Friday, April 16. 7.30 am: My foot could now ‘stomach’ a walk uphill. I took-off in the direction of Constitution Hill on a ‘seasonably agreeable morning’, to ape posh 19th-century parlance. Before ascending to the summit, I stood on the spot where I’d made my first drawings and paintings of Aberystwyth, back in 1982. Within my personal mythos, this was a ‘sacred’ site/sight:
8.45 am: There was a surprisingly long queue at the chemists. I persevered — and even managed to engage a helpful discussion with the pharmacist — and walked-off with my prescription. 9.00 am: Back at basecamp, with tea #2 in hand, I surveyed my inbox and prepared for the 10.00 am: Art/Sound lecture. This presentation ends with a conjectural ‘audiolization’ of Millet’s The Angelus.
11.15 am: I made myself available for Art/Sound project consultations until noon, while uploading material for the morning’s session to Blackboard. 12.30 pm: Postgraduate matters required my attention until lunchtime. 1.30 pm: Preparations were made for tomorrow’s online application day. During the course of which, I took a computer-based teleprompter software for a spin. In principle, it ought to integrate well into the delivery of online lectures in a verbatim style. It’s a far better solution to reading a text than using either a paper script draped unprofessionally over the computer keyboard or a Word document scrolled up the screen. If I can hack it, then, I’ll use this method for my next online conference paper. The voice-activated mode worked a treat:
2.30 pm: For the remainder of the afternoon, I worked on making design improvements for the banners and text on the second website in The Aural Bible series, which is dedicated to The Bible in Translation CD:
7.30 pm: I continued into the evening. Changes to the formatting of this website had implications for all the others.
7.30 am: The morning walk. Off North Road, there’s a glorious National Grid substation. ‘Built like a tank’ as they say about robust effects pedals in guitar magazines. It not only looks but also sounds dangerous and powerful. This capacitor emits a steady and moderately loud 60MHz hum. I’ve heard this sonority since childhood. Its an acoustic continuity, in that respect. Oddly, perhaps, I receive the same emotional uplift from that hum as I do from a peel of church bells at full pelt:
8.30 am: Tea #2 at my elbow, I made preparations for the morning of online applications. 9.15 am: The now familiar training session began. It’s always helpful to be reminded of the basics. 10.00 am: The whistle blew: ‘Good morning. Welcome to the School of Art’s Online Application Event at Aberystwyth University. My name is John, and I teach across fine art and art history at undergraduate and postgraduate level. We welcome your questions, queries, and observations.’
The gremlins were out in force during my introductory presentation. First, while I was speaking, I could hear in my headphones a conversation taking place between the administrators and staff. If that wasn’t a sufficient distraction, then my teleprompter stalled in ‘voice activated’ mode and began scrolling up and down of its own accord. (‘Keep your head, John!’) I learned a good deal, as one does from near disasters. (Sigh!) The design proofs for the Noisome Spirits CD cover and booklet had arrived. There were only a few tweaks that needed to be made. I dispatched my amendments while listening to my colleagues sell their wares in the ‘Collaboration Room’. 12.30 pm: Having exited the room, I responded to several postgraduate queries and applications. 1.00 pm: Close of the event
1.30 pm: Back to the websites. (In the background: The Sound Projector Music and Radio Show.) 5.00 pm: Close of the working day. A reflection on a field of battle: