December 14, 2018

The penultimate day of the Michaelmas Term. (How curious that the terminology of the Christian liturgical calendar is still maintained in this day and age. As a university, we’ve not bowed the knee to the secular business paradigm entirely.)

5.30 am: I awoke. The bedroom was too cold to contemplate even the short dash to my dressing gown. Fifteen minutes after the central heating had kicked in, I stealthily climbed the stairs to the studio – like Count Olaf in the famous scene from Nosferatu (1922) – to worry over a MacBook, which had failed to fully boot-up yesterday. Mercifully, the fix was quick. But the potential crisis did force me to consider whether I should deploy a further set of belt and braces in order to enhance my back-up systems.

After breakfast, I’d received an encouraging email. The British Library is willing to digitise a selection of wax cylinders recordings, held by the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales, in advance of both my next CD project and the potential forthcoming conference on the Bible and sound. The British Library had provided the same service, back in 2002, following the repair of the Evan Roberts wax cylinder (which, subsequently became the source for my R R B V E Ǝ T N Ƨ O A CD).

8.30 am: Studiology, and a review of the ‘Beth & Bill’ composition. The bespoke 10-inch vinyl pressing had arrived. I could now proceed with the final stage of composition: the cadenza. 10.00 am: I prepared to manipulate the disc and construct a body of samples. At the same time, I shortened the combined length of all the chapters Beth and Bill had listened to (as indicated on their inventory of audition) from over two hours to ten seconds.

In parallel, I drew up a table of the measures (converted to a common 16th-of-an-inch base) that Beth and Bill had marked on their inventory to indicate where a particular passage of scripture was to be found on the radius of the record.

12.00 pm: Back, then, to the composition, and the search for a possible insertion point for the 10-second sample. I removed all the sample’s frequencies below 1.25kHz and enhanced those within the range of 1.6 to 8kHz.

After lunch, I considered how I’d dispose the twenty measures across the surface of the vinyl. The disc was, first, divided into as many equal segments. Secondly, starting at the circumference and moving to the centre, a measure was assigned to each line.

I’d need to wait until tomorrow and purchase liquid cement in order to create nodes or obstacles, at the intersections of the segments and the measures, sufficiently large to arbitrarily redirect the stylus to another groove on impact.

In the late afternoon and evening, I returned to the composition, and substituted some of the existing samples with new ones derived from the earlier turntablism.

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