Iain Cameron's Diary
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2010-04-22 - 8:46 a.m.

The laptop had a fit and was a struggle to get going. The bear had cleared off completely and was nowhere to be seen. Luckily the DVD of the BBC4 Drakefest arrived and played very nicely.

Early on they did Poor Boy and At the Chime of a City Clock, both of which I tried once to take apart in writing. I was surprised how far from the original the vocal delivery of the songs strayed. Gracyk, in his book Rhythm and Noise, comes up with the suggestion that rock songs are what he calls ontologically thin by which he means that two separate performances or recordings can be versions of the same song and have very little in common. So One of These Things First is done as a loose instrumental whereas in the original the polyrhythms are quite specific.

Mark Pavey says he is working on Reckless Jane – I mailed back to ask him what he is basing his version on. The BBC4 lot attempted Northern Sky without a Hammond. They also managed to shift the key centre of Time Has Told Me – just like Elton John does on his demo. I was surprised that this occurred given that Danny Thompson was in the band who had played bass on the original recording which defined the harmonic relationships. On BBC4 the first chord was played as a tonic rather than a subdominant. The real dominant becomes a supertonic on this basis. I did enjoy Robyn Hitchcock’s versions of Parasite and Free Ride and Vashti Bunyan doing Which Will. In general the concert emphasised how much the tone of voice is part of the overall effect of the originals.

I have reached 11 links on Linkedin.

The ITCOTCK CD also arrived which I played through twice with Andrew’s guide. I thought the drum-parts were particularly fine, also some of the woodwind scoring and the free section in Moonchild. Suspecting that the bear was still lost in the woods, I followed this up with a CD of the almost contempraneous 600 Lines by Philip Glass which is a massive piece – this is the first ever recording of it . Its followed by How Now which is gentler and rather Reich-like. These two pieces were the first ever pieces written for the Philip Glass Ensemble. Then it was time to try once again on the trickier parts of Gillespie on Badiou around page 86 – which remained pretty impervious. Only one chapter left now – Ch2.

Ch2 explains that the void is the name given to the excess that occurs when thought thinks itself. Negation is a fundamental condition through which thought is enabled. I think after Ch2 I had better go back to Ch1 and redo that.

Next came Music in the Shape of A Square CD which is similar music from the same time – including a flute duet and a violin solo. The shape of the square reminds me of early Bruce Nauman.

Then the bear showed up with a remix of Tracy Thorn , Ooh Baby, baby – a Brill Building favourite – and You Turn Me On I’m A Radio. The Joni M of Shine would never compare herself to a chunk of technology. Then Odyssey - I think the bear must be trying to make amends for his bad behaviour earlier.

I read the first part of the Doors story in the Elektra history – the three musicians guitar, drums and organ/bass get a very positive write up which is my recollection from having seen them and as it says in the book, out front is an intellectual poet who looks like a Michaelangelo statue in leather. They got to No 1 in the USA with their second single – plus a platinum first LP. Jac Holzman says that even so he would never have thought that the music would still sound good forty years later and have sold 45 million copies. It takes Jim very little time at all to get the measure of the excess that his position makes possible.

Judie Tzuke was on radio 4 yesterday morning and on LFM yesterday afternoon.

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