January 23, 2021

WFH: DAY 12. In my dream, the School of Art was in the process of occupying a large and splendid manor, reminiscent of Gregynog Hall in Newtown, Powys. Here, the staff and students would be residential. During the move, I’d lost the keys to my accommodation and office. In dream-lore, losing a key can either be ‘the omen of a period of “life” that is coming to an end’ (That figures.), or a sign ‘that you have lost trust and faith in something or someone’. (Maybe.)

8.15 am: A communion. 8.45 am: Studiology. I listened again to the mix of ‘The Swallows’ Tale’. Jones had remarked that, in Wales, swallows would frequently hibernate in the coal pits during the Winter, rather than fly to warmer climes. After some six months of sleep, they’d awake from their ‘death-like’ state. This fact, he argued, ‘may be some help towards believing the doctrine of the resurrection’. Thus, at the close of the composition, following the collapse of the mine’s ceiling — which literally sealed the birds’ fate — there ought to be an upward movement, suggestive of hope.

10.30 am: ‘Morning glory’:

I went through all the samples comprising the composition, adjusting them for a tighter alignment. Then, there was the silence. A cessation that would signify the end of the pit’s working life, and serve as a prelude to the desperate noise of frantically flapping wings, as the swallows endeavoured to vainly extricate their beaks from the underground ceiling. 11.30 am: I took a break to listen to someone else’s work and clear my ears of my own: Hywl Nofio’s Isolate (2020).

11.45 am: Back to the composition. ‘What could be removed? What was getting in the way? What should be louder?’ The ear can hear only so much at any one time. Too many good ideas presented all at once results in a bad idea. 12.30 pm: I’d fixed what was broken, removed the excess, and made every part work harder. On, then, with another composition for the afternoon.

1.30 pm: But first … I walked, like Legion, among the tombs:

There was a poignancy in seeing the graves of those who’d died at my present age, and immense sadness in witnessing those who’d fallen from the tree, unripe, before adulthood and their parents. 2.15 pm: On with ‘Passing By the Holly Tree’. I scrutinized the micro-alignments, adjusting with precision:

4.30 pm: ‘I’ve had enough for one day’, as Pink Floyd once sang.

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