April 25, 2019

‘Will you come to visit me?’, she asked. The voice – which was at one and the same time unfamiliar and yet known – spoke inside my head as I lay in bed waiting to drop-off. An auditory hallucination? Very likely. But no less curious for that. Why those words, and then?

8.00 am: A communion. 8.45 am: An adminy morning (again). I’d a list of ‘To Dos’ at my elbow that was getting longer by the day. Two others were in progress: one, itemising all the research-related projects that I hoped to get underway over the summer; and another, comprising a shopping list of items required to build a new computer. To begin, a review of a fine art dissertation draft and the dispatch of email replies. (Henry Purcell played in the background.)

10.15 am: On, then, with composing the School’s ‘Action Plan’ in response to the Module Evaluation Questionnaire for our two undergraduate Exhibition modules. For the third year running, we received a 100% student satisfaction rating for the larger module. This is a case of: ‘If it’s not broken, then don’t try to fix it’. 1.00 pm: Done!

1.30 pm: Studiology. I loaded the provisional mixdown of the tracks into iTunes to create a playlist running-order. In so doing, I could hear the compositions as an album for the first time. In parallel, I began third-phase of mixing, concentrating on the few tracks that required moderate tweaking. I was about 90% there. The final 10% will, no doubt, have me banging my head against a wall by the close of play. At the same time, track titles must be confirmed.

Of all the compositions, ‘The Lesser Light’ sounded weakest after second-phase mixing. It lacked sufficient ‘boot’ in the bass end of the tonal spectrum. I added an extreme low-pass filtered section of the whole-Bible overlay underneath the existing composition. Problem solved, in an instant. 3.30 pm: Marmite time:

The new sample was embedded into the composition. (This is equivalent to digging fertiliser into the soil.) At the same time, I opened up space and dynamic contrast in order to enhance the sense of space (acoustically and astronomically) and variation. The quality and distinctiveness of the whole rose several rungs. It never ceases to impress me how a composition finds itself only at the eleventh hour.

7.15 am: Having achieved as as good a level of qualitative equity as possible across all the compositions, I was content to move towards the final stage of mixing and ordering. Of course, there’re stand-out compositions amid the batch. But that’s the same for any body of work that an artist creates. Every artist has their best work. The challenge is to ensure that your least good work is at least good.

A little distraction:

For the remainder of the evening, I worked to establish a provisional order of play and list of titles.

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