Corpus Christi Carol

This as I walked on Sunday morning, in  Foxboro, MA. USA.  Past rocks and springs, and green grass, past houses of wood on foundations of stone, ready for the frozen ground to come, but shining in the light summer air that day. I had a short conversation that morning.

“hello” – said the american woman, as I came by her house.

“Hi”, – I said, the Aussie wondering..

“How are you ?”, the woman answered, digging out a tree in her garden

“I’m well” I said, the stranger walking by,  “looks like a fair bit of work for you”…

“Yes”, “The kids are away …”

“OK well It’s good that it is not raining then” as I continued on past..

Sunday can be like that, far from home, a whole day can be spent with just occasional short conversations.. which take on a significance due to the lack of other conversational noise of the day to day.  As I continued walking I thought I might write something of Corpus Christi, what is it all about etc..

Corpus Christi Carol, I really like the tune, the way Jeff Beck plays it, the way Hayley Westenra sings it, the way Benjamin Britten wrote the music, the way somebody wrote the ancient lyrics some 500 years ago.  I feel there is scope to extend the lyrics a few more stanzas…I guess these stanzas look at the continuation of presence by faith and power in the Eucharist, something relevant to the feast of Corpus Christi.

Corpus Christi Carol – additional stanzas

And this is the method his story is told

not symbolic, but real life fold-ed

Corpus Christi, he gave us to share

Bread and wine Christ made him there

How can it be, that this bread is He ?

How can it be, this wine you and me ?

in our lives, his love transforms

and by our faith, his word informs,

And told the priest that he had the hour

To continue the simplest miracle power


Speaker Driver Coniplasty

WARNING : Don’t read this if you are squeamish about doing operations on large powerful audio speakers.  Don’t think that this A-Z will apply to any or all speakers or any or all circumstances.  The sequence here did apply to one speaker of mine, but I am sure that all speakers are individual, just like people.

The patient in this case is a large sealed 100W speaker cabinet.  Weighing in at around 25 kilograms, it had a brilliant sound, but for now is reduced to just a persistent cough, no matter how much encouragement given.

a. Take the speaker cabinet, it is probably heavy so get a mate to help bring it down to the shed.  Put it on blocks on the table.  Reassure the poor tweeter lying there beside the woofer it will be just ok, no need to worry.

b. Turn the speaker patient over, and gently unscrew all the rusty screws holding the back on.  The screws are long, and the wood is tight, for putting up with 20 years of weather and globe trotting.

c. Carefully prize the back off with a small chisel.  Careful how you do that, since it might chip, and mar the paintwork.  OK did you get it off.  Lets assume you did.  Open up the back, and remove it, keep all the screws, you probably might not be able to buy replacements.  Put the screws and the back over to the side.

d. Look inside to see if the wires are ok, and if the crossover may be burnt out.  No.. everything ok.  Then the problem may be with the speaker cone, or the cone winding.

e. Gently push down on the speaker cone, the large paper thing inside the speaker frame.  Watch out for your watch in case you may have it magnetised on the large magnet on the back of the speaker.

f.  Shut the door, turn down the radio, make it all quiet inside the shed.  OK… now do it again. carefully push down on the cone, and listen.  What do you hear ?  If you hear nothing, then it is probably ok.  If it sound a bit raspy then you will have a problem with the speaker cone.  The voice coil could be out of line.

g. Disconnect the woofer driver, and then unscrew each of the 8 or so screws holding the rim of the driver to the front baffle. Once again keep all those screws, don’t lose them, might be hard to find replacements.

h. Ok check disconnected.  Check screws are somewhere safe – not likely to get lost.

i. Pick up the speaker, take it out of the enclosure, take it over to the bench.  Wind out the vise, and then put it in magnet first.  So that the cone of the driver is facing up toward the roof.  You looking down on it.  You should be able to see the centre of the cone, and all around the edges of the cone, where it is glued down onto the rim under a baffle ring.

j. You will note that since the driver is rubbing, it is rubbing its voice coil on the inside ring slot of the magnet.  This is due to distortion in the cone, and the voice coil part of the lower cone, stuck inside the magnet has become out of line.

k.  Take a stanley knife, or a scalpel, borrow one from your husband or wife if you need a sharp one.  Then carefully cut the cone out by running the scalpel around the widest part of the cone, where the cone sharply angles from around 30 to 40 degrees to the point where it becomes horizontal and all wavy out to the rim.

l.  You should now have the cone cut free of the rim, and looking like an ice-cream cone, or the cone of a funnel, and standing just near where you cut it.  If the speaker is not distorted, like in a new one, the cone will be almost unmoving and sitting just like where you cut it, with almost no gap where you cut it.  However if the cone is distorted, the gap will adjust to allow the cone to relax into the right alignment of the voice coil, since there is nothing holding the cone to the rim. Walk around the cone, shining a torch from underneath, and you will see lots of light coming through where the gap increases, and no light where there is no gap.

m.  When you push the cone back down onto the rim, you will see the cuts separate a little as the cone lies flatter.

n.  You will go to the chemist/drugstore and you will ask the nice shop assistant for help finding special medical paper tape, used to bandage up wounds on real people.  You get some, a small roll of it, you only will need about a foot or so of tape most probably.

o.  You will go to the supermarket and get some shockproof superglue.

p.  You will come home and you will go down to the shed, turn on the light, and then move back over to the poor woofer, lying there in the vise, awaiting your expertise to work on its poor recently distorted cone.  You will then get the paper medical tape, and undo the packaging, and then find the end, and then cut off a bit, and apply it to the underside of the cone, being careful to push the cone back down on the rim, apply the paper to the slit and then once again to all the cuts you have made.

q. You will then get the superglue, careful not to get in fingers, it sticks shocking to skin, particularly when you get it on fingers and then use fingers to think with.  You end up permanently stuck in thought mode with your finger on your temple.

r. You will apply the superglue carefully along the slits and then immediately apply more medical tape over the top of them.  The superglue should basically start seeping through the tape and the tape lie flat on the slits cut radially into the speaker cone, and now the cone should be lying gently against the rim, and everything looking round on good again.

s. Wait a bit….that was tough… now to get breath back and think over the next step while the superglue sets.

t.  When the glue is set, take a breath, you will now have to get the superglue and go carefully right round the outside rim of the cone and glue it back onto the rim you originally cut through.  Put strips of medical tape on top just to help hold the glue together and give it something to bind to as well as the cut edges of the cone and the rim.

u. Wait a bit longer….. come back after lunch.

v. Check your success by carefully pushing down on the centre of the speaker cone.  You should now hear nothing since the cone will now be lined up with the voice coil magnet and also the rim.

w. It will look pretty ugly, so get some paint and go paint the whole speaker cone carefully, it will add a bit to the weight of the cone, but it will seal it against the weather and will seal over the medical tape patches and it will look ok to people who really like to see their speaker cones made up and looking good.

x. Wait till it dries, then put it carefully back into the enclosure, screw it down, reconnect the wires.. making sure they are all around the right way.  Put the back of the speaker cabinet back on, screwing it in place carefully.

y. Turn the patient over on its back, now reassure the tweeter that things are ok, then get the speaker wires from the amp and connect it up, switch on power.  Get a decent CD with a lot of good dynamic music on it.  Attach and gradually turn up the volume.

z. If you are feeling good again and the sound is clear across the range, and loud and no coughing sneezing or other ridiculous non-speaker sounds are being made, then you are done.  Back in business.

Heart Rhythm Dusty Boots

”]Ferodo had travelled too, and his heart had gone with him, together the two of them both, person and heart along the way, had flown global streaks across the blue sky oceans below them. Landing in cities unknown and hotels of shine and polish.  For Ferodo his life in other cities was cool and well planned.  He really had only experienced the unexpected greatly in India, in Mumbai, in Delhi, his naivety was equally as great as the crowds and his heart would skip beats with each unknowing happening in the dust of the streets around.

But what synchronised his mind eventually, was the rhythm of the sounds, a Hindi wedding with it’s blaring trumpets, the crowd shouting and the sound coming in waves, listening to that was like listening to the mighty Narmada river, and shouting over the top, until his heart got that rhythm spirit inside, and his blood too became river like inside flowing that way in tune with the raga’s of it all.

And so he ventured out into the streets, the houses and places the nagars of indian cities in the pink and black dusts of Rajastan and Delhi, and into the places and forts of empire and had found his way around walking and being through the crowd that way.  In walking in crowds he found he became invisible to the throngs only when he slowed his walk to their rhythm.  Too slow, he was not going anywhere, and was a distraction, too fast like a westerner, he was a foreigner with no heart for the place.  He found he had to walk slower and more measured, like time was not of the essence, but a determination was still there, not like he had no where to go, but like where he had to go would still be there when he got there.  He had found with his western speed, that people hurried to places, as if it would not be there in the end, or they had to get there first in case of others.

His cloak of invisibility, of synchronism, of rhythm then were his boots.  Even though he had got them in San Antonio, on a whim of a visit, and not understanding why really, he had found them useful in India, in the cold of winter and had taken a liking to walking around cities world wide in these strange boots of Texas.

And now he was in Sydney, here with his girlfriend, wearing them, the strange boots of Texas.  He found now that the boots captured memory, of the places he had been, he only had to look down at them, and he could recall the places, like photographs, shining out of the polished facets of the boots, and his heart would re-synchronize with his mind and feet, and he would feel ok.  Sipping coffee by the opera house steps, his girlfriend taking snaps, and as she did, each click of the shutter would trigger another snap of the magic Texan boots he had on, complete with their Rajastan dust and his heart complete with a kind of rhythm of love for the place of song and concert, the dust of places he had been, and his girlfriend close by in his walkabout.

Heart rhythm dust

magic boots with shutterbug


VOX on VOX off VOX on VOX off VOX on ! Ecoute !

talking speaking voicing

VOX on : I tried talking, it seemed to work, all through my teenage years, and into adult hood, I spoke often, but I didn’t speak.  It was not megaphonic, it was headphonic.  Like the tinny sound in the little ear buds on wires long and white and now elegantly defined as style in an iPod.  Even my meagre words “I do” when I married, were not said loud and clear like I loved, which I did, but it didn’t sound anything but like an itune in an earbud. I continually tried to talk, but didn’t like the sound. It didn’t sound like the me I didn’t know yet.

VOX off: I tried silence, it seemed to work, knowing that the world would continue to spin ok, while I silently watched it, and listened intently for a place in which I could work silently carefully, waiting for a chance moment of fun to come.  Fun if it came would be fortunate and lucky.  The chance of  meeting people I could always chance on meeting people and I played a silent game of chance – drifting in the wind of voices not my own – hoping not to land on a rocky sharp oyster, or get mauled by a shark, or get attacked by crazy people.

VOX on : I tried speaking, it seemed to work, I had something to speak, easy like a dream, no power, no force, no action resultant, an obvious conclusion, even I didn’t believe presenting two sides of both arguments simultaneously, as though I on the one hand and the other had not decided you which side to take.  Like lukewarm washing up water, ok water, but not clear or of any importance.

VOX off: I tried emails, it seemed to work, I could type faster than anyone, and being translocated in Oz, out of time and space with the recipients it was convenient, and I could always sit back on the nice little magnetic electronic records of my meagre thoughts derived in response to the winds again.  Again the winds of other voices, cast ridiculously in email form for to claim a right to do bugger all.

VOX on: I tried conference calls, it seemed to work, I could call up many people who would dial in and I could speak apparently and tell people what I thought, since my thinking and figuring was better than any others could possibly have ever been of course.  Why would I ever have to listen. but people argued and lost their temper on calls, the disconnection of emotion and the lack of body language and other useful visual cues, and the imbalance of a lone voice talking to a group scattered round a table, laughing at the speaker phone uselessly transmitting a tiny earbud voice of insignificance, still proved how dumb it all was for those with no sight, no mind to share no heart to listen.

VOX off: I tried webex, it seemed to work, I could wrap up my thoughts in points of power, and then transmit down wires of speed to screens of light scattered around the world at night.  And talk to the points, one by one, while their attention was garnered between glasses of water on tables so far away.  In the morning after the night before would be emails again, showing almost no comprehension of anything that passed the night earlier.

VOX on: I learnt about voice, I had a great teacher, Shannon Dolan, she taught me about voice, I never heard of it before, till she told me what I was using was just a shadow of a voice, not a voice but an earbud of a thing, so now I learnt more about a voice.  A voice is what people want to hear.  Something higher and more powerful than talking or speaking, something strong and understanding of its own position, something inclusive of ideas, which defines a framework for inclusion by the listener, which give space by its loudness, which does not interrupt but listens., but when activated causes action by all.  Like the great actors, who have voice, the great orators, whose voice echoes still, if you have a voice, it is a gift you can use to bind people to action they believe in, it is a great gift and we all have one somewhere. We must practice its use, whether in whispering like a hummingbird, or laughing like a kookaburra, and make it nice for people to listen too, full of warmth and friendship, with strength of purpose. One purpose not two, one committed side of the argument, not both, and ditch emails, conference calls, and other kinds of pretend we use.