Productive day

The mics-on light in the BBC Oxford Studio

Today has been a productive day. It began with editing my feature and packing up my Art Object for an hour of recording at the BBC Oxford studios. On Sunday at 9 – 10pm, on 95.2fm in Oxford or anywhere online live, you will be able to hear the episode of The Hub that got recorded today. Helen who is also on The Hub team recorded an amazing review of a Chango Spasiuk gig, which led to much discussion on just how underappreciated and incredible The Accordion is. This pleased me no end and felt like another gentle push in the direction of my sorely neglected instrument. It also sounds very much as though Chango Spasiuk gigs are not to be missed; he has come out of Helen’s review as something of a legend, fully drawing out the latent passions and intensities of the Accordion in his performance.

Last week on The Hub, the Sticks’n’Strings knitters talked about the knitted headphones, which were playing my piece about an accordion – BOY – during Love is Awesome. I have attached both the feature and BOY at the bottom of this page. You’ll have to wait until Sunday to hear Helen’s accordion focussed feature and I’d recommend catching the whole show on the BBC website, because everyone bought really great features and ideas to the studio. I loved the process of recording live although I was much more nervous than usual without a script.

Not knowing how long the recording would take, I had put loads more money than necessary on my pay and display for parking and I came out of the BBC studio feeling rather like I didn’t want to waste an hour and a half of prime parking time. At least this is my incredibly flimsy excuse for spontaneously deciding that what I needed to do next was go into one of those paint-your-own-pottery places and make myself a sonic breakfast plate.

I don’t know why. I just wanted to do that and I decided to run with it. I am in an experimental phase, newly fragile and still prone to tears so anything that offers uncomplicated Joy is immediately undertaken.

I had so much fun drawing my favourite breakfast items and writing their sound effects around them. Next week I am going to take it into the studio with me as the Art Object.

…this is pre-firing so it all looks a bit pastel… let’s pray those joyous breakfast colours come shining through when it gets fired so that I can enjoy many a sonic breakfast upon its glazed surface.

I came home to discover that the radio show I was meant to make for Resonance FM’s framework – also to air on Sunday evening in London, on 104.4fm at 10pm – was due not on 8th of March as I had decided privately to myself, but on the 1st. So I got to it with putting that together pretty skippy, hence the all-nighter I appear to have pulled. (It is now 05:10am and I have had too much tea to go straight to bed.)

Collating the amazing recordings of Greg Wagstaff (ALL sheep/yarn-lovers need this recording!!! and if you are a sound-recordist who doesn’t care so much for it, yet you own a copy, please, please, please can you send it to me? I will love you forever and ever…) plus some sheep I found on Freesound and of course digging through my own comprehensive archives of sheep-related audio was more than my knitting nerve could take, and so on the second listen through to the show I appear to have finished the second Headigan that I cast on at Sticks’n’String only on Tuesday.

This is knit in the leftover balls of yarn from mine and Emmylou’s Hourglass Sweaters, which we worked on during Love is Awesome.

In the pottery shop where I glazed a plate I found some buttons that I think might be just perfect. You see Headigan is all about the buttons.

I am not sure exactly on these buttons though, as one of the highlights of making Headigan is the button-shopping expedition I have planned with Emmylou to Rachael’s lovely shop. The idea is to infuse our matching Headigans with as much Love is Awesome energy as can feasibly be summoned from the cosmos.

I am relieved the show has come down, but sad too. It was a very imaginative temporary space and I miss the pies from Sweeneys, the long chats with Emmylou and the repetitive soundscape with which the building was infused. I especially miss the geese that were playing through the knitted speakers in the very avian stairwell, and the way that their melodic cries would punctuate time at intervals as we sat there knitting and talking and trying to keep warm.

My head is whirling with all things knitting and sound related, and to top off my productive day, we launched a new project on the sound diaries website today that looks at the relationship between surface, texture and sound. If that isn’t a great creative workspace for a knitter who can’t stop recording things, then I don’t know what is.

Now I can sleep.

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