caught my eye:

Earlier in the week, a guest had experienced an inexplicable light shining through his bedroom window, photographed it and, in the morning, discovered that there was a human-like shape in the foreground. The ‘haunted’ Room 7 was down the corridor from my own. A apparition of twin girls at the end of the corridor would have been more persuasive:


October 22, 2015

8.15 am. The only new emails in my inbox were those I could delete with prejudice and fervour. (‘Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam’, as the song goes.) 8.45 am. Off to the Old College to fulfil my third year teaching obligations. The current ‘flu’ virus is debilitating students still. But they fight womanfully onwards:



10.40 am. I returned to the mothership. The School’s garden is resplendent at this time of the year:


The remainder of the day was given over to second year fine art tutorials. Some principles and observations derived from today’s tutorial engagements:

  • A personal style and a personal visual identity are not the same things. You may need to wait two decades to achieve the former (and there are no guarantees); the latter is always available to you … when you apply yourself.
  • If you apply yourself to anything consistently and for long enough, you’ll get better at it. That is a principle.
  • Eavesdrop on other people’s tutorials. It’s not rude. More often than not you’ll overhear principles that are applicable to your own work. Headphone culture robs you of this possibility.
  • One of the most important thing you can do at this point in your life, with these opportunities and resources, and those talents, is to study art. So do it with all your might.
  • Sometimes, joint-honours fine art students miss a trick in not exploiting their knowledge and expertise in the ‘other’ subject. For example, if you’re interested in the evocation of mood in landscape, study the depiction of such in the novels of Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, and Margaret Drabble, among others.
  • You’ll start to find your way in painting only when you realise that you’re lost.
  • Don’t fetishize texture. Painting is not Artexing.  The texture of a painting is the sum of its accretion; the end product, rather than a starting point.


Overall, the students are moving forward —  some with hesitation, others more determinately. Thus is it ever. 5.10 pm. On my last legs; having taught without wavering since 9.00 am, I got a second wind and pushed on with the Abstraction lecture (a particularly heavy serving of theory that will set the scene for the remainder of the module).

7.30 pm. On with Blackboard updates and a PowerPoint reformatting for Monday’s Abstraction class. 9.15 am. Mercy!

October 21, 2015

9.00 am. A new day: mild, wet, overcast, dark (like twilight); strangely comforting:


9.10 am. Wednesday is my PhD and overspill MA tutorial and admin day. Applications required a response; registers and related websites needed updating:


10.30 am. A BA Dissertation tutorial. At the beginning of any art historical investigation, all things appear to be more or less relevant and connected to everything else. The trick is to find the golden thread that runs through all, and to write about that only. Art History is as creative a process as art practice. The former times are fixed, but our understanding and construction of them evolves. (The past and history are not synonymous.) 11.00 am. An MA fine art tutorial on topics that ranged from Samuel Beckett to physiognomy to slug-trials. All these concepts really did connect. Wonderful! 12.00 pm. Email catch-up, and a gentle assault on a few first year absentees under my charge. Nip the problem in the bud, and you can save the student. All that’s required is their willingness to be helped. And we all need a little help, once in a while.

Secondary school education breeds a culture of dependence, in my opinion; one that some students find very difficult to emerge from. Maturation, at Higher-Education level, implies a gradual growth in conscious self-dependence. This is a state of awareness regarding their obligations to themselves and others, and about the expectations placed upon them by their educators. In my experience, the best students that I’ve ever taught (and those most likely to become artists and art historians in the future) have demonstrated the following attributes, among others. (Note that the ‘possession of great talent’ is not one of them.):

  • a fierce tenacity;
  • a passion for their subject;
  • a sober estimation of their abilities that errs on the side of modesty;
  • a refusal to pass the buck of blame;
  • expectations regarding their personal performance that exceed those of the degree scheme;
  • a thorough understanding of what is required of them;
  • a capacity for healthy self-criticism;
  • a capacity to respond to criticism, positively;
  • a capacity for consistent, focussed, and intelligent hard work;
  • clear-sightedness;
  • developed organisational skills;
  • an innate professionalism and work ethic;
  • a practical concern for the student community;
  • a vision for life and themselves that is larger than art.

2.00 pm. Back to the data bending. I began by converting the source image into a postscript file, extracting a small sample of the text and converting that into an image file, and then importing that into sound software, where is was slowed down by 1600%:


3.30 pm. I moved on to the engraving of ‘Moses’ holding the two tables of the Ten Commandments, which had been printed in Welsh. Unsurprisingly, in the English editions of the same edition of the Bible, the text is in English. Which suggests that the original plate had a removable inner section, corresponding to the shape of the tables. The files were variously rescaled and saved in some of the more exotic image formats, before conversion into sound files. This opened up new possibilities:

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 16.29.41

By the close of the afternoon, I reckoned on having enough bricks with which to build.

6.30 pm. Practise session 1. 7.15 pm. Now begins the development of sectional tracks that will remain free floating until the structure of the composition begins to mature. First, the files have to be converted into a common format, sample, and bit size. A tedious and slow process. My instinct is that the composition should begin with the sound of an image.

October 20, 2015

8.45 am. The first hour was set aside for all comers. It gave me occasion to catch up with a number of students who had concerns about particular modules. In between tutorials, I dispatched mail, removed excess furniture from my room, and made ready the technology for the MA Vocational Practice class at 11.10 am. 10.30 am. Module and pastoral admin of a very general nature. It’s the little, buggy things that steal the time.

11.10 am. Today’s Vocational Practice class was on the nature, and good practice, of lecturing. (I should pay attention.) We had a very searching discussion. I received responses to questions that had not occurred to me. I very much appreciated the students’ commitment and candour. At the end, Tom invited us to share in his birthday celebrations, with several boxes of Christmas pies-cum-early. Very much appreciated:


2.00 pm. A twin-tutorial for my MA Fine Art tutees. There is a very different dynamic than experienced in the one to one conversation; the topics range more widely … but not so far from the mark.

3.00 pm. Some adminy things before a visit to the life room to look in on a student to whom I teach painting. Outside the room, Mr Jones (our dedicated porter) was taking his cleaning duties to an entirely new level — scraping away decades of soiled varnish to reveal the true lustre of the parquet flooring:

IMG_0452The life studies group were engaged with a Freudian composition comprising a human model and a young whippet. He found a warm welcome:


From 3.00 pm to the end of the afternoon, I interviewed my remaining personal tutees. Some students have to bear a great deal on top of their commitment to studies. Often, they have, of necessity, to live a virtual double-life: as students and gainful employees. As a student their age, I had it better. Such things should not be.

6.30 pm. Practise session 1. 7.30 pm. A few email volleys before a rather tedious transfer of PowerPoint slides from a previous module into the template of the new Abstraction module. A new home breathed new life into the illustrations and — let’s hope — the lecture too. A case of old wine in new wine skins (to invert the biblical metaphor).