June 29, 2020

Saturday, June 27. WFH: DAY 78. All day, I sifted through files recovered from my C-Drive in search of the lost ones associated with (or, rather, now, disassociated from) from two compositional session folders. Mercifully, I’d found a complete mixdown of the first composition. It would, at the very least, provide me with an aural template for reconstructing a second version of the piece, should necessity commission me to make one. There were numerous file samples unearthed related to the second composition. My losses were not, now, irrevocable. Thereafter, I began a deep search of my 3 TB D-Drive. This would take 33 hours to complete.

Sunday, June 28. I’ll miss being able to drink a cup of tea when ‘normal services’ resume. (Perhaps I should take a flask to church in the future.) One of today’s contributors to the Church of England’s provision displayed a Noddy alarm clock on her mantelpiece. ‘I had one of those! I had one of those!, I enthused.

Monday, June 27. WFH: DAY 79. 8.15 am: A communion. 8.45 pm: A review of the inbox. 9.00 am: Provisional marks for the modules that I coordinate were released. 10.00 am: I participated in an online training hour for the virtual Open Day in a week’s time:

11.00 am: Cup-of-tea #3 and a return to the inbox. In the background of admin (undergraduate and postgraduate), I began reviewing and renaming the audio files recovered from Drive D. Reconstructing the second composition from the session schemata will be like gluing together a vase that has shattered into 70 or more pieces. I read, over the weekend, that the score to J S Bach’s St Mark’s Passion had been, at some point in its history, entirely lost. No back-up. No score-restore facility. Forever gone … until, perhaps, someone finds it. I’m blessed to be losing sounds in the 21st century. 12.00 pm: Our younger son gave us a phone-cam tour of his new home. ‘Everyone an estate agent’ … to adapt one of Josef Beuys’ maxims.

After lunch, I dug-in to an afternoon of file listening, naming, and re-foldering. There was no way of completing the task other than by slowly travelling through the Field of Tedium. By 4.30 pm, I’d extracted all that I could from the computer. It was enough to begin reconstructing/reinterpreting the second composition:

Before the close of the afternoon, I’d sent out postgraduate reminders for meetings ahead. I could see light at the edge of the forest for the first time in over four months.

7.30 pm: I focused my attention on the first composition. Having retrieved from the wreckage of the file loss what was its penultimate mixdown, I began the process of edging the component parts towards what I could remember of the final mix. Here remembering meant, literally, re-membering the other samples and overlaying them on the mixdown at hand. This was reconstructive surgery:

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