May 11, 2018

6.15 am: A twinge in my back persuaded me to stay of the exercise regime one more day. This condition can be so physically draining. 7.15 am: Another supine communion. ‘Oh, Buddy!’ 8.30 am: I walked to the School under the suitably grey, motionless, and dense ceiling of the sky to retrieve materials to mark. There was no one about; every room was locked. (That concept has an unsettling resonance for me, presently.):

Over the past few days, I’d revived my on-line personal diary. In an analogue form, it was the mode of reflection that began my diaristic commitment, back in 1982 (about which, I’ve written elsewhere.) The last time I engaged a digital version was in 2013-14. The practice was undertaken over a period of three months, before the contents were erased. The diary allowed me to track and observe my responses to a given situation. I’d no intention of reading it ever again. Too personal. Too painful. I didn’t wish to remember.

9.30 am: Studiology. ‘Saul>Paul’ was 80% in the can. The next pass would adjust the relative volumes of the samples and their relationship to the beat-tracks. The final pass would be concluded only when all the compositions for the ‘Blind’ suite are completed. There was one other track that I’d only tentatively addressed, and without any confidence that I could pull it off. But, then again, that’s often when unconsidered alternative approaches emerge. There’re times when you’ve a problem but not a solution, and times when you’ve a solution that doesn’t fit the problem.

I resigned myself to the possibility that nothing would be straightforward today. Most things would take several attempts to get right, and some things would not be put right. I set up the rig in order to pass the ‘dry’ signal output of the recorded text from one computer, through modulators, and into another, where the ‘wet’ signal would be recorded:

My intention was to improvise on the modulators while the capture was in progress, and then combine the most serviceable parts of my attempts in the final recording. By lunchtime, I’d made interesting things. But were they relevant to the textual interpretation? And how can a sound be interpretative without being also illustrative ?

After lunch, I generated several more modulated versions of the text, while fighting off emails and waging war on myself. Throughout the day, I’ve also been doing battle with equipment and software. There’ve been explicable problems. I determined to press on regardless. It’s possible to resolve a problem without fully understanding it. (A lesson for life.) On such occasions, intuition trumps reason. I lined-up the tracks in readiness for composition:

5.oo am: The mixdown of the session was aligned with a track (a stretched version of all the references to ‘blind’ in the Bible, spoken by Scourby), which would be in the front row of the composition. This inverted the usual relationship between spoken text and beat track in the other works of the suite.

7.30 pm: Marking, with King Crimson’s Beat (1982) in the background. (Great song; dreadful video.) I invariably return to the year of its release for either refuge or to establish a point from which my, now, known future can be observed:

Our history can teach us a great deal about how we should meet the issues of the present, how we’ve responded to similar situations in the past, and what is our likely trajectory in respect to such towards the future.

The Holy Trinity Church Newsletter has published that part of my text to the intercessions of April 29 related to the death of a dear sister, friend, and member of our congregation:

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