February 19, 2016

9.00 am. In the sound studio, I pressed forward with section 7 of the composition. Following a review of this week’s efforts, I plundered my library of sound sources for material to support this and the penultimate section, which deals with the forging and destruction of the golden calf. First, a tentative response to the ten words of the Decalogue. This needed to be terrifying (Exod. 20.19). Advice to self: ‘Avoid the obvious, clichéd, illustrative, sensational, literal, and repetitious solution’; ‘Instead, court the unexpected, counterintuitive, and least likely possibility’. Sometimes (as was the case this morning), I don’t have a precise idea of what I want, or of what’s possible. But I’ll know it when I hear it, as they say. All I could do, in the meantime, was equivalent to throwing Lego bricks together in the hope that the some pieces would stick. By noon, a set of options had begun to emerge:


1.40 pm. Having developed the set, I could now trial each new component within the established environment of section 7. It’s a process not unlike trying various glass slippers on Cinderella. (The rate of wastage (misfits) doesn’t bear thinking about.) Once one or more samples fit (and these are, what I call, the spinal samples), then others attach themselves either side, like irregular ribs, with far less effort. I continued adding and subtracting, swapping and replacing, cutting and splicing, amplifying and modifying the equalisation of the samples, for the remainder of the afternoon. I know I have something when I can ‘see’ the space, the distance, the sonic breadth and depth of the work. This was apparent by 5.00 pm:


6.15 pm. Practise session 1. 7.15 pm. As the arrangements proceeds, the adjustments that must be made are smaller, while at the same time their impact is more significant. The section was falling into place by virtue of its internal rationale and necessities. This composition is far more airy and spatial that the others, and not at all how I anticipated it would turn out. This is not an unusual experience. Creativity is always a collaboration between the creator’s intent, the materials, technique, and the logic of form in a bid to secure an uncertain outcome. 9.30 pm. Complete.

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February 20, 2016