May 22, 2020

WFH: DAY 49. 8.15 am: A communion. 9.00 am: Fruit tea in hand, I caught-up on residual admin, notifications of classes and tutorials for next week, and student references. (In the background: BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Record Requests. The show featured the work of the saxophonist Lee Konitz, who died at the age of 92 last month. I heard him play a few years ago at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London.)

10.30 am: I returned to writing, after too long away. The BBC have issued a series of recordings of natural sounds and soothing classical and ambient music to sooth those who’re suffering during the pandemic. A great idea. To that end, too, the guitarist Robert Fripp has issued Music for Quiet Moments on a weekly basis.

House (detail) #29:

Words like ‘stone and ‘blood’ came to mind while fumbling over words and sentences mired in flat-footed prose. Writing is not unlike image- or sound-making in this respect: you can turn on the tap, but that doesn’t mean any water will come out. I persevered until lunchtime. Even in normal times, at this juncture of the academic year one’s best intellectual energies are at a low ebb. Ordinarily, this is not a period in which one should make plans for the future or take major decisions. Which is exactly what staff are having to do, big time.

1.30 pm: After lunch, I reviewed the two compositions in progress and began considering a third for the Noisome Spirits album. What a fearful holler of frightfulness. I should promote my work as Music for Breakdowns. My playtime with oscillators was proving fruitless, unsurprisingly. Instinctively, I know that found sound is of the essence of my practice. Pure electronica remains too abstract. It does not, in and of itself, evoke.

4.30 pm: I stretched my legs. A sign of the times:

7.30 pm: I assessed projects that had dropped into my lap after extensions had been granted. (In the background: 80s singles.) Invariably, I search for photographs of the performers, to see whether the passing of time has been kind to them. Forty years can change a person’s outward appearance and personality alarmingly. Annie Lennox still looks great. Phil Collins, not so.

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