Friday, June 1, 2018, 16:29

Hello from a silent office. No one is here but me.

KM and I spent the day together as planned months ago. He’s on a serious sabbatical from work (6 months) and among the many non-work things he’s doing to figure out his life and what’s next, I suggested he let me plan at least one day for him, sun-up to sundown. So I did.

I picked him up for breakfast at 8:45. We ate at the bar at The Jack Tar, where they make fresh crullers with marscapone to order. We had them. Boy were they good. Then we drove out to the North Carolina Museum of Art to see a special exhibit — You Are Here: Light, Color, and Sound Experiences. Given K’s recent interest in psychedelics, I thought this would be appropriate. The highlight was Janet Cardiff’s Forty Part Motet, which simulates being surrounded by a 40-person chamber choir performing a Thomas Tallis arrangement. This is done by distributing 40 speakers on stands in a circle, one for each performer’s microphone, and playing them all synchronously. It’s like a binaural recording using a mic/speaker for each sound source arranged in a room just as the performers once were. The effect, especially if you sit in the center with your eyes closed, is to feel you are surrounded by real people.

After the exhibit, we had lunch at Garland, then drove back to Chapel Hill where I had booked him a 90-minute floatation tank session. He’s there now. I’m killing time at the office until 5:30, when I’ll pick him up and we’ll have dinner at Lantern.

P.S. Here’s a phrase I heard the other day: Optimism of will; pessimism of intellect” — as in, as critical as I am, I am generally optimistic, though I can’t always explain why.



Written by Christopher Butler. If you enjoyed reading this, take a look at the full list of essays. If you'd like to get in touch, you can reach me at chrbutler at gmail dot com.


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