Iain Cameron's Diary
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The Highveld Project

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2004-03-01 - 8:27 p.m.

Great to read Robin’s account of Gilbert in LA – very glad that he went down deservedly well with that audience.

I was dredging through the WVX stats – a fortnight after the last foray. I was pleased to see that the Robin-Gilbert-Mark-IC collabs on 4 5ths and 10 Short Stories are getting listened to in the second half of February – also the Lullabyes. Peter put the first takes of two new sections within the Music Making section of the Music for the Highveld site – link at the top of this page. One is about Spaceward Studios – or to be accurate that is the destination. The journey is about the evolution of recording practice since around 1950.

Having bought a book yesterday about Two Tone in Coventry it occurred to me that this is another really good example of how musical innovation and recording shifted away from the metropolitan centres in the 1970s. Visionaries could operate in a provincial city to bring something completely new into existence. Coventry had an art college that had a world-wide reputation in conceptual art in the 1970s but apart from that there was just local resources. Well I say “local” – Phillip Larkin and Jerry Dammers went to the same Coventry grammar school – several years apart – Larkin was emerging as a poet when Dammers was born in 1954.

The other item in Music Making is the interview with Paul Wheeler about Red Blues – with a section from Chris, his producer. The link with Spaceward is clear enough – nowadays even the complexity and sophistication of the Spaceward assets is not longer needed to generate very striking recorded music results. Both articles need a lot more visual material to lighten their impact on the page.

On Saturday I recorded the Lloyds’ Lullabye from DAT and put Charlie’s Weaver of Dreams into the CD file plus Cathy’s muse song. The sequencing of tracks and balancing needs a lot more care from me. I also put on the version of Nottamun Town from Meridian which is slowest most reflective track on their CD. Taking the CD from 5 to 9 tracks is a big change in the context of each track and the changed perspective has to be sifted carefully. I can see the links but haven’t yet found the best way of tieing them up.

Nick Brown rang up about the lecture at Hughes Hall a week today. I took the chance to sound him out on legality of the Iraq venture given that he’d been fairly firm at the time. I would say he’d shifted slightly but not much – more a matter of articulation than position. Very anti Ms Short, though.- she has certainly pissed people off.

I bought a Times at lunchtime and read Rees Mogg on the Blair Rep

This morning something eventuated. A lot of different things I have been playing with came together with the determination to take whatever it was through. The idea was a harmonic one – a sequence I have been playing on the piano for a while. I used this 8 chord sequence – each chord 4 notes – with a drone tone from NYC – and overlay some Dhorn – then a beginning an end. I has a character and dynamic.

Great programme on R4 about Bohemia – home of the dollar and of the Uranium in Russian nuclear weapons..

Positive meeting on an issue at work which has been foxing us for a while – maybe we have found the way forward on this at last. Tomorrow I go to London for a mid morning meeting.

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