April 6, 2019

7.15 am: A ‘tree … in the midst of the garden’:

8.00 am: A communion. Some people would be aghast to know that I prayed for them. If they told me to desist, I’m not sure how I’d respond. There’re others whom I pray for, of whose lives I’m no longer a part. And there’re yet others who request prayer, as well as those for whom I have a duty to pray. And I pray for myself too, because I’m painfully aware of the dissimulation, perversity, temptations, and hardness of my own heart, weak-kneed will, and sullied soul. 8.45 am: I wrote emails to those that needed courage and slotted into my diary several last-minute tutorials for next week.

9.30 am: Studiology. To begin, a repositioning of the small white desk’s monitor speakers and re-boxing equipment. I danced (according my definition of the mode, anyway) to Joni Mitchell’s Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter while I did so. As I ordered the working environment, so my thoughts found composure too. 10.30 am: The first of the day’s close-listening exercises – in repose:

I like to audit in all positions and from all directions – sounds to the left of me, noises to the right – rather than just sitting on my chair, stuck in the middle of two high-definition monitor speakers (to adapt Gerry Rafferty’s lyric). What does the mix sound like from the perspective of the casual listener? Would it turn them, in the moment of audition, into a committed listener?

‘God Breathed’ now worked far better than before. It had passed at the bar of distinctiveness. And this, without the spoken text. Nevertheless, rather than abandon the idea of including it, on the grounds of the composition’s already established sufficiency, I played with the collage. This was to the end of making it sit in the background to the piece. (If successful, this would be a first on the album.) Because the outcome didn’t have to work, the process was less stressful and more playful. 12.30 pm: The new components were, at last, anchoring: gelling with the beat track and drone track. After the lunch, the process of jiggling (which involves micro-aligning the samples against the whole and in relation to one another, rather than dancing) would begin. The architecture of composition:

After lunch I roamed the town in the sunshine, fulfilling domestic obligations:

2.30 pm: Back at homebase, I listened to Miles Davis’ Sivad, to remind me what ‘far out’ sounded like. Then, it was attentive listening once again, with jiggling to follow. The logic of the form and its progression became apparent. Thereafter, all I needed to do was follow its lead.

4.30 pm: I lay down my mouse.

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