Sunday, August 2. 11.30 am: The service of Morning Prayer, broadcast from Canterbury Cathedral. ‘Where’s Bishop?’ He was sitting on stone steps in the far distance, like a small animal in one of Henri Rousseau’s jungle scenes:
A reflection on a return:
4.00 pm: After the weekly round of cleaning, we took an afternoon walk to the, now, deserted university campus, taking in the wildflowers en route.
Monday, 3 August. WFH: DAY 108. 8.15 am: A communion. 9.00 am: The week head: planning ‘virtual-coffees’ at which to natter informally with colleagues, postgraduate tutorials, and resit arrangements; and attending to the weekend’s incoming mail and postgraduate applications.
10.00 am: Studiology and a review of Saturday’s efforts. Terrifying. The composition follows the narrative development closely. An additional ‘bang’ of a different complexion was manufactured, suggesting: something small and soft impacting upon something hard to make a very loud noise. (A contradiction in terms.) The description in the account is as follows: ‘Once, when they were at meeting, it threw a pad against the door, at the foot of the stairs, which made so great a noise as surprised and terrified those who were near the door especially.’ The ‘pad’ was a stuffed article of undergarment worn around the waist to add shape to dresses. My pad was an abstraction of such, roughly the same size and weight (I imagine). It was thrown against a door repeatedly.
12.00 pm: Having inserted a composit of several ‘bangs’ into the compositional session, the sound in my ears was now like the sound I had in my head when reading the text. A success. The new additions opened up other compositional opportunities that required testing, even if they were to be rejected finally.
1.00 pm: Lunch:
1.30 pm: Agenda: ruthless editing; compressing; better understanding the logic of the parts’ relation to one another; pushing everything to an excess, before retreating to a saner position; and discovering what micro-adjustments that could make a great deal of difference. 2.15 pm: The composition was in a state of ‘draft’ completion. That’s to say, what sounds good today may turn ‘ify’ when I return to it tomorrow. Before considering the next composition, I re-read the accounts in Apparitions of Spirits, in order to convince myself that I’d not overlooked any realisable sound content:
7.00 pm: Back to my circumnavigation of the Vicarage Field. My knee had been playing up over the last week, so I completed a modest two laps only. 7.40 pm: I rarely enter a work session without a sense of what I’m going to undertake therein. I’d not completed the re-reading. The task, therefore.