Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-04-30 - 6:58 a.m.
Woke at about 6.OO am and put on a tape of Bruce’s Fingers – best of the first 1O years. This was put together in 1993 so it covers most of the 8Os. I believe BF is the project of Simon H Fell who was once quoted in the Wire has having taken into experimental music some of the ideas of J H Prynne. A lot of it is free-ish jazz but there is a very attractive song at the end of side 1 by Su Lyn – You Make Sense – which Fell produced In Cambridge in the Summer of 199O. Something Else, the Sheffield Band, with Mick Beck are also included in the Best Of collection. All things considered I need to dig deeper. I bought the tape at the end of the 9Os – as far as I can remember in the wake of the Wire article.
Last night the commemorative dinner for the Automotive College took place in the Barton Arms in Aston – a location with I think kmhjordan selected as chair of the board. It is a magnificent very well preserved late 19th century pub in deepest Aston with beautiful seramics covering practically everything. We were in the boardroom. Peter Chatterton was their with a photo-archive of the College which was projected on one wall. Prof Barlow presented a series of awards – each had two nominations and a winner. They were very funny – eg the AC Award for Achievement in Sustainable Improvement. I won the award for outstanding achievement in Skills Research which was I was very happy with. Stefan – the other nominee – less so.
It’s a long weekend and I have a meeting in Belgravia on Tuesday morning where I have to present. I haven’t written it yet but I am not too concerned about that.
This week has been a strange one in terms of the firm’s positioning vis a vis HMG – this is an area I specialise in, A whole new dimension of mutual interest has emerged from the chaos.
The Meridian Lullaby has arrived – not quite what I was expecting which is great. It will sit very powerfully in the set which has Gilbert and the Lloyds. These are three more or less specially written pieces and so they are all slightly darker. This will be the middle section of the concert.
Charlie Alexander, Peter and I have been working on the first draft of the core copy. Here it is:
Lullabies at St Martins in the Fields
A concert programme of lullabies in a range of styles - blues, folk, jazz, lieder, chanson, choral . Some familiar, some originals – all using the power of music to express common human care and concern. And a chance to savour the glorious atmosphere of one of London's most famous churches . A unique artistic event.
All proceeds from the concert go to Bishop Simeon Trust to support its AIDS HIV care work in South Africa especially with children who have been orphaned by the pandemic
St Martins is in the middle of London's theatreland and for hundreds of years musicians have been drawn to the area to work and relax after hours . Just like Broadway all kinds of small clubs and other venues have come and gone over the years changing the course of music – maybe you remember the Little Theatre Club in St Martins Lane, the home of experimental jazz in thirty years ago?
Several of the musicians on the programme, including songwriter Paul Wheeler, played at the legendary Les Cousins club in Greek Street which flourished in the second half of sixties inspiring a generation of exploration on the guitar and in song form. In the seventies some of the Lullabies musicians played bebop jazz regularly in Drury Lane or Spanish windband music in Convent Garden Piazza in the 198Os.
The evening offers a spotlight on the variety of the styles that have developed from London's musical melting pot.
At one extreme, Belgian virtuoso Gilbert Isbin has played his finger style guitar with leading US improvisers in LA. At the other Simon Prager knew personally many of the original bluesmen who began to tour England around 196O to light the fuse on a musical revolution.
The Climax Blues Band was one of the many groups to spring up from hearing these blues pioneers and Meridian with its sophisticated and delicate multi-instrumental Celtic music shows how far this inspiration has travelled in another direction.
Pioneer jazz educationist and guitarist Charlie Alexander is has honed his style over the same period as he built up Jazzwise In the mid 7Os he directed the Jazz Centre Society project at Seven Dials which acted as a key jazz venue
Cambridge ,Guildford and Venice may seem unlikely partners in the Lullabies project alongside West End blues jazz improv and world music.
Barbadian baritone Cleveland Williams studied singing in Texas and Venice and has given several recitals in Guildford to raise money for the Bishop Simeon Trust - including one for the URC Music Society which organ specialists, Geoff and Gillian Lloyd, help run. Soprano Cathy Bell is currently studying medieval literature at Caius Cambridge where she won a Choral Exhibition. She sung the Queen of the Night at last year's stunning ADC production of the Magic Flute
The world famous St Martins choir will wind up the programme - a brand new composition from one of London's up and coming composers is in the offing. We are also expecting some surprise South African guests.
Care and protection are universal human instincts and we think the breadth of this Lullabies programme reflects this. The world as a whole is at last slowly marshalling resources to deliver care and protection where it is most needed.
Bishop Simeon Trust's pioneering programmes in South Africa have shown the big agencies what can be done. To accelerate the pace BST has some impressive new ventures in the pipeline. Show your support by coming to St Martins in the Fields on 27 November 2OO4 for an evening of Lullabies you will never forget