Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-05-07 - 8:49 p.m.

Well – whatever else may or may not have happened I delivered some product to the customer – the one we saw a week ago – just over six pages of it – and he seems quite happy with it. And other people are happy that he s happy. By that stage I was feeling quite odd – in myself – not about the product – and so no one worried that I got in my car and drove off.

I stopped at the Saxon Mill and bought a single whisky and water and slowly bathed my tooth in it. It really did the job – just the right medicine – especially as I had popped all sorts of pills in the preceding twelve hours. Oddly all that stuff running round my bloodstream did not stop my writing quite a long section about the US industry. I have quite a stock of reports going back about ten years and starting with one done by MIT – a special automotive bit called IMVP – for the US Government. I have no idea how it came into my possession. Then there’s one done by the University of Michigan published about 4 years later. I was very lucky that just yesterday someone sent me some excellent material from the Boston Consulting Group which was only published about a month ago.

Anyway the next job is to put together another couple of reports – one about statistical trends and another about the regional disposition of the industry. On the regional front, our line is that putting together all the different global data sources is a specialist job and you wont get the whole story if you are only working from a regional perspective. Hopefully we have proved the point.

When you look at regional value added per person – which is now the main official measure of productivity, the single most dominant factor pushing the score up is the existence – or not – of a major car plant in the region. So regions like the North East and East Midlands which have good Japanese plants in them obviously have higher productivity than – as far as 2OOO is concerned – the South West and the North West. But these regions both have aerospace clusters and the supply chain companies will support both auto and aero

To clear my mind of all of this I read Andrew Duncan’s excellent article about poetry and the net while I sipped my whisky. Duncan wants to consider how the net might offer the conditions that would support or encourage the constructive reading of poetry – the interesting but difficult modern sort. To answer that question you have to have some sort of theory of how poets poems and readers fit together not on the net – and of course he does have this – and his theory is derived from the period about 3O-4O years ago when poetry and poets went into overdrive on formal development.

The ND news group is on again and someone circulated a piece about great art. Then someone else replied citing the lyric from Cello Song. I really had to concentrate on not replying. Andrew arranged that song for the concert at Leyland and he let me play along on it as I remember – which was tremendous fun. But it is not the place to start if you want to build the case that there is something unusual within the oeuvre as far as words and music are concerned. I must try not to turn into a stuffy old autocrat.

I have been listening to Blue Flame today – thinking what a very serious bit of work it is – and how the songs explore different aspects of the same themes. It comes across as a health warning on the poetic enterprise – how many other albums have attempted that?

There is a similar song on the Cassandra Wilson album I listened to on Tuesday morning – it was written in the late 6Os by Jobim – and it is just a string of images – which may or may not tell a story and the story may or may not be violent. The waters of march in some way discharge the accumulated energy and tension – and at the end what counts is the song in your heart. From time to time Paul and I debate by taste for CW – but you don’t really have to defened a taste for Jobim, I don’t think.

Somehow towards the afternoon before I fell asleep on the sofa the box and the airsynth got fed through the big 4 track MD and the Dhorn got into the act to produce some three and a half minutes of groove. On Blue Flame there are some very subtle extra synth sounds – Robin calls them ear candy I think. There is nothing subtle about what I do with the airsynth – the sounds are related but much more prominent . I try to integrate the AS episodes with the Dhorn phrases in a gestural way. I suppose I can see now that its related to turntabulism – this particular bit of practical exploration. At this end it avoids the Logic or ProTools or Cubase phase where you have lots of bits sitting in a grid – its more linear. But I think when I get back to GfD I will load the thing into Wavelab and see what happens .

I listened to Siesta at some point in the last 24 – wonderful.

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