October 29, 2016

He that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding (Prov. 17.28).

Yesterday, I attended to the conference paper, full on, all morning and afternoon. The ship has now moved out of dock. As I wrote, and developed PowerPoint slides in tandem, the focus of the essay was established. When this happens, many ideas (perfectly good ones) fall away, of necessity. They give way to more appropriate ideas. New ideas.

6.00 pm: Off to School to prepare for the arrival of our guests — The Aberystwyth Friendship Group. 7.00 pm: Set up:


7.15 pm: The guest began to arrive and take their seats:


7.35 pm: ‘Kick off’. I delivered, what the old Welsh preachers called, ‘stale manna’: a lecture culled from a variety of prior sources, all related to the the theme of Welsh coalminers who’d made art in the twentieth century. Living, dying, misery, struggle, inequality, and exploitation, on the one hand, and ingenuity, invention, perseverance (against the odds), and astonishing attainment (in the circumstances), on the other. It’s all there.

Saturday. 9.30 am: On return from my tour of the town and ‘shop’, I popped in to see my next door neighbour to simply listen and be. The bereaved don’t want words that’ll make them feel better. They want and need to experience and express their grief; that’s one of the ways in which they honour and remember the departed, and reckon upon and adjust to their inestimable loss. And, they want you to feel along with them. That’s the most and best one can do, sometimes.

11.30 am: Back to the conference paper:


I was now, as commentators used to say of preachers who finally got into the stride of their sermon, ‘warming to my subject’.

Lunchtime. I made a further modification to Pedalboard IV (the practise board), with the addition of a mini volume pedal, placed (contrary to common practice and all good sense) at the end of the effectors’ run. (But it works … superbly.) The board now needs a buffer upgrade:


1.30 pm: A further hour on the paper before some necessary time in the studio. One should temporarily down tools on a project knowing what you’ll do next when they’re next picked up. So, until Monday …

In the studio, I modified Pedalboard III (always a pleasure) with the addition of an equaliser, and established a channel-map between the digital mixer’s outputs and the inputs on my sound-editing software (often a pain):



Pedal boards are a happy vexation. Test. Test. Test. All systems operational. 5.20 pm: ‘Click to shut down’. 6.30 pm: Practise session 1. 7.30 pm: An evening with my wife.

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October 31, 2016