8.30 am: The weekly, weekly-teaching commitments confirmation exercise was undertaken, emails posted and given response, and my iMac desktop cleared of unarchived folders. One has to ‘prepare … the way’ for new projects. Sweep the granary floor clean!, as it were. 9.30 am: To proper work. In the background to today’s core business, another computer was crunching down my set of ten, 50-minute lectures for the British Landscape module to two-minutes’ length for each of year of their delivery. Rather it than me.
Once the process of admin cleansing is begun, there can be no stopping it. Today, I’m setting in motion administrations related to the SteelWork project. There are many collaborators, and they all have to be kept motivated and in the loop. In explaining to someone a project for the first time, the essence of the idea is clarified. I sometimes ask students to articulate their own projects as though to a drunk who has sidled up to them at a party to ask what they (the student) are studying. In short, how do you get rid of the nuisance sharpish? By giving a succinct, satisfactory, and easily digestible answer promptly.
Over lunch, I got physical. Soldering is therapeutic:
2.30 pm: On with SteelWork. The search for funding commences. In parallel, I conducted a little cable sourcing (these are dull but entirely necessary acquisitions); contacted my reliable and resourceful electronics repair man, Mr Martin Owen; and made inquiries regarding film archive material related to the Port Talbot Steel Works. I’m interested in historical recordings of the site. My instinct is that they wont be included in the composition, as such; they will be, instead, provide sounds that’ll either be imitated or inform the mood of the piece. 4.15 pm: Back to note taking. The distant sounds of the fair — its reverberant pulse, pound, and holler — drifted upon the cold air northwards:
7.15 pm: I responded to my morning’s emails regarding the SteelWork project, while continuing to press down years of lectures into just a few minutes. There emerges a fascinating and quiet unexpected network of connections linking the present steel works (build upon the site of a Cistercian Abbey) to religion, hauntings, and the history of early photography. I felt at home with the subject, already.