July 28, 2018

Rarely can a person rescue themselves from themselves by themselves. 

8.30 am: A good night’s sleep. I woke only once. There was much to do today. I’ve been, in between tasks, rebuilding my iTunes library after the iMac’s collapse a month ago. In the background, I played Nomine Numine. I’m still learning from this suite about both sound and life. There was a painting to be re-installed in the studio (the initial securing device had developed a fault), and domestics to be undertaken. And all this in between the meat of the day’s studio work. 9.15 am: I reviewed yesterday’s efforts. My first response on returning to a composition in progress is: ‘What can be removed?’ Economy and efficiency. Simplicity and brevity. In contrast to Nomine Numine, ‘Write the Vision …’ proceeds deliberately, second-by-second. While happy accidents do occur, chance isn’t a determinant. (Which isn’t to say that my ‘muse’ is absent.)

In the studio, I introduced the MoogFooger MidiMurf and ClusterFlux (best said slowly, to avoid embarrassment) filters into the turntable’s effects loop:

The initial recordings were made, without modulation, on both turntables with the mixer’s low-pass filter in operation. The output was scratchy and insect-like. I recalled the opening scene of Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return (2017): ‘Listen to the sounds’.

1.30 pm: Off to town, with a view to buying an old illustrated Bible:

My usual supplier didn’t have any edition with the illustration that I was seeking: an engraving depicting Samuel’s recount to Eli of his experience of having heard God’s voice (1 Sam. 3.). The image, which was a staple of pulpit and family Bibles in the nineteenth century, is about telling sound. Before returning home, I took sustenance at my usual watering hole. ‘Someone has taken my chair!’, I protested, inwardly. (I can be very proprietorial, and far too habitual for my own good.) The chair and its table are situated at the sweet-spot of the WIFI signal’s strength. Hence … .

The café was unusually busy and full. The return of the rain, wind, and turbulent skies had driven folk indoors:

2.45 pm: Back to homebase and the studio, where I carried on the morning’s work. At the other end of the tonal spectrum, I made manual (motor ‘off’) gyrations on both turntables simultaneously, with the high-pass filters in operation. Distant thunder, woeful forebodings, bleak prospects, and dark judgements were evoked. I was in ‘Image and Inscription’ territory, once again. 5.00 pm: ‘Press Esc!’

8.00 pm: An evening at the Aberystwyth Music Fest’s Gala Opening, held at the Arts Centre’s Great Hall. Even if a composition doesn’t touch my soul (and Haydn never does), its performance may nevertheless. (Music = composition + performance + committed listening.) And it’s always instructive to see how professional musicians conduct themselves in public:

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