‘A friendship that can cease has never been real’ (St. Jerome).
WFH: DAY 129. 8.15 am: ‘John!’ As I was finishing breakfast, I heard her voice again. Again, she spoke as though from the landing of the first staircase.
For the final hour of yesterday evening, I re-read some of the entrees from my Diary for 2016 to 2018. Beneath the surface of appearances (and occasionally above it), this was tumultuous period of self-examination, spiritual development, lesson-learning, and professional refocusing. I regret none of it. Much of it, I still don’t understand; but I’m content to believe that this tangled providence was necessary, and prepared me for what I had to deal with subsequently. It also taught me the value of true friendships, good company, virtue, and attraction, among other things:
Qualities that I most value in others, and would wish for myself: Graciousness, imaginative and spontaneous kindness, gentleness, wisdom, thoughtfulness, sensitivity, diplomacy, an uncritical spirit, empathy, candour, caution, honesty, self-control, an even temper, a listening ear, reliability, consistency, integrity, humour, self-deprecation, intelligence, sophistication of thought, ambition, a commitment to a cause, an openness to new ideas, an awareness of the issues of the day, an appetite for reading, a passion for culture in its broadest sense, and the desire to grow in all directions, constantly.Diary (January 15, 2016)
9.30 am: A ‘second breakfast’, following Mrs H’s return from town:
9.45 am: Into the studio to prepare some more sound ‘merch’ for sale on eBay. ‘Almost pristine condition, with only minor cosmetic scratches. Complete. Fully functional.’ Oh! How I wish I was too. (In the background: Gentle Giant’s Octopus (1972), followed by BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction.) 1.00 pm: Job done!
1.45 pm: I took up the Noisome Spirits suite again, and concentrated on those compositions, which remain to be developed, that would be most musical, due to the content of the source accounts: ‘John Williams’ and ‘The Tune of the Fairies’ [working title]. The latter concerned a young girl’s frequent encounters with fairies who danced to music:
But, it seems, this girl — who was so long with them, and heard the music so often — learned none of their tunes. Yet, there is in the county a tune called the ‘Tune of the Fairies’. Perhaps it is a tune learned from them (which they say was very difficult to do), or a name devised and given to the tune from mere fancy. The tune which goes by this name is (in my apprehension) a well-composed tune of curious parts: the bass and tenor well-answering to one another, and somewhat brisk and long. If it was learned from the fairies, it may justly be apprehended to have something very curious in the composition, and the sound expressive of something — if not in their condition, yet of something in their disposition — which a curious mind would have some delight to know.
Music that was, then, considered hard play, composed of many parts (with the tenor and bass parts in a call and response relation), jaunty, protracted, and decidedly unusual. This description would become a set of instructions to govern a realisation. I began the process of converting the text into sound by recording my reading of the words above:
4.15 pm: Turn to 0 dB.