March 25, 2015


8.30 am. Looking seaward: the anticipation of a day of unremitting niceness ahead (weather-wise, at least). But who knows ‘what the day may bring forth’. I anticipate bad weather ahead (metaphor-wise), and sooner rather than later. On with the ACW Report. I want this off my desk by close of Friday. The sound studio beckons, and I’m itching to get back among my cables and buttons, bleeps and whirrs. I need to further prepare the equipment and sound source for the ‘Image & Superscription’ (formerly ‘Graven Image III’) sound piece that, I hope, to compose at a publicly inaccessible event, held deep within the National Library of Wales. Alongside this, I want to initiate The Aural Bible III: Talking Bible project (based on the original vinyl recordings of the Scourby Bible (1953) (now available online)), which will see/hear me deploying techniques adapted from DJing and dub-culture. I await the delivery of the disc set of the bible from the USA in the next month or so. It’s something of a rarity:


11.45 am. A trip into town. First stop, a trophy engraver’s shop that, now, is no longer there. (Horror!) I need to record the sound of the Second Commandment being engraved in metal for the ‘Image & Inscription’ sound work. Instinct kicked in: Look for a trophy and key-cutting shop. Every town has one. My eyes were drawn to Merlin[‘]s Heel Bar at 12 Bridge Street (not far from the site of the original shop). I explained my requirements to the proprietor: a) I wanted to record the sound a the text being engraved; b) he could keep the metal plate afterwards. (I wasn’t interested in it.); c) the sound of the engraving would be processed through synthesisers in situ at the National Library of Wales, because the building had been subject to flames and smoke in 2003, and Moses had received the commandments under similar conditions. He took it well. Had I said that I was an alien visiting from another planet and wanted the name of my spacecraft inscribed on a plaque, I no doubt he would have accepted the account with the same probity and professionalism. (Although, I’m not sure which story is the more unlikely.) Mr Turner, the engraver, then proudly demonstrated his machine. It makes a useable, subtle ‘zzrrrrrrrrmmmmmzz’ noise when incising:


In a town like Aberystwyth, folk are unusually patient and obliging on the whole. 12.30 pm. A eye-ear type research committee meeting over a vegan meal at Tree House with Dr Roberts (my accomplice in noisy activities). (I’m neither a Vegan nor a Vulcan, nor any other off-world type. But I do like the food.) Plans are afoot. It’s all very strange. Mum’s the word. Watch this space. ‘The Noises of Art‘ conference may be about to see its first offspring (possibly).

2.00 pm. One Visiting Day student at the School to process, before a return to home base to pick up the threads of my lunchtime discussion and emails about other research initiatives underway. Then, back to the final question on the ACW Report form. An easier one. Nevertheless, one goes the second mile. 3.30 pm. Q: Could I work on a sound processing project for over 20 hours without sleep? (I’ll only be able to provide an answer if the National Library of Wales permits me to work there overnight.) My DJ two-channel, stereo mixer has arrived. Let the cross-fade begin!:


6.20 pm. Practise session 1: note bending, runs up and down the fretboard, and explorations of the bit-crusher effector. 7.30 pm. Forward with the ACW report and to the conclusion of the final question. 9.45 pm. Practise session 2: effecting modifications to Pedalboard I.

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