Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-01-12 - 8:36 p.m.

I started to look at some left over pieces – mostly from 2002 – on the PC back in Gfd. A lot of this stuff was written when I was between jobs – but I thought it sounded OK. I found that I would sink into making music faux de mieux. I didn’t really think too hard about what I was doing – I just did it. Following lines of investigation without being too explicit about what they were. Then moving onto the next piece – filling time. And now I look back at it after an interval in which other pieces and episodes had intervened. I say to myself – oh perhaps I can make a piece like this – or like this.

I opened up Eno’s year with swollen appendices at today’s date in 1996. He is working on material for some Bowie sessions. He reflects that he works better when he is working within constraints. As he puts it – less exploration of all possible avenues and more determination to make something of something. – on a journey. “The big surprise for me when I work like that is discovering that myself capable of almost an “automatic writing” way of working”.

I can remember this discovery working inside an edit window in Cubasis The more one follows this avenue – places where automatic writing can happen – the odder the places one ends up.

I organised some of the documents on the Gfd computer and found some nice material – an interview with F Frith for example where he explains that ne no longer feels himself to be a UK citizen. One of the files was a usage report on the KK site – from around May. I did an analysis on the traffic between May and now and wrote to Peter with some conclusions.

Blogs pick up Derek’s pix and that brings traffic to the site. That traffic is equally likely to look at the three areas: the block of materials about the musicians and the music, the block about the projects and the block with the detailed pix.

I had decided that I needed to replace the Christmas editorial and I found a speech that I thought was 100% spot on. So I did a piece which introduced it, then there was a big quote from the speech. I added a small coda. Go and have a look at it – the Highveld link at the top of this page.

Peter was in Birmingham for a regular meeting this afternoon. We spent some time kicking around the implications of the analysis and came up with a proposal.

Peter has just completed an analysis of the information and knowledge management requirements of the Automotive Academy. It will be interesting to see what is made of this. I don’t go to these meetings, thank heavens. The politics is fairly intense and I don’t have the patience. We had had a management meeting earlier anyway.

It was the second week for my new way of doing a list. So far so good.

I didn’t sleep too well last night – the journey to Leamington was quite tiring. And I didn’t feel massively like starting the week this morning.

I am listening to the R4 documentary about the FCO – it’s a bit of a larf – well a bit of a tragic-comedy actually. I could go on about one or two tangles.

Yesterday Yvonne took James back to Hoggwarts. She was booked in to do the first reading at Evensong – so I agreed to do it for her – the first 11 verses of Ch 55 of Isaiah – who is (as my daughter might say) well weird.. The bit I was landed with is in sections and the last section in this case is a lyric which has been picked up for a frequently used shouty hymn.

Still very taken with SM3. Take Kind of Blue as a style of writing and Coltrane 4tet as a style of soloing and then mix-in some NYC innovations concerning how a piece may be put together. This way of doing electric music isn’t just a passing phase or an occaisional episode two thirds of the way through the 20C – it’s a recipe that can produce a great deal of varied music over decades. The obvious place where its picked up is Zorn’s 1980’s NYC endeavours. But there are other locales in the 1990s and something will happen out of this lineage in the current decade.

Now there’s a programme about the tango in Finland.

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