July 27, 2018

6.00 am: I could wrestle no more by tossing and turning. Up! Up! 7.15 am: Breakfast alone. I tend to live out-of-sync with my family on weekdays. 8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 am: Having established the technological framework for action, I set about investigating, in a systematic way, its potential to articulate the acoustic writing. In parallel, the source text was once again addressed in order to discern the dominant tone of the narrative. This will inform the mood of the composition:

This composition, like the others, will be an interpretation of the biblical text. Whether it’ll be a particularly illuminating or intelligible one is for others to judge. At bedrock, the Scripture suggests ideas, procedures, colourations, and structures that can be used to inform the composition and vanquish arbitrariness:

I reigned in the modulators and restricted their contribution to a short delay; this opened up the stereo field more widely. My attention honed in on the rather gritty interludes that lay between the end of one acoustic letter and the beginning of the other. I extracted and hand manipulated the samples in such as away as to create a manual and irregular repetition. These, in turn, were rendered as digital loops. (Looping the loop, as it were.):

Once the derived samples lengths were adjusted – so that all of them were 4-seconds duration – and spruced up, I entered them into the Digital Audio Workstation’s (DAW) session. I didn’t know either if, or how, or where they’d contribute to the final composition. However, I was confident that they’d passed the quality control threshold. Get the parts right, and the whole might just follow suit. There’re no guarantees. But always, there’re the self-imposed pressures to push the material, technology, and the compositional structure beyond the boundaries of what I’ve undertaken thus far in this domain of my practice.

3.20 pm: The rain came. A blessing:

By the close of the afternoon session, I’d established an opening for the piece and the beginnings of the compositional logic.

7.30 pm: It’s only when I suspect that I’m on a right path that risks and courage are taken and my sense of the what’s important, clarified. What was precious becomes disposable. That which appeared (sounded) too large and unwieldy is bacon sliced into manageable, mobile, and useable units. And those samples that were, earlier, deemed unassuming and destined for deletion find a place of prominence within the developing scheme of things. (‘The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner’ (Ps. 118.22).) The creative process turns our assumptions on their head. Like love (sometimes), its course isn’t always straightforward: composition proceeds by fits and starts, through twists and turns and reversals of fortune, towards dead-ends, into the fog, and out towards the sunshine.

By the close of the evening, the opening two minutes had been sketched out and provisionally filled. If I’d spent any longer on it, the section would have closed in on itself, making it impossible to introduce new or alternative elements. At this stage, resolution needs to a potential rather than a realisation.

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