October 20, 2016

8.45 am: Art/Sound set up. 10.10 am: A day of second and third year painting tutorials began:


The seasonal lurgy is still doing the rounds, laying waste to students for several days at a time. When otherwise conscientious students are absent, you know that they’re desperately disposed. There may be a pocket of space on Tuesday to perform some remedial catch up with them.

Over my lunch break, I returned to the etching room and rerecorded the drying rack‘s reverberant ache (like the plaintive scream of a banshee). I’d wager that its hinges and springs have not enjoyed a squirt of lubricant in decades. Long may they be deprived:


The sound is as much a product of the structure of the rack as of its dry and rusting articulations. The assembly looks like its sounds: a deep and cavernous scaffolding through which the grind and screeches travel and vibrate downwards, upwards, and outwards. The astonishing reverberation is created much in the same way as sonic reflections by a spring-reverb chamber in a tube amplifier for an electric guitar:


2.00 pm: Back into the fray — moving from second to third year students, as I toppled helplessly towards the end of the afternoon. These worn and frazzled brushes were my objective correlative:


6.30 pm: Practise Session 1. 7.30 pm: Uploads were posted, registers updated, and emails to absentees and outstanding correspondence, dispatched. The decks then cleared, I reviewed and edited the recording that I’d made at lunchtime. The raw sound of the rack has its own integrity. Sometimes, its difficult to break into or improve upon a source that is intrinsically complete. (It’s the same dilemma students face when attempting a painterly transcription of a too-good photograph.) The process of modulation will, therefore, need to take the source in a very different direction (one that, nevertheless, remains responsive to the source’s fundamental sonic character).

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October 22, 2016