9.45 am: Having mixed draft compositions into the wee hours (when it was so, so quiet around and about), I gave myself an extra hour in bed. (‘Slacking, John!’, my ‘muse’ would’ve said.) The John Ruskin whimsy (and who’d have thought that you could get a laugh out of him) continues, sporadically:
10.00 am: A communion. 10.30 am: Studiology. The next composition. ‘225’ is the name of the bomb that was set off on July 19, 1964, in an underground tunnel in Degelen, Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan by the, then, Soviet Union. Since 1963, the USA has detonated bombs from deep beneath the surface, in order to prevent radioactive materials from being released into the atmosphere. The Soviets appear to have been the only country to deploy a tunnel for this purpose during 1964. My mind wrestled with the implications of that environment for the sonic character of the work.
The wisdom texts for this next piece are two parallel verses from the Psalms: ‘He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire’ (Psalm 46.9), and ‘There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle. Selah’ (Psalm 76.3). All I needed to do was locate the texts on the vinyl (which I did with surprising speed):
The ‘Wisdom is Better Than … ‘ suite deploys the accumulated overlay of all the digital recordings made from The Talking Bible box sets. However, it sacrifices characteristics of the 40 minute+ superimposition of the vinyl recordings – representing the whole Bible. Originally, I’d conceived of the project as either a long-sound (like thousands of people in prayer), which would be installed in a chapel, or else one that was manipulated in situ, live. Perhaps, as I approach the end of the CD project, I’m coming full circle. If the composition or performance ever becomes a reality, it’ll be called ‘All Scripture’ (2 Timothy 3.16).
1.30 pm: A cruise into town, to fulfil domestic tasks and walk along the seashore in order to both remember and put things into perspective:
2.30 pm: Back at home, I began the slow process of stretching the Psalm texts. I laid and played the two verses in parallel. The adjusted sources recalled my Nomine Numine (2018), which features the same process for four voices (two people, speaking twice). In contrast, in ‘225’, the two voices (Scourby, speaking twice) would be accompanied by the 3-minute, modulated section of the whole-Bible source. I’d little sense of either how or whether they’d mesh.
5.20 pm: Down tools.