November 14, 2020

8.30 am: Studiology and file filing. 9.00 am: I returned to my whistling black spirit. I recorded myself whistling, not with a view including the capture in the composition but, rather, understanding the sonorities that combine to form the sound. My whistling is pathetic. Wrong kind of mouth, I guess. The sample of the recording made at the beginning of the week was further processed through modulators:

11.30 am: I re-read the text:

But, being past it, she saw him [the spirit] again — very big in the middle and narrow at both ends — going before, treading very heavily, so that the ground seemed to tremble under him. He went towards a spring in that field which is under Rhiw-newynydd, called Ffynnon yr Yspryd (Fountain of the Spirit), because of an apparition formerly seen by it. About which, he fetched a turn and went over the stile from that field into the Rhiw-newynydd (the common way so called), and there he whistled so exceeding strong that the cwm (the narrow valley) echoed it back.

The very heavy tread. A spring. A barking dog. I heard, too, (in my head, rather than in the text) the irregular rhythm of a deep breath that reminded me of Dave Bowman’s own as he attempted to deactivate the HAL 9000 computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The bark of a grizzled terrier was based upon sections of the speeded-up reading of the account. Thereafter, I constructed a bell, such as might be worn by the cows that the young woman was leading home. The sound isn’t referred to in the text, but it helps to designate the animals in the composition. By the close of the afternoon, all the main components had be constructed in readiness for assembly on Monday.

4.30 pm: Cease!


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