9.00 am: Studiology. I read over last year’s diary pages for December 7 and 8. The round and task of yesterday and today have been much the same as then. However, I think somewhat differently now. The experiences of work, life, suffering and joy, and illness and health, in the interim, has altered the mind’s complexion, deepened its resolved, and vivified my imagination. What I conceive today, I couldn’t (wouldn’t) have done a year ago.
I’ve reached a critical juncture with the ‘Beth & Bill’ composition. Having resolved the pulse and opening vocal track for half of its length, I’ve determined not to change them. They’re fixed. Thus, all the other furniture has to be manoeuvred around it. This is, for me, a new approach – a new rule to the game, which prevents me from deploying known solutions to the problems that I encounter. In the background, I sourced devices that would permit a portable digital audio interface to record to an iPad in a performance context. I’m anticipating that my MacBook will be otherwise engaged as a sample launcher on the future outings.
The composition, in toto, requires a name. ‘The Talking Bible’ has been the working title. But this is also the titular inscription on the records’ label; although, not on their volume boxes. (Consistency wasn’t always a strength in the 1960s.) The name must reflect the level of transformation that the original source has undergone as a result of my engagement. It’ll come; I just need to be listening out for it.
Slow progress doesn’t concern me, these days. Patient endurance is a great tutor. However, I don’t sit on my hands in the meantime. I work and wait. I’ve discovered the joy of Marmite as a hot drink, as distinct from a spread. (My ‘muse’ would’ve be impressed.)
By the beginning of the afternoon, I’d extended the piece significantly, integrated sounds of a different colour, began to risk more, and worked counter to intuition and faster. In so doing, I may have found its end point, too. If so, then the composition will come in at 2′ 20″. That’s not the shortest piece on the CD. But it’s long enough for the idea: concise. Like a good meal, it leaves you longing for more.
Having, then, ‘covered the canvas’, I returned to the top, right-hand corner: the beginning. With the uppermost layers in place, I moved to the subcutaneous levels. Deeper down, other types of ‘current’ move: sounds that are darker, uncertain, and less dynamic in character. Until the vinyl pressing that I’d ordered arrives, I’ll not have my full panoply of modified samples at my disposal. Nevertheless, there was much that I could do to generate other sonorities, using existing equipment.
Back to the decks.
In the evening, I set about developing a palette of passive or sedentary – if quirky – sounds based upon some of the samples already used. These will remain unstable within the compositional structure, until the vinyl material has been incorporated.