February 24, 2020

There let it freely burn
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let your glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and make my pathway clear, by your illuming
(St Bianco de Siena, ‘Come Down, O Love Divine’ (c.1350 – c.1434))

Sunday, February 23. Angels with musical instruments abound: the east window, St Padarn’s Church, Llanbadarn Fawr:

Monday, February 24, 2020. The rain and wind persisted:

For a number of nights I’ve experienced a recurring dream in which an item of my luggage has been mislaid while travelling. Sometimes it’s a rucksack and at other times, a suitcase. According to the pundits of interpretation, the image:

represents feelings about having lost your ability to “keep it together” during or after a transitional moment. Feeling unprepared or not ready for something you expected to be ready for.

8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 am: In an attempt to ‘keep it together’ for two more week at least, I surveyed the landscape ahead, delved into my inbox, and caught up on my preparations for next week’s three-day visit to the UCAS Fayre. There I’d be advising potential applicant to the School of Art on how to pronounce ‘Aberystwyth’: ‘ABER-WRIST-WITH’. See! Simple! (Thank goodness the university isn’t in Machynlleth.) In the past, I’ve known inquirers at our stand roll their eyes in incomprehension and move swiftly on to the more pronounceable University of Aberdeen next door.

10.15 am: Into the studio, where I began creating a network of workstations within which to develop the new composition. Three were required, each with a specific function and equipment profile: 1. for composition; 2. for mixing; and 3. for performance. This procedure was equivalent to priming the canvas. ‘Clear the decks (as it were)!’:

It’s a little bit like attending to the needs of three very different and potentially unruly children, all at once. I spent the morning shuffling from one to another, updating computers, installing software, and attaching hardware. Time spent laying the foundations is always worthwhile. Thereafter, I’ll be able to move effortlessly from one process to another, without interrupting the creative flow. (Assuming that there’ll be one.)

After lunch, having discovered more problems than I was expecting to resolve (resistant security protocols, a CD that wouldn’t eject, the wrong version of the latest software, etc.), I finalized, as far as I could for now, workstation #3. Back, then, to workstation #1. This workstation is a recording set up; I still need to create a ‘Hi-Fidelity’ (as they used to say) player to feed into it, through modulation devices. (What other klutz uses three computer workstations to make strange noises?) Ah! A fourth computer, outputted via an analogue/digital interface, would do the trick. (Madness!):

By the close of the afternoon, the workstations were resolved but untested. This would be Phase 2 …

6.30 pm: Practise session. 7.30 pm: Phase 2: testing times. I began with workstation #1, establishing the routing from the ‘player’ MacBook Pro to the ‘recorder’ MacBook Pro.

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