June 21, 2019

Summer Solstice, 8.00 am: A communion.

Overnight, I’d received an encouraging email from a friend from an ocean away. In our exchange, we discussed the sometimes uncomfortable experience of living ‘The Way’. I responded:

You’re entirely correct in your counsel: doubts, uncertainties, and a failure of vision are the realities of the walk of faith. But, in the final analysis, faith has us (it is ‘the gift of God’), even more than we have it (Ephesians 2.8–10). Moreover, ‘If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself’ (2 Timothy 2.13). And, as God has planned, so will it be (Isaiah 46.10).

9.00 am: The last few weeks have been administratively top heavy. Today, a space begins to open up in which to address the concerns of my own work and its future, without too much distraction. I turned to my CD’s text. This needed to be in the bag, sharpish.

In between periods of computer reboot, I installed the upgraded Pedalboard 2 (PB2) in the amp’s effect loop. There was a buzz in the system. Now there’s a Saturday problem to solve, if ever there was one. I relished the challenge:

Now that I’d achieved focus, the text began to generate itself far more swiftly. I knew the topical scope of the piece, and my response to the question: ‘What does the listener need to know in order to engage the compositions?’ The answer: ‘Just enough’. An in-depth explanation of the works will be presented in the context of a website dedicated to the CD.

After lunch, I reviewed the texts to the previous CDs, so as to ensure that the latest addition had stylistic continuity with, and covered much the same ground as, the first two booklets:

I don’t wish to explain away the work. That would be unfair to the work, the audience, and myself. There’s an essence that’s inscrutable, inarticulable, and mysterious. We can ‘speak’ of it in terms only of knowing nods. In my sound works, particularly, I’ve often encountered a dimension of significance (which is almost always emotional in nature) for which I don’t feel entirely responsible. It takes me by surprise; (floors me, on some occasions). It’s a like a sonic harmonic: a tonality that’s not played but, instead, presences itself above the main note and, with it, is perceived as a single sound. I don’t wish to analyse or dissect the phenomenon, lest I either wound or betray it to my cost. Knowledge can kill.

4.55 pm: My computer operative arrived to puzzle over some of the software to hardware issues that have dogged the new PC. Few things in the world of computers are straightforward. In the end, if the difficulty of the problem is more than matched by the competence of the engineer, then, all will be well:

7.00 pm: A late dinner (for me). 7.30 pm: I returned to the afternoon’s endeavour.

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