Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-05-23 - 7:54 a.m.

Listening to the ND Radio 2 on http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio2_aod.shtml?docu3 which streams alright at 7.00am in the morning. (Don’t confuse it with Melodies for You.)

We went to a programme of Russian music at the cathedral and then onto supper with Penny and Andrew and so I missed the broadcast. Penny was singing in the chorus. The Prokoviev film music was really good – amazing sonorities – and historically fascinating the way it anticipates the WW2 tussle between the Russians and Germans. Rach 3 sounded surprisingly calm in that vast space. It made me think of its historical roots – the kind of individualism that it represented.

I have an invitation to the Caius Music Soc tonight which is tempting. Satie on the bill.

At supper there were a clutch of guitarists – Andrew’s son used to play lead guitar in a covers band in James’ year at school – and Andrew tinkers with a Strat. David is a student Stefan Grossman. Someone else had just bought an interesting portable guitar. I talked a bit about my El Maya which I am playing quite a lot at the moment.

When people ask me what kind of music I do its quite difficult giving a straight answer – for example mixing totally different sources together in real time – often including my own earlier compositions, certain earlier versions of short modernist works, beats, keyboards.

So Paulo has his say about River Man on the BPNDfest – followed by Linda Peters. The programme opens with the NJ cover of Day is Done - a bit different from the airshot which is more clearly linked to the way Jeff Buckley did covers. Glad to see the R2 website for the programme foregrounds Mikael’s algonet site where co-bloggers opinionate. I wonder how old John Martyn was when he recorded his contribution?

Not much on the programme about the poetry revolution. Boyd says that when he heard RFH performance he thought there was a performing proposition there – Ashley Hutching says the same about first seeing ND at the Roundhouse. Something extra to put on the charge sheet then. Boyd tells the Cale story of how the latter jumped in a cab from the Kings Road to Hampstead when they were working on Desertshore. Cale and Nick then spend two days together working ideas and then Cale pitches back into the studio demanding keyboards As far as I can work out this was about two months after we did the radio ( which was the last time I saw him.)

For me that reinforces the artistic continuity between those Nico tracks and the famous bits of BL. In fact the more I listen to 60 40 (which I have a lot this week) the more I can hear the confluence after the event. Nothing about Cale and Boyd jumping off to LA and Warners Bros then..

Tow the Line sounds great – I d really like to hear Imac on that subject! The guitar sound is interesting – almost like a dobro to my ears.

Oh yes – and the NJ version on the record doesn’t have the interesting chord variation approaching the first dominant. I think the airshot harmony – which is more about openness and less about closure than the recorded harmony – is more in tune with the airiness she brings to the piece.

Reading Duncan on Prynne's 1968 Daylight songs and Caius Daoism. Duncan quotes historian of Bluenote, Cook, then a bassplayer at the local, on Steve Lacey. "He is so rigorous when juggling note values small enough for bop, that he seems to speak only inproverbs. Why then is music so bitter on the ears, such a cold bathforthe romantic?"

Thus also was Prynne says Duncan - JHP found himself in a trcky situation. "In this lust for risk and anxiety about singing, one recalls the poet's dayjob - lecturing to adolescents with an imposed formalism." Indeed I dont think he sold the formalities at all successfully. "Knowing that they desperately need reassurance and wanting to say {yes everything s going to be all right - no dont believe anything I or anyone else say}".

Unreliable formalisms the order of the year then.

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