Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-10-03 - 11:29 a.m.

Berryman compared with Dylan by Ricks - little boy lost who takes himself so seriously.
I found a 67-ish poem by Hughes dedicated to R Graves - needless to say it about the moon - but maybe itís the conquered moon. I have decided to leave my collected Hughes in Gfd - so I wrote the poem out on a piece of paper for further use. This morning I splurged it against a track I had just made on the organ using my current harmonic system.

This system reflects the fact that there are 12 semitones in the chromatic scale - and the fact that you can use them all by putting down two extended minor chords - with the seventh ninth and the eleventh. If these chords are a tritone apart you have used all twelve notes and in effect executed a piece of serial music. This has led me to refine a set of guitar shapes where every string plays a different note and the notes are from one of those six note chords. They donít have to have any particular note in the root - the idea is just to use all six notes in the chord. I have been playing at these chords for a month or so and so some of them have become second nature. I have just started to transfer them to keyboard.

I am not jumping tritones but using a different path - where the harmony shifts very gradually - at the moment it is getting sharper. So given a particular six note chord, the next chord is different in that the flattest note in the old chord has been altered by a tritone - all the other notes are the same - although the inversion may be different.
So the organ sketch follows this transformation rule a few times so the harmony mgrates from Cm11 to Em11 and then recapitulates the Cm11. I so have a thing about keys which are a minor third apart. The piece is about 90 secs long but it is enough to get all the words from the Hughes-Graves poem in.

Last night I looked at the Wikipedia entry about Hofstadterís Godel Escher and Bach - I have been looking for my copy which I havenít yet found. The entry is very positive and explains that the book isnít just an ad hoc collection of vaguely elated themes. Rather it is a serious attempt to look at the kind of arrangement exemplified by Godel numbering and to develop various kinds of analogues and models. I have never especially been taken with the links with either Escher or Bach but I think thatís just personal taste. The enterprise has to be worthwhile and I really ought to dig out my copy and get stuck in.

As part of the search I disinterred a book about truth in poetry that I have never properly read either. Also a book on early British computers which I bought when I had my last Turing bout - one of the nice links is that an early storage device used in these machines was a delay line - something a bit like a Fender spring reverb. It would be a nice fancy to store numbers or instructions in a clutch of Fender amps.

I phoned by sister last night - it was her birthday on Saturday. She has discovered what happened to someone who was in my junior school and who I kept in touch with for a decade but couldnít find when I checked her out a cuple of months back. It seems she is now Prof of Art and Design at Kingston U - this is one of the places that Vita is thinking about going to her for her foundation year - after her year out.

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