Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-04-28 - 7:38 a.m.

R’s comments about endings – perhaps a provocation or an incitement. Maybe a step on the path from the famous Lamont Young pieces about following the line or the piano and the hay. So there might be a meta-piece: Write 1O bars of music which end on any emotion other than resignation or triumph. Try ending the piece expressing the emotional acceptance that one’s pencil is blunt and needs to be sharpened or that its time for another glass of wine.

Polyphonic Spree – hard to find an adequate response – a glorious time/space anomaly perhaps?.

There is a trope in Deleuze and others called The Eternal Return which I don’t understand at all. Does it mean history repeats itself once as tragedy and then as farce? Or something even more serious? As far as my old employer is concerned I would say that maybe its at the farcical stage. I read a speech which Tony Blair gave to a clutch of senior civil servants a month or so ago and I had a strong sense of a non-tragic return. We had been scheduled to meet the Treasury on Monday and then something else had intervened and so I did a fair amount of background reading on what they may have wanted to talk to us about. I came across several familiar names from the past – my past. The grey bit.

There seem to be “return” dreams around the place. Bought Musicology in Tesco under a tenner. Less a return than the next instalment from the glorious mid 9Os triple.

I wrote an essay about Productivity Competitiveness and GDP and got a lunch date at Birmingham LSC. Stephen sent some Eurostats about value added.

Paul sent me a review of Duncan’s Conservative Poetry book which is critical in grand terms but very positive at a detailed level. Since I am only a third of the way through I am mainly experiencing brilliant details. I have just read a bit about Pete Brown who wrote the lyrics for lots of Cream classics , In the next sentence Adrian Henri gets a bashing for recycling 2nd hand surrealism and you might say PB deserves the same. It depends if you are assessing the stuff as poetry – which imposes high hurdles and scrupulous tests – or something more populist.

People who found their way into the attitudes and materials of the Parisian or US avant garde in the late 5Os started to produced stuff which was an inch from the mainstream – say – in 1966. P Brown however 2nd hand his lyrics may have been – and I can’t judge – was the 4th voice in an enterprise that where Ornette Coleman met Robert Johnson and Detroit polyrhythms to prepare the US market for the Seattle Stockhausen of the Stratocaster.

The review is critical of Duncan’s simple binary model. At the time it felt very much as if it was a binary divide – the establishment vs The Rolling Stones say. These were the conditions when the Great Leap Forward happened – so why not work out and back and forward from that condition. Esp if you can explain what the GLF is – via the 34 tropes.

I will harp on. There is an interesting parallel between the dreaded Larkin’s attitude to classic jazz and blues and E Clapton’s attitiude to his masters and mentors – part of the same tectonic drift in English culture – starting with the Arts and Crafts movement conserving the artisan heritage. To his bewidermentClapton was captured by a 2nd hand surrealist, polyrhythms and a Scottish composer of basslines.

M-Bheart Jordan tells me that in this weekends blues programme about the British contribution to the Blues EC is in a very Larkin-esque grump about past times. Mick Taylor emerges well as with his part in the Mayall 7Oth birthday concert – where he explains in around 24 bars how transcendental the Marshall-Les Paul combination can be in the right hands.

I see the plundered cover artist of Plundafonix has done old Golden Boots in bed – a slow shot with an adjustment episode.

I am trawling the archives on Plundafonix eg a long version of the Sufi chant which has become the memorial to Regan von Schweitzer. Just playing now is the longer version of the trio which Gilbert started and withs flute and Dhorn improv duets of varying character and quality.

There is also a very long polytonal version of Horn over a complex drone and the California Girl flute episode. Also some bits of that free atonal short Schoenberg piano piece that influenced James Brown and is really just G7 C. Also the core CZ1O1 track which went into a piece of Blink Music Beyond Belief . Perhaps I should inflict it as it stands on a couple of people – unselected pieces 2OO1-4 and a bit.

Sinclair told Marr on R4 that he goes into a trance to write the stuff and that the learning of the decades is how to handle it back in the world. Cale says as much in his autobiography.

I have been listening to field recordings of West Africa and drinking in Henley in Arden. Glanced at Pearts That Were and found it very sexy. Needs to sit next Seventh Heaven which is vulnerable. Let me quote Marianne Faithful: “I was born in Hampstead. My mother wasn’t screaming so they didn’t believe she was in labour. Later I went to Convent School. Later I road in leather. Later I took some sleeping pills. I needed to lose”

I thought about the placing of St Mary Magdalene. Stayed up late. Finished off the tomato juice. Meridian have recorded their Lullabye – great news.

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