My lower back and thighs remained tense. I maintained my regime of painkillers, icepacks, exercises, and periodic alternations between seat-based and feet-based activities. 8.45 am: A communion. 9.15 am: I returned to essay marking. This would be my focal work for the day. (In the background: King Crimson’s Larks’ Tongues in Aspic (1973). I’m reading Sid Smith’s excellent biography of the group, in bed at night, and listening to their albums in order, in tandem, during the day.)
The shortcomings of undergraduate essays are predictable – in spite of advice received, and specific teaching regarding the pitfalls of academic writing at this level and how to avoid them. Perhaps this is an instance in life where they have to come-a-cropper in order to see the light. There’s no success like failure, as it were. In the background: the garage informed us that our car is a right-off, following the crash. I played Miles Davis’ composition ‘Right Off’ (1970). I wondered why he titled the composition such. For the music never falters. (Well, at least my wife and I weren’t written-off too.)
12.00 pm: On the bench, a new acquisition: the Ableton Push 2:
It’s a hardware sampler/launcher/compositional interface that, along with the requisite software, will permit me to present and construct sound compositions, based on pre-recorded and modulated sources, in a live context. In essence, the device plus a laptop are all that I need to haul to gigs. I’ll test this arrangement at my performance for the Sound & Music symposium ‘Pyramid’, which will be held in March.
It’d taken 2 hours to mark one essay. I needed to do better than that. 1.40 pm: I sourced an educational version of the software for the new hardware controller. Then, it was back to the essays. I especially like those submissions that either teach me something I don’t know or connect things that I do know in surprising ways.
4.45 pm: Our Russian computer whizz visited in order to apply himself to some of the more recalcitrant problems besetting the domestic brood. (These are ‘demons’ that neither my younger son nor I have been able to exorcise.) Once you’ve a computer buff under your roof, it’s so hard to let them leave. ‘Do you fix vacuum cleaners and mow lawns too?’, as it were. During periods when I needed to stretch my spine, a MacBook was readied for a new software installation. Dinner would be late.
7.45 pm: Food downed, I was straight back to the essays for the remainder of the evening. (In the background: Roxy Music’s For Your Pleasure (1973):