Sky and the trees of his youthful time spent / Only smoke, only paper. No colour or scent (Gentle Giant, ‘Memories of Old Day’, The Missing Piece (1977)).
WFH: DAY 2. In last night’s dream, I sat with an old friend at the back of a church. Two preachers, one after the other, declaimed in an exacting, a harsh, and a loveless manner. Neither of us were impressed. Next — and without any logical transition or continuity — we were ordering lunch in a smoky pub. (This was a long time ago.) On waking, I realised that there was a connection between this old friend and a letter they’d sent me during the period when I was drawing Big Pit, Blaenavon in July 1982 — nearly thirty-nine years ago (diary, January 11, 2021). At their best, dreams help to explain ourselves to ourselves.
8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 am: I stood back from everything and counted my blessings. 9.00 am: I surveyed my ‘To do’ list, which I’ve given up hope of ever coming to the end of it. (‘This too will pass!’) Every determination is, now, mired in complexity and cross-communication, confirmations and explanations, and confusion and consternation. It’s like walking in deep snow and a blizzard: the way forward is tiring, slow, and ponderous. I’m blessed to be a part of a staff that’s dedicated to helping its members. We’d not get through this crisis without one another.
11.00 am: Succour:
The larger part of the morning was set aside for arranging the MA Vocational Practice module’s rather ‘involved’ assessment regime. Mr Iliff and I put our heads together. Presently, I’m trying to keep one week ahead of myself. Now that the Welsh universities have been advised by our country’s Government to begin teaching online only, I needed to prepare my Art/Sound art history module for this mode of delivery. I’d intended to deliver it, in situ, before a live audience. This would have been the module’s last outing.
1.30 pm: The sun was out, so I took an early walk — avoiding the afternoon’s traffic of families manoeuvring push-chairs on the Avenue — down Llanbadarn Road towards the village. I passed the new zebra-crossing (‘Well … !’) and made my way to St Padarn’s Church cemetery at a brisk pace.
2.20 pm: Back at home, I began work on the PowerPoint presentation for my REF submission: The Biblical Record. At least, I reasoned, the design of the file would serve as a basis for any future PowerPoints for papers on the project that I might deliver:
In the background, decisions and determinations were once again made uncertain … and for good reason. We’re all endeavouring to move forward in an unprecedented environment, exercising more than due caution at whatever the cost.
7.30 pm: I pushed a little further with the Noisome Spirit mix. Mixing is the final phase of, rather than something that proceeds, composition. It’s not the equivalent of either varnishing or framing a painting. Mixing involves, among other things, opening up space, widening the audio field, and balancing the component parts of the composition. This is an organisation of the fundamentals, still.