Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-01-13 - 9:33 a.m.
I picked up Adorno’s book on Berg to read on the train the other morning. Apparently Berg was an ‘an ambassadpor for his own dreams’ - in the sense that he could make others feel how he would have liked them to feel in his ideal world.
Adorno believed that music should yield to analysis in order to reveal both its character and meaning. Analysis could get to the musical essence of a piece - this is the flesh of the piece not just the skeleton. He puts it as follows: ‘Berg’s expression, that of a living organism maintaining itself by squandering itself, that of life as the essence of death, can be identified in the compositional aggregate.’ Berg has a characteristic means of using musical materials so that musical progression is achieved in Adorno’s view - and this signature involves dissolution and reduction, the movement of life towards death.
Paul W mailed about the time favoring the Lord of Misrule. I mailed Laurence to say that I thought his focus on global warming and ethics was amazingly timely. As I typed this I had half an eye on the C4 programme - what would Jesus drive? There was a visit to Detroit to show a Cadillac Brother. Later I mailed L to say that maybe we were experiencing a Hegelian moment and that he might explore this further by looking on the net at the encyclopedia of philosophy.
A little sheepishly, I confess to having been looking at some commentaries on Godel. The big idea in G is that you can use numbers to refer to statements in symbolic logic. Relations between statements of logic can become relations between numbers. Where the relationship between the statements mirrors axiomatic deduction or proof, there is an opportunity to reduce provability to the relationship between numbers. Numbers code logic.
This morning on the bus, the thought came to me faith in the relationship between numbers as a code for some form of compulsion between components might also carry over into a faith in numerical relationships as a code for compulsive relationship between sounds. Or if sounds have a number then one might try to establish compulsive relationships between the sounds by considering the relationships between their numbers.
Andrew had mailed about Dick Heckstall-Smith and I mailed back with a few thoughts. I mentioned that the Wire has just reviewed the re-issue of classic B Eno tracks from the 70s. The Wire gives him high marks for building a bridge between earlier experimental music concentrated on a limited number of centres in Europe and the USA. But they are crueller about how the music sounds to modern ears.
On the work front, a series of ‘appearances’ are looming. A little one tomorrow, at the BMW Engine plant a few miles north of the office. Then a week after that, we are organizing an agenda-setting discussion back at the ranch. Early in the week after that there’s a high profile appearance - for me - the day after an event which we are trying to influence scheduled to take place at Jaguar‘s plant at Castle Bromwich. So far so good.