8.30 am: I acted upon last night’s ‘dream’. 9.00 am: On, then, with a combination of research correspondence, assessments, and writing. The next fortnight will be a cake mix of these components. Crucially, and above all this, I must clearly define what’s achievable in the year ahead. What are my objectives and ambitions? What must either change or be brought to a conclusion or initiated? Certainly, I must do things that: I’ve not done before; I cannot presently conceive or do; and are ambitious, personally demanding, fulfilling, exciting, and fun.
The most rewarding projects that I’ve undertaken in the past had, in prospect, appeared painful to contemplate, impossible to achieve, and reckless to undertake. Therefore, I shall do nothing that I’ve done before, or is doable, safe, and easy. If I risk everything, then, I might just achieve something. Moreover, I must inculcate in myself a sense of imperative and necessity. Motivation is a determination of the mind, heart, and will together. By lunchtime, the abstract for my chapter was complete and posted.
In the afternoon: studiology. There was much else that I could’ve done that wasn’t about creative practice. But my instinct was to re-engage with the final composition on the CD: ‘Wisdom is Better than Weapons of War’. Inner necessity must be allowed to win out, sometimes.
It begins with a ‘bang’ – an almighty one. The composition is in five parts. The first of these has been completed. It’s the sound of the needle being dropped onto the opening groove of the first side of the first record in the set, slowed down 40 times. The titles for the compositions are derived from the name of the sites and the bombs that were set-off during the nuclear tests in the USA and Soviet Union in July 1964:
1 Whetstone (Bye)
4 Whetstone (Link)
5 Whetstone (Trogon)
I’ve no clue how compositions 2 to 5 will sound. Which is ideal. No presuppositions; no assumptions. Only discovery. (‘Surprise me, John!’, my ‘muse’ would’ve said.)
The 48 minutes of my core sample (being the sound of every side of every record in The Talking Bible box set superimposed) was divided into four 12-minute sections. Theses were, then, likewise superimposed and divided into four sections, one for each of compositions 2 to 4.
In the evening, I created discrete ‘cases’ for each composition. This will encourage me to conceive of them as independent entities that, nevertheless, bear a family resemblance. I returned to ‘Whetstone/Cormorant’, and explored the effect of dropping the pitch of the superimposition by up to four octaves. In the sounds, I heard a subterranean world.