August 20, 2014


I awoke at 4.00 am with the odd sensation that I was joining a conversation with myself that had been going on in my head even as I slept. The upshot of the discussion was a plan: an answer to a problem that’d perplexed me for several months, and during these last few days especially. It described with great clarity all the projects that I should undertake in the next five years, including books to be written, a conference to be convened, exhibitions and performances to be staged, equipment to be built, and a new routine for work. The experience was — what mystics, prophets, and poets such as Thomas Hardy, refer to as — a moment of vision:

That mirror 
Works well in these night hours of ache; 
Why in that mirror 
Are tincts we never see ourselves once take 
When the world is awake?

I got to my study at 4.45 am, and quickly wrote down as much as I could remember, just in case a ‘person from Porlock’ interrupted and I, like Coleridge, forgot some part.*

Emails dispatched, I got back to the spirit and technology lecture:


Almost every day, I receive an email from indicating  that someone, for some reason, is researching me on Google. ‘Searches’ come from ‘all over the shop’, as my dad used to say — UK, USA, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, India, and countries that I, in turn, have to search for on the world map. The site is an excellent shop window for scholars who wish to get noticed. And who can afford not to be in this fatuous age, where spurious assertions about measurable public impact are increasingly regarded as a reliable index of research excellence.  One of my own subjects is fine art. So called, because it was believed to call forth and refine the viewer’s taste, judgement (perceptual and moral), intellect, and imagination. I somehow doubt it. In any case, how would one either test that claim or observe the process and quantify the fruit of such amelioration. ‘Blummin’ bonkers mun’, as we’re apt to remark in South Wales at moments of unresolvable cognitive dissonance:

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 12.18.17

Over lunch, I took apart Pedalboard IV and listened to an internet tutorial on the WMD Geiger Counter, the continued presence of which on Pedalboard I still hangs in the balance. Like most, highly tweakable guitar pedals (including the mighty MoogerFoogers), it yields more potential at one’s fingertips than at one’s toes. I really would prefer an ElectroHarmonix Big Muff Pi on the board. It’s fuzziness is a feature of my ‘signature’ guitar sound, such as it is:


After lunch, I tested the slide transformations and transitions of the spirit and technology PowerPoint and made final adjustments to the text.

The new bathroom tiles were unboxed. There are two batches. The white of the one on the left is subtly darker than the colour of the other. (‘Dark white’ — that’s resonant!) So, they can’t be intermixed. This is a full-colour photograph of the comparison:


Following my early-evening practise, I fitted the Big Muff onto Pedalboard I, to assuage my curiosity, and embarked up the design for Handboard 2. This will require a fresh consideration of the existing handboard’s array in relation to the one that is to come. The second board will be the first manifestation and practical outworking of the new ‘vision’ for equipment. Before the late-evening practise, I wrote notes towards a blog about the nature and function of this and my previous diaries. The story begins in 1971 and in a Letts Schoolboys Diary for that year … :


*The ‘vision’ was not induced by imbibing hallucinogenic substances of any kind.

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