April 17, 2018

8.00 am: A communion.

8.30 am: It was the type of half-hearted rain that I feel loath to acknowledge by putting-up my umbrella. The tide was high. The wind whipped the sea into a raging swell that beat mercilessly against promenade wall. I enjoy visiting the sea when it’s rough (even though it never comes to see me when I’m rough).

9.00 am: Old College:

The first of a day’s MA fine art tutorials. I’ve two tutees preparing for the first of two exhibitions, in May. Both are confident and on course. The discussions were focussed on the principles of exhibiting and captioning. Neither are peripheral to the core business. The arrangement of the work either may or may not serve to articulate the works’ intent, individually and collectively. Ideally, it should also seek to convey some sense of how the artist wishes the works to be received. 10.30 am: Admin catch up.

11.00 am: The remainder of the morning was dedicated to two PhD fine art tutee. A change of gear (upwards). Two uplifting, contrasting, and wide-ranging engagements, with exciting prospects for future conferences (to be either attended or convened) to look forward to. It’s encouraging to see both so confident about making an important contribution to their respective fields.

1.00 pm: lunch over admin in the Quad. (A recipe for indigestion, if ever there was one.) There was a more than ample gentleman sitting behind me eating his way through a large portion of fish and chips. I strongly suspected that the two subjects were connected, causally. I’d a fruit and yogurt and granola banquet laid before me. This was part of my drive towards 68 kg (10 stone and 10 ounces): my weight at 25 years of age. I’m presently 4 kg off my mark.

1.40 pm: Back to the mothership. 2.00 pm: I held the first of three MA fine art tutorials before returning to the Old College for my final one of the day, plus a student consultation. The second of my tutees was with the widow of Dave Swarbrick – one of the finest folk fiddle players in the world:


Dave Swarbrick (courtesy of WikiCommons)

She relayed a wonderful anecdote about a meeting that she and Dave had with the Irish folk singing, songwriter, and innovative guitarist, John Martyn. Martyn suffered from gout and told Dave that, as a result, he was due to have one of his lower legs amputated. Dave responded: ‘Can I have your pedalboard, then?’ I was in stitches. What a lovely memory of both musicians*:


John Martyn (courtesy of WikiCommons)

6.45 pm: Having completed my final tutorial, I headed home … shattered, but glad of the day. There are times when I’m buoyed up by the energy and vitality that the students exude. Today was one of them.

7.30 pm: After half-an-hour dosing on the settee, I returned to admin. In the background, I began the process of temporally stretching the voice samples in readiness for composing. In my mind’s ear, I’m hearing something approaching a chorale for four voices.

*Many thanks to Jill for allowing me to share her story.

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