WFH: DAY 109. A forlorn day. 7.15 am: Breakfast:
8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 pm: There was a slide on my Powerpoint presentation that required attention, and yesterday’s composition to review, before anything new was begun. When I listen to the compositions for this suite, I visualise a black and white film accompaniment. But it’s not one that converts the audio element into a soundtrack; the audio and the visual elements are co-equals — two parts of another whole. 9.30 pm: I drew up a track-list for work produced thus far.
10.00 am: I extended my perspective, and reviewed the last fortnight’s work. A sonic continuity was now evident. 10.30 am: I also reviewed my overview of Jones’ sonic accounts. There’s a danger of isolating the accounts. Other compositions ought to integrate related phenomena, perhaps, in order to avoid a programmatic and illustrative tendency.
11.00 am: A ‘virtual-coffee’ chat with a colleague:
Topics: Cholera cemeteries, small-scale publishing with a large reach, supporting young Welsh artists, playing improvisatory music in a band, receiving formal music education, the Welshness of John Cale, and student needs.
12.00 pm: A PhD fine art tutorial:
Interrogate our motives, we must. So much of what we do, work-wise, will remain an unnecessary mystery if we don’t. We will not, cannot, should not know the whole story about what we do. To understand fully the nature of our work presupposes a thorougher awareness of ourselves. That’s too tall an order. We need only understand enough about both … for now.
1.30 pm: I put composition aside and attended to technology. Throughout the course of this suite, I’ve attempted to process the source sounds using methods and software that I’ve not before deployed. This afternoon, I returned to feeding external analogue and digital sources through the Amplitube3 software:
Once that was ‘sorted’, I was cast back upon developing a new sound source which, in turn, cast me back on a new textual account. At some point, I need to bite the bullet and determine a provisional short list of phenomena worthy of sonic articulation:
- The spirit woman with a voice that sounds like a drum;
- A ‘strange and mighty sound’ as loud as six coaches;
- A noise like the ‘rattling of chains’;
- The sound of stones being cast out of a river by a spirit;
- The cyhyraeth: a doleful moan heard prior to someone’s death;
- A spirit psalm singing in a forest; but only some of the words are audible;
- Spirits (possibly angels) singing a psalm together;
- A spirit dog that howls so loud that the ground trembles;
- Bibles, books, and crockery being thrown;
- Shouts that appears to move from one part of the landscape to another;
- Fairies talking and a tree falling;
- Fairy music;
- Animal-like noises;
- The sound of a roof coming down that prophesies a death;
- A spirit’s whistle, so loud that it reverberates throughout the entire valley.
The psalm accounts drew me to them. Perhaps these could be combined. The wind blew, as it had all day long. I worked on until 5.15 pm.
7.30 pm: A short walk to and from the cemetery. On leaving the house, I saw a peculiar cross formation in the clouds above. Edmund Jones would have had something to say about it, I’m sure:
8.00 am: There were administrations to clear: help and insight to offer; and concerns to raise.