October 6, 2017

5.30 am: I awoke, frustrated that I could sleep no longer. This issues of life began to seep back into consciousness. 6.00 am: Tired of fighting. Rise! The harvest moon looked down upon my study with a kindliness that only this heavenly body can suggest. (Palmer! You got it so right.) A consoling metaphor:

8.15 am: A communion. 8.45 am: I played John McLaughlin’s interpretation of Victor Young’s and Ned Washington’s My Foolish Heart (1949), and laid claim to its sentiment. 9.00 am: There were just a few administrative untidinesses to bring to book before I could open the studio in good conscience.

9.20 am: When heartfelt distractions press, the trick is keep busy and set your focus on something outside of yourself. The double agenda for the next few days: 1 Complete a second section (at least) for the ‘I. Nothing. Lack.‘ composition; and, 2. Construct a sound system for the ‘Turn Table’ project. (This would entail partially dismantling the system for ‘The Talking Bible’ project.)

1. The tape hiss track was added to a sample of MacMillan reciting the whole of Psalm 23. Sections of ‘bit-dropout’, from the spaces in between phrases, were extracted, amplified, EQ-ed, and compressed. These sections have an ecstatic-chaotic and musical quality, which serves as a counterpoint to the dismal degeneration of the preacher’s voice. A reverberant version of the voice track was bled into the mix incrementally. Thereafter, each part of the extraction was re-EQ-ed to enhance its frontal presence in the mix and vary the tonal dynamics throughout the track. Processes like this can take an age:

1.30 pm: Following lunch, I reviewed the morning’s work. On, then, to: 2. Setting up the ‘Turn Table’ sound system. I’m deliberately trying to not over-think this project. I’ve a tendency to complicate things in an endeavour to cover all my bases and envisage all eventualities. (Be more spontaneous, John! You’re too much a creature of habit.) On this occasion, Ill be throwing caution to the wind (as I seem to be in life as well, increasingly.) The equipment will be kept to a workable minimum. It’s the ergonomics of the set-up that’ll be most difficult to resolve. I’d connect it up, as far as I could, in the evening.

1. I’d now two tracks in states of partial resolution. (I’m not sure whether they are backgrounds or complete in themselves.) I made a bid for a third.

7.30 pm: 2. The anticipated connection fest began: Devices to PSUs, PSUs to mains conditioner, mains conditioner to wall socket, phono to phono, phono to TRS, USB to firewire, firewire to laptop, and so forth. Done!:

I’ll test drive (‘John! You don’t drive’) the system tomorrow. 1. For the final half an hour of the evening session, I turned to the more ‘musical’ samples of MacMillan’s sermon – those passages where MacMillan’s enthusiasm translated his speech into song, almost. (What is referred as Hywl, in Welsh.)

11.00 pm: In 2010, I was invited by Eric Lesdema to contribute to a book of experimental writing by artists and art historians, among others, entitled Drowning the Moon (pp. 86–89, 2013). It was an opportunity for authors to step outside their skins (and other people’s expectations too), and re-invent themselves (albeit temporarily) as ‘another’. I submitted a short piece entitled ‘Ann X’, based upon conversations that I’d had with one of my former PhD Art History students. She was a spiritualist medium. I played safe. Recklessness was not called for on this occasion:

The ‘typewritten’ ‘aside’, which has had an occasional presence on this page over the summer months, furthers this excursion, but far less cautiously. I’m neither a poet, nor a novelist, nor a playwright. The texts present discontinuous ideas – a fractured and tangled narrative – drawn from ‘someone’s’ past, present, and anticipated future(s). The distinctions between fiction and fact, biography and autobiography, remain deliberately blurred. Nothing should be inferred, necessarily. It’s only art, after all.

An aside: Pyramus and Thisbe:

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