September 20, 2017

9.00 am: Off to School for a PhD Fine Art tutorial via Skype:

[This is not a ‘selfie’; this is a double portrait for the purposes of evincing a dialogue, visually.] Some tutorials, and this was one, lift-off and generate a large number of relevant ideas, fit together many pieces into the jigsaw, effortlessly, and reveal undercurrents of thought to which both the tutee and the supervisor were hitherto oblivious. We received moments of ‘vision’ today, too, as longstanding problems evaporated and new ways of understanding emerged. These are the ‘blesséd’ times.

10.45 am: Back at homebase, I culled the assessment criteria for undergraduate levels 2 and 3 of Painting. Dr Forster and I will walk the students through these very deliberately at the module induction classes. We believe in standards, and that standards are articulable, defensible, and achievable. The students’ greatest battle is with not the limits of their talent but, rather, the principle of inertia. Students who underachieve do so, more often than not, due to insufficient confidence in the nobility of the enterprise, a want of commitment (which is usually expressed through hard work and perseverance), and an addiction to prevarication.

I’m a sucker for graphs:

2.00 pm: Studiology and teaching prep in tandem. The studio needed a tidy, and the new cassette-tape recorders, to be integrated into the sound system for ‘I. Nothing. Lack.’ While tracks were mixed down, I returned to my study and put the finishing touches to the PowerPoint presentation for ‘One-to-One Tutorials and Assessment Criteria: Definitions and Expectations’. On completion, I sat back in the studio and listened to those tracks that I’d completed last week. In all likelihood, a suite of four related compositions will evolve, the same number as sermons preached during that week in 1979. I listened to the transitions from one sound to another, principally:

7.30 pm: I listened again to ‘The Silences’ mix on a different set of headphones. My rule is to always to bounce around from one set of speakers to another and from one set of ‘cans’ to another, throughout a mix. Each audio-monitoring set up presents the sound in a particular way. That way is not necessarily going to be the same as someone else’s experience when hearing the same sounds on different equipment. The aim is to achieve a mix that works well on several contrasting types and qualities of gear and contexts of audition.

On the second mix, I gave each sample more space to solo and varied the amplitude’s dynamics further. The composition was getting close to optimisation. However, after two hours of listening I could hear, but without discernment. The ears, like the eyes, tire. Rest!

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