Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-03-15 - 6:35 a.m.

I have been working work on the Beyond Belief material. I decided to use the White Tele into the Roland Cube – a fairly uncoloured amplification of the intrinsic sound of a thirty year old single coil pick up which still has loads of bite. Must been having listening to Mike South bending those Bs in the week – and the relative purity of AL’s Musicman. If I had to point to sources I would suggest Jim Campilongo who I had the wonder of hearing and then meeting at the Knitting Factory a year ago – hanging out with guitarists from Country Joe and Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen – file under strange but true.

For over year the Duosonic has needed a new top string and yesterday I got round to putting on one just for the contrast with the Tele on that rig. The Duo has so much character of its own albeit it is Chinese made. The short scale helps and the pick-ups are ridiculously powerful with three distinct voices on the selector switch and a lot of ring for fluid melodic lines The volume control is less eccentric than the one on the Tele. The Duo used to be my jobbing guitar – now supplanted by the Danelectro – similar except for the configuration of the rotaries.

I suppose one could just go on acquiring electric guitars – I already have too many and they are mostly in the same melodic folk rock and occasional blues vein. Three single coil guitars – all very different – then one Gibson style – and if I count James’Yamaha one mixed Strat type. As I have said before – it’s the sound that makes you like them – and after the sound it’s the feel of the neck – and it’s the fun of trying a new one in the shop.

I was looking for some manuscript to write out a Sarum chant for BB and I came across the poem Mystic – S Plath – and some discussion of it from the web. I think I once got Alwyn to read it at an event I was directing. It’s a mighty piece of work – written days before her death. Mystic is seeing God in the Muse-rush and the issue is what you do afterwards – whether a life of “kindness” is worth it.

Gilbert wrote about LA and after:

“LA was great. I did two concerts one with a quartet, standards (Bill Evans, Ch. Parker) a old American song and some improvisations. Then in the evening I played sol and in duet with Jeff Gauthier, a great violin player and labelowner. His label has released work of Mark Dresser, Zeena Parkins, Peter Erskine, Brad Mehldau, Nels and Alex Cline etc.

Together with Jeff I did the next two days some recordings, which sounded very good. We will continue the recordings somewhere in October, when he will visit me and hopefully I can get some concerts. Then he wants to release the music on his label, which would be fantastic.”

My connectivity situation has taken a step back – the PC has stopped recognising the US428.

Something on Ms Panufnik who is said to be writing a lul: Roxanna Panufnik (b.1968) studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music. Highlights of her work include Westminster Mass (commissioned for Westminster Cathedral Choir on the occasion of Cardinal Hume’s 75th birthday), performed (and subsequently recorded for CD release) by the Choir and City of London Sinfonia at the Cathedral in May 1998 – an opera for Polish National Opera’s millennium season that received its UK premiere at the BOC Covent Garden Festival in May 2000; settings for solo voice of Vikram Seth's Beastly Tales; Roxanna’s critically acclaimed harp concerto Powers & Dominions; Douai Missa Brevis for Douai Abbey; and Leda, a ballet for English National Ballet and Wratislavia Cantans.

Commissions for 2003/4/5 include a solo piano piece for Ewa Kupiec, a Wendy Cope song-cycle for soprano Harriet Fraser, a violin concerto for Daniel Hope and a work for oboist Douglas Boyd and the Vellinger Quartet.

Here’s a review from the Guardian – Fretwork (Zan’s viol band) are reviewed in the same article:

Just as Fretwork has persuaded composers to push one instrument to its limits, so too has Roxanna Panufnik in her new concertino for harp, one of her strongest achievements yet, premiered by Catherine Beynon and the Britten Sinfonia, co-commissioned by Autumn in Malvern and Music at Oxford. Panufnik exploits both the familiar, ravishing flourishes and the strange, percussive side not normally heard in the concert hall except in error. In this two-part work, entitled Powers and Dominions , the instru ment is used to brutal effect: hitting, rattling and twanging strings, noisily jerking the pedals. These were only the more arresting features of an intricate musical landscape in which a second harp played a ghostly, shadowing role, creating an aural radiance with the soloist and vibraphone. Panufnik has angels in mind, but hers are more Miltonic than the limp Victorian familiars of the harp who would be surprised at their instrument's guts and power. Here's a piece for immediate assumption into the repertoire.

Gradually it becomes clearer that the Madrid outrage changes a lot of things we had taken for granted..

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