April 22, 2016

Back to the album: checking, again, the length of individual tracks in the wake of final remixes made at the beginning of the week; confirming the dates and venues of the live recordings; and setting in motion the process of finalisation for publication. In respect to the latter, cover notes need to be written and translated into Welsh, and the cover design, conceived. Otherwise, I revisited the track entitled ‘Eschaton Ekstasis’. Too much was taking place at the centre of the stereo field. The overdriven guitar drones needed to be pushed to the left and to the right in order for the voice accompaniment (extracted from a shortwave Christian Fundamentalist broadcast in the USA) to have a space in the middle to breath:


Analogically, the composition was re-conceived as a landscape, rather than as a square, format. I’ve become increasingly aware that my approach to sound composition is from the perspective of painting. There’s much more to be understood and said in this respect. ‘Do you miss painting when you’re not?’, I’m asked. Certainly not when I’m making sound artefacts. The mentality is the same; only the medium is different.

Thereafter, the ‘map’ of ‘Image and Inscription’ (which has served as the storyboard for the composition) was updated with a few additional notes, and readied for archiving:


Before lunch, I received (out-of-the-blue) an invitation to join at discussion panel, organised by the Serpentine Galleries and College of Psychic Science, London, next week. The topic is psychic art. The event has been convened to coincide with the Hilma af Klint show at the Serpentine Gallery, and the forthcoming Giorgiana Houghton exhibition, which will be held at The Courtauld Institute. Some mid-week reorganisation of teaching will be required. My head is not presently in a ‘psychic’ mode. So, I’ll have to read my publications on the topic once again, in order to prep. It’s curious how public enthusiasm for this field of study has ebbed and flowed over the past decade. It’s one of those perverse facts of academic life: as soon as you stop writing about something, the rest world wakes up to it. By the close of the afternoon, the ‘map’ was up-to-date — complete. 

Searching through my cassette collection after dinner, I came upon the missing ‘CAS AD 012’ volume of the Aural Diary:


The year is 1989. The events recorded include: a telephone conversation with Dad on my 30th birthday; a pro-democracy march in Aberystwyth on behalf of students in China (this was the year of the Tiananmen Square protests); writing the first draft of my PhD thesis’ conclusion (where I appear to be dictating the composition to the typist as the thoughts came into my head); a conversation with, the now late, Mrs E Thomas (Aberystwyth) about her recollections of the Aberfan disaster in 1966; and the sound of a violin-playing busker coupled with a screeching escalator on the London Underground. I migrated the recordings, digitally, and entered the tracks into the catalogue. In the foreground, I started making notes towards the CD booklet.

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