January 30, 2016

8.20 am. An early morning excursion into town to run errands and receive a haircut. My stylist regaled me with stories of his celebrity clients, the price of a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, and charity dos in Cardiff. 9.00 am. Afterward, I looked heavenward:


There was a brittle, tingling, vitalising air; the harbinger of snow, perhaps. This was the day. No other. A suggestion of a promissory: something would happen; something would change … beginning with myself.

9.45 am. Conspectualisation, again. The case had to be made for a discussion of the Bible and sound to be included in the book. For me, presently, this was like falling off a log. More challenging, was devising statements of a generalising and summative nature, from a perspective far enough away from the totality of the book to perceive the whole. I stared blankly at the shelves behind my monitors:


11.00 am. Time out, and a brief review of the work undertaken on section 6, yesterday. Smashing! One should rejoice when the work has gone really well! These occasions are all too rare. The sound work has now developed sufficiently for me to recognise its conceptual, stylistic, methodological, and emotional character. I now know what is possible and what is not within this framework. In other words, the work has defined its discipline.

I took time to comment on a Facebook posting about restrictive practices that are emerging on American campuses. (So, it won’t be long before this becomes an issue for UK universities.) In order to protect the emotional well-being of young people, faculty (and, I assume, student peers too), we must exercise alarming caution lest they offend or otherwise psychologically damage the sensitive and vulnerable by speaking about controversial ideas (for which ‘crime’ the perpetrators are likely to be punished). This type of censoriousness combines infantilization with the spirit of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, in my opinion. I remarked: ‘The result is the cultivation of weak-minded, hypersensitive, thin-skinned, auto-victimising, and ineffectual students. The campus is not a care home; it’s an arena in which students and staff do battle against the forces of ignorance and injustice’.

1.40 pm. Back to it, with Aaron Copeland’s Quiet City (1939) in the ether. His compositions (together with those of Vaughan Williams) have a remarkable ability to summon a visual landscape, sonically. 2.45 pm. I added another keyboard to my study workspace:


This will serve as my productive ‘distraction‘, so that I can develop my understanding of scalar relationships further during those periods when my textual mind claps-out. By 4.45 pm, it had. But the section I’d worked on throughout the morning and afternoon was, by then, complete. Time for a further consideration of section 6 before the close of the afternoon.

5.15 pm. Press ‘Esc’. 6.30 pm. Practise session 1. 7.30 pm. An evening with my wife.

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