July 23, 2020

There are times when you oughtn’t to lay-in a course for land. Instead, let your boat be driven where the wind and waves dictate. They may take you somewhere incomparably better than you’d anticipated.

WFH: DAY 99. 8.15 am: A communion. The day would be devoted to my PhD tutees, largely: tutorials, external examiner communications, examination timetabling, research proposals, etc. For some time I’ve been thinking about what, in the past, were the most salient sounds in my personal sonic landscape. These are not in any particular order. Salient Sound No. 1:

There’s a scene in De Mille’s Samson and Delilah (1949) where the protagonist stands chained between two of the Temple of Dagon’s supporting columns, and asks God for strength as he pushes against them. Then, the base of one column is heard and seen to shift out-of-place. It’s one of the most intense and focal moments of sound in all cinema. There’s no musical accompaniment; that dispiriting grind of stone-on-stone is its own drama. I still can’t watch it without feeling goose bumps. It signifies not only an answer to prayer but also the power of God overcoming the limits of human strength to the end of reigning down justice and judgement upon the oppressors (as the temple crashed about their ears).

9.30 am: The first of the day’s tutorials:

10.30 am: Emailesque responses and a submission review. 12.00 pm: The second tutorial:

1.30 pm: Post-egg-&-beans-on-toast, I pursued postgraduate admin with vengeance. (In the background: The Sound Projector Radio Show: Girls on Tape.) I should listen again to the analogue tape to digital transfers of my Aural Diary. Having set all things in motion, I moved from the studio to the study chair and a little reading.

4.30 pm: Out-and-about. There were very few fellow walkers on the avenue and close-of-trading straddlers on the streets.

Signs of the time:

7.30 pm: Thursday evening is for clearing, dusting, and finishing (even under these present conditions). I’m a creature of habit.

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