WFH: DAY 28. 8.15 am: I braved the bristling iciness, in order to take an early-morning walk and be the first in the queue at the chemists. The air felt all the thinner for being breathed through a mask — rather like being on top of a tall Alpine mountain, where the oxygen is thinner.
9.15 am: Back at home, I prepared for the morning’s deployments, updated registers, and established my diary for the week ahead. 10.00 am: Art/Sound commenced. Lecture #5: ‘The Rise of the Machines’:
I don’t feel at my best, presently. In part, my attention is distracted by the means of presenting and recording of the delivery. Glitches occur. None have been unfixable. I’m tripping over text more than I would had the papers were spoken in a lecture theatre. ‘Cut! Cut! Can I do that bit again, please?’ No. The coughs, dribbles, splutters, mis-emphases, and mispronunciations (for example, saying ‘Buñuel’ (the film director) instead of ‘Brunel’ (the engineer)) are all part of the snapshot of education presented on a learning-curve, aided and deterred by the technology, through a haze of tiredness, and in isolation. I’m learning much from the module about the roots of my own sound practice.
12.00 pm: ‘YES!’: the recordings were preserved. From then on, it was upload-time. 12.30 pm: A whisper of some welcome news regarding my grant proposal for the PitWorks [working title] CD project. I pressed on writing a feedback review of a PhD exhibition descriptor.
1.30 pm: In the meantime, I returned to the phase 1 mix of the current CD project, listening again to ‘The White Bow’ composition (which had enjoyed a stay of execution over the past few days). I remained undecided (and, therefore, unconvinced) about its inclusion. (It had been booted out on its backside by the close of the day. ‘And don’t come back!’) The objective this afternoon was to create a very rough mixdown of all the compositions, so that I could determine their running order.
For whatever reason, the composition ‘Sounds Expressive of Something’ has always felt as though it would be at the mid point in that order. There ought to be a rhythm to the procession of tracks — an ebb and flow, tension and release, and an anticipation, consummation, and relaxation. It takes time to establish that. One technique, which permits an eminently simple revision and repentance, is to construct a draft, unpublished album using Bandcamp, and populate it.
5.15 pm: How lovely to see the days lengthen again. 7.30 pm: My elder son had phoned, asking for some wise, fatherly advice about how to put up shelf on a stud wall. My Dad was always there to impart ‘tips’ (as he’d call them) to me for the sound execution of DIY. I returned to my ordering. The first three tracks are always a steal; they fall into place with little effort on my part. Thereafter, the moves become more and more difficult as fewer and fewer pieces remain on the ‘board’. The quieter and more ethereal pieces offered respite from the awful terror either side of them. By the close of the evening, a provisional order of the seventeen tracks had been determined. I knew, now, that this was the time to let go of them.