Monday, March 29. WFH: DAY 65/LENT 34. 7.00 am: It was too drizzly and wind-swept to contemplate a walk into the forest. 7.45 am: A communion. I’d be clocking-off for a week’s vacation beginning on Good Friday. A social-media radio silence would also be observed. There was much to complete in the days leading up to it. Yesterday, while taking a walk, I met in town one of my colleagues. We were both of a mind to indulge in a feeding frenzy during our time off, and read voraciously. Academics have too little time to nourish themselves, these days. 8.30 am: Rarely do I scan my appointments diary and see none. But this was one such week. (To be treasured.) 9.00 am: Having completed a substantial first draft of the ‘Noisome Spirits’ website descriptors, I returned to the beginning of the set and began the process of copyediting. (In the background: Paul Bley, Footloose (1963).) By lunchtime, I’d reached the half-way mark. Stylistic inconsistencies had abounded. Concision and precision were the watchwords.
By mid-afternoon, I’d completed a preliminary copyedit. 3.30 pm: The second pass began. It’s a hard job trying to maintain the logic of tenses when dealing with two things (the source text and my processing of such) which are historical, and one thing (the compositions) which are present and continual. 4.15 pm: The daily amble. ‘Don’t look at me; I didn’t touch it!’:
5.00 pm: Signs of the times:
7.30 pm: I returned to the copyedit.
Tuesday, March 30. WFH: DAY 66/LENT 35. 6.30 am:
7.30 am: The perfect morning for a walk that would take-in the Promenade (where the waves expressed a lust for life). One of the joys of living in a place for so long is that you build a large repository of memories related to it. Landmarks serve to trigger recollections. En route, I saw houses where friends I no longer know once stayed; lanes and roads that marked major turning points in my life; and pathways that were the pages on which I drafted my decisions.
8.30 pm: A review of the day and of postgraduate exhibition and admissions admin. 10.00 am: Back to the website, and on with inputting the text under the ‘Description’ heading for each composition. In my book at bedtime last night, I read about the pioneering jazz and experimental music label, ECM Records. The company is noted for the austerity of its record packaging. The sleeves possess, beside an image of abstract drawing or paining (often), only the name of the composer, artist(s), and the album and track titles. Rarely are there either sleeve notes to guide or any indication regarding the music’s intent, for that matter. Me … I have to write upwards of 10,000 words when I release an album. (Sigh!) 11.00 am: Back to postgraduate admissions. 11.30 am: I reviewed the website’s Introduction. 1.00 pm: Complete.
1.30 pm: I returned to the website for my first CD release, in 2014, took the plunge, and began writing descriptors for each of the twelve compositions that comprise the suite. (The proverbial ‘rod for my own back’.) I endeavoured to write as though I was someone else, encountering the pieces for the first time. Coming back to these works after seven years, they sounded as fresh as when they were first made. There was no aspect of any one of tracks that I’d wish to change.
7.30 pm: I returned to the writing, while catching-up with the March edition of Oscilloscope on YouTube, where my noisy colleague Dr Dafydd Roberts was presenting two of his electronic composition:
DIARY SABBATICAL UNTIL APRIL 12, 2021