November 21, 2018

8.00 am: A communion. 9.45 am: Studiology. I (re)listened to ‘One Day’. A few very minor tweaks, and it would be ‘in the can’. I took a deep breath, and plunged into the icy waters of ‘Beth & Bill’. Beginning anything from scratch is a precarious and somewhat fearful enterprise: ‘Will this amount to anything?’ Will it be as good as the best of the compositions to date?’ Of course, I can’t answer these questions in the abstract. I can’t prejudge the outcome before I begin. (‘Then go to, buddy!’, I hear my ‘muse’ cry from afar off.)

I worked my way through the couple’s inventory of listening, and began recording Scourby’s announcement, at the beginning of the relevant sides to the records, regarding their contents, and his introduction (where available) of the passage of scripture that they’d heard on a particular day. I was following in their footsteps.

This was also an opportunity to test Beth and Bill’s measurements, used to locate the desired section of scripture on the record. Spot on, so far.

Kindly, one of my postgraduate students donated a gorgeous example of a mid-1980s analogue microcassette recording device to the Harvey Museum of Old Audio Technology. I adore the tape hiss, the lo-fi quality of the microphone and speaker, the exaggerated sibilance, and the compressed sonorities. Whatever I record on the device is cast back forty years on playback. Thus, the equipment encodes the present with its own history.

12.45 pm. Off to School to attend an MA Fine Art exam board, where marks were confirmed.

Over lunch, I pressed on with postgraduate co-ordination (or is that direction); I’ve lost track of my designation since the School’s slice of the university has been reconfigured and rebranded as the Institute of Arts and Humanities.

2.00 pm: I began an afternoon of Art/Sound one-to-one tutorials aimed at upping the standard of the PowerPoint submission. I learned that not all markers are intended for whiteboards. It took me half an hour and much elbow grease to clean the writing off. Talking together before the board generates a powerful dynamic. Both parties get positively excited at the prospects. The skeleton of the ‘essay’ develops, through reciprocal dialogue,  in front of their eyes. It’s not so much what goes up on the board that’s important, as the restructuring that takes place in the student’s mind during the process.

7.30 pm. I caught upon with postgraduate and course admin before returning to the studio to review equipment and, in the background, continue to record my way through Beth’s and Bill’s inventory.

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November 22, 2018

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