8.20 am: A communion. 8.45 am: An issue (in every sense of the word) of emails before settling to writing (interrupted by a period of blood-letting at my GP practice). Yesterday, as I was talking with a student whose work is improvisational in nature, a realisation struck me. It was already something I knew and understood. But, on this occasion, that knowledge became significant and pertinent. It concerned the constructive/collagist nature of my working practices in sound. Would it be possible for me to compose pieces entirely improvisationally? If so, then, like painting, composition could assume a performative dimension. Which is not to assume the necessity of an audience. After all, painting is ‘performed’ in solitude, for the most part.
9.40 am: Off to visit the nurse (who dealt with me ten minutes before my appointment time). 10.10 am: Back at homebase, with another cuppa tea and square of 85% dark chocolate to comfort my poor punctured arm. I chaptered on – refining, rephrasing, and removing.
1.15 pm: A hastily arranged ‘sound’ research consultation meeting at one of Aberystwyth’s, now, many all-day breakfast cafes:
Some projects move forward in fits and starts, others die the death (a mercy killing, in some cases), and yet others steam ahead unhindered even in the face of discouragement and adversity. We talked about a possible performance project centred upon electric guitars. Very worthy. But I’m not prepared … yet. At home, I watched YouTube videos of experimental guitarists. Clearly, all were enjoying themselves. (There’s a rather uncomfortable ‘masturbatory’ indulgence evident in some of these examples.) But what I hear is also often mediocre and predictable, and sometimes banal and downright awful. There’s too little evidence of craft, knowledge, and discipline. If you engage in this field of endeavour, then you must bring to it something remarkable and worth your audience taking the time and effort to accommodate the challenge.
Back in 2010–11, I made a number of tentative excursions into sound and image collaborations. It was a point of departure and termination, almost simultaneously. But the experience was instructive. It taught me to recognise my limits, be very brave, trust my instincts, trust art, know what I didn’t know, and know what I didn’t want: