May 12, 2017

Yesterday. A morning spent walking through mental mud as I tried to marshal further thoughts regarding the proposed conference. My intolerances to certain foods periodically give rise to cognitive malfunctions, such that I have to be very deliberate in my reasoning and actions — which can be taxing. In the afternoon, I completed the new sound system array for the notional performable dimension of ‘The Talking Bible’ project. This system is simple and portable (relative to others that I’ve conceived over the years). But it’s still darned heavy. (I need roadies.):

In the evening, I attended the NT Live performance of Iva van Hove’s theatrical realisation of Luchino Visconti’s 1943 film Obsession. Hove is one of the most intelligent, deliberate, visual, and innovative directors in contemporary theatre.

Today. 8.30 am: Letters to write, postings to release, and schedules to resolve. 9.30 am: studiology. The system was put through its trials:

No sooner than you switch on a computer, it needs to update (sigh!). I will amplify the output through the PA system (main speakers and sub woofer) with a view to getting as close an approximation to the live sound as possible. My examination of abstract turntableist performances on YouTube (which give a less than adequate representation of the acoustic character of a live event) suggests that the amplification is often something of an afterthought. I attended a performance in Oxford given by Maria Chavez, one of the finest exponents of the art form. On that occasion, the sound was loud and confrontational, clean and dynamically well-rounded. I stood as close as I could to her during the performance, without appearing to be overbearing (I hope). Her artistry was in the small movements of the hand and disc in unison. She has a rare improvisational intelligence.

I’m anticipating the new series of Twin Peaks with great expectations. On my Facebook comments, having viewed the latest trailer, I wrote:

An artist shouldn’t give the public what they want, cannot go back or stand still, but must be true to implications of their own evolution.

11.00 am: A brief exchange with the marketing department at the National Library of Wales about the promotion of my CDs. 11.40 pm: To School and, first, to the studios to check out the show’s preparations. At show time, everyone’s a painter:

12.00 pm: Two tutorials (BA and PhD) followed. 1.00 pm: Back to the studios — where I was like fresh meat to blue bottles. 1.30 pm: At homebase, lunch was taken over a computer. (Never good.) My diary for the next few weeks was becoming ever more complex and labour intensive. Preparatory Post-its proliferate. (A good tongue-twister.):

2.15 pm: Studiology (again). First, I challenged every assumption that I’d made regarding the optimisation of the set up. Secondly, I made changes to the system for the sake of change … because, sometimes, inconceivable outcomes arise as a result. Thirdly, I extracted from the system any means of processing that was not indigenous to the record decks. (Bye, bye, delay effectors!). Fourthly, I stopped being hung-up on stereo. (This was a mono recording, after all.) And, finally, I threw tentativeness to the four wind. (Maybe, I should’ve begun with just the two winds.)

7.30 pm: I added a second sampler/looper to the system. (This provided the type of delay that the ex-effectors were designed to produce … only better.) The two aren’t synchronously linked, deliberately. Useable anomalies can, therefore, creep in. But one sampler/looper plays more loudly than the other. Why?

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