Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-10-19 - 7:58 a.m.
Traffic jams on the way to Birmingham Chamber of Commerce yesterday morning for a seminar for the NEAC Project - an EC funded venture comparing 10 regions including one in Russia and both Wales and the West Midlands. Stephen was there - also the leader of the big project at Warwick University. I picked up two writing assignments which I donít mind too much. The questionnaire was incredibly detailed and we had to estimate the answers to a lot of the questions. Very good buffet. Then back to the office where I slogged on with the cluster-mapping - got further into the company database which is an asset of sorts.
I want the cluster-mapping to bring out the dynamism and internationalisation inherent in globalisation - also the diversity.
Talked to Steve on the phone - on his way back from his lecture on quantitative methods at Cardiff. We agreed that the Learning Grid /Greenpower event had been a success at Goodwood and kicked around a few ideas about making it look sharper - also on how we would pitch it at some local stakeholders.
I have an embarrassment with my car - which I am meant to be changing and which I have no desire to swap. But it looks as if they are just going to take it away and give me another one. Obviously I canít complain but it does make me uneasy.
I have recorded the second half of Op 19 no 2 by a customized process - a mixture of live performance and synthesis - using the Elf - so it has some raunchy sounds but also quite jazzy ones too. It is well known that no 6 is concerned with bell-like sonorities - but I have found one in no 2 - at the caesura. The harmony is built around a rootless eventh - say from the bottom the note F B D. This is the chord you might use to comp behind a jazz blues. Schoenberg takes this chord and turns it into a six note chord by adding the same interval set 11 semitones lower. You could see it as three major seventh intervals - Fsharp-F C-B and Eb-D. On the guitar it has definite bell-like resonances which are quite engaging.
(In fact you could resolve those tones into a D7 flat9 sharp 9 13 or a rootless Ab7 flat 5 sharp 9 13 - in the piece it is more like the latter which makes it a kind of dominant - in that bebop sidestepping rootless manner.)
There is also a chord at the end which is 3 major seventh chords superimposed - or to put the same point another way - three intervals of a fifth sounding together: G-D, B-Fsharp and Eb-Bb - you could also say it was three major thirds - which would be more in line with what is the obvious essence of the piece. Maybe this is the resolution of the Ab chord. Do all the Op19 pieces give out a harmonic story if you look at them long enough ? The ones I have looked at most are no 2 and no 6. You could make a piece with that harmonic vector and a different rhythmic groove.
I have been playing around with putting blues lines over the Op19 no 2 - not the first time and it seems to work ok. Elf and amp simulator on Marshall/Beano setting.
I spent most of the day on bits of the Learning Grid. Our student, Esmond did a good job of pulling the survey together and I had a first shot at mapping the differences in attitude amongst the three groups that we had surveyed. We have used four possible responses on the attitude statements - yes/no/maybe and donít know - and I laid out which of the statements scored most of each response for each group ie what was the issue the parents were most negative about.
Broadly speaking, the attitudes we measured are quite reasonable - given that we are asking about the future which is inherently uncertain . There seems to be a mild residue of expecting that the future will be like the past. We (the project) actually expect that in certain key aspects there will be radical differences in the future - and in different ways parents, children and teachers have some inkling of this. But the extent of the opportunity hasnít quite been realized.
Laurence mailed and we pushed on with some issues about conceptual art which we started by text at the weekend. We think this is going quite well and I looks as if we will meet up in Oxford in about a weekís time - there is an event at Oxford Brookes to do with motorsport education which I better go to. The Kantian model seems to be working well eg in accounting for the way conceptual art comes across these days.
Mailed Andrew Glen Gould doing Op 19 no 2 as an mp3. Mailed Stephen the article about the Copenhagen economists and the assessment of the best return in sorting the worldís problems.
I fished around EBTG and ordered the album after Walking Wounded - 2nd hand off Amazon. There doesnít seem to be much about the creative heart of the business. People obviously like the band and the emotional character of the songs - they relate to Ms Thornís voice and the unusual blend of attributes she packs in - and to the skill in the song-writing and arranging. But no one digs that far eg on why H Robinson and R Thompson. Although it seems the tape for H Robinson to arrange was taken round to his house by hand. So you get just these subtle hints.
Looked at material on Lagrangians- still donít really get them - yet alone Hamiltonians - but at least I am not the only ones. I realized that there is a link with Finite Element Analysis - also optimization - progress of a sort.