February 22, 2020

8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 am: Domestic admin. 8.45 am: On, again, with the paper and its Powerpoint. In the background: works by the Japanese experimental musicians Toshimaru Nakamura and Hiroshi Yoshimura. This is not muzak. I’m attending in an unfocussed way – absorbing sonorities; learning from their example, ambiently; discerning the distinctions of the work, casually. I believe in listening to my peers, to artists who’re older and younger than me, to those whose sound or music touch upon my own, and to others whose work is utterly remote in that respect, and not necessarily to my taste. But above all, I’m attentive to what makes for quality. This, and this only, is what I seek to emulate.

10.00 am: Into the studio in order to maintain my current course of action but to change the context in which it was pursued. For me, being among amplifiers and mixers, rather than books and box files, is more conducive to thinking about sound. ‘Rotations, procession, random-number generation, inner > outer > inner relations, determinacy/indeterminacy’ … my mind was awash with ideas, none of which were tested. To my mind, there’s always a logic and a potentiality within the source material; it must be accessed and made to undergird the creative interpretation and transformation of the same. For this is how I work: rules are conceived and abided by; a discipline is imposed upon the creative work and the creator, thereby.

In order to think clearly, I first objectify:

After lunch, I took up an ‘axe’ and began thinking once again about the challenge of developing a public and an improvisatory adjunct to my sound practice — one that wouldn’t at a remove from the studio activity and core principles of The Aural Bible series. 2.00 pm: Back to the paper. (In the background: Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band’s Lick my Decals Off, Baby (1970).)

For the remainder of the afternoon, I poured over the implications of the astrological chart for the developing modus operandi of my composition. In the end, any rule or discipline that limits rather than liberates the aesthetic quality and ambition of a work should be jettisoned. I’ve no more answers, presently. However, the questions that I’m asking are now clearer.

5.00 pm: Silence.

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