Iain Cameron's Diary
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2010-04-23 - 9:32 a.m.
I am in the middle an exchange of views on how the British feel about their past especially their imperial past. Of course I can’t be sure of my position on the point and I am scouting around for more evidence to back it up. I also feel that I need to go back into Frege which is pretty much where I was forty years ago. Laurence mailed and I replied quite extensively on these matters. There’s an interesting Frege reading list on Amazon. The Wikipedia article on zero is pretty good and shows just how hard we make the symbol work – my guess would be that the more advanced uses are derived from the simpler ones by metaphor.
The Innerzone Orchestra CD arrived – its stranger than I was expecting with recorded conversations plus hiphop beats at the start – not much like the Detroit Experiment. It reminded me a bit of Nude Photo at first but later on in Basic Math some gloriously out electric piano comes in – in Galaxy there’s some fine flute. Bug in the Bassbin has organ sounding synth. It also works as a totality so I am very pleased with this acquisition
Talking of hiphop the OOP blog mailed about the death of Guru – again not what I was expecting. Someone also mailed me my employer’s manifesto. The bear played Luther Vandross. I remembered that Marcus Miller produced Give me a Reason and I wondered where my live Marcus Miller CD ended up – that one and Siesta – oh yes and the Hot Spot where Miles jams with John Lee Hooker.
Of all the early musical minimalists, La Monte Young sounds the most radical today to me. The next three have radical moments – not least Terry Riley. In C seems to be radical in a way that has not been particularly influential to the best of my knowledge (unfortunately). Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band still sounds it to me although I can also hear it coming out of John Coltrane. Reich had radical moments – especially with Pendulum Music which didn’t even exist as a performance originally. I think the piece was an entry into an avant garde magazine – as a set of instructions – which I believe Radiohead have followed or was it Sonic Youth?. Glass was at his most radical in the pieces I played the other day on CD. Anyway, I found the CD of early John Cale drone performances – from around the birth of the Velvet Underground. I located even more early P Glass – somewhere there’s also a CD of his early choral music which I haven’t found yet. I couldn’t get the newly found early PG to play and so I put on Songs from Liquid Days (from 1985) – nowhere near as good in my opinion although it has its enthusiasts.
This was followed by Riley’s Music for the Gift which rather anticipates Steve Reich and then Cale’s Stainless Steel Gamelan. Finally Get Up With It – Miles’ last record before the break 1975-81. It sounds no less strange than the experimental work of the previous decade – and in fact there is some looping on the alto flute.
Back to Gillespie Ch 1. Events signal breaks in situations and bring the void to the fore. Force finds its energy in the internal impasses which render the conceptual closure of a situation impossible. The creation of a work of art will be assessed to the extent it has the ability to engender links with other similar works – presumably in the future. (The application to Schoenberg is clear enough at this point). There’s a tricky bit at the end of the chapter where he jumps from emptiness to two, bi-passing one. After Ch1 I am going to have to redo Ch 2. My current impression is that what B has to say about (say) science and art is reasonably familiar and relates to familiar ideas about paradigms and breakthroughs. The hard bit is seeing how he gets this stuff out of set theory and (possibly) the fundamentals of psychology.
I am not a big fan of this good weather. I need a haircut.
I have also located an anniversary copy of Miles’ ESP – the recording is originally from the early 1965. In as much as Terry Riley took recorded jazz into a future with his early tape experiments, Miles was also mapping a different future with this record at about the same time. When I was reading my early diary entries I came across a discussion of the harmonies of the piece ESP – and I felt annoyed that I’d lost them. In fact they are in the slieve note:E7+9 Fmaj7 E7+9 Ebmaj7 D7+9 Eb7+9 E7+9 Fmaj7 – there are some different reasonably cadential changes to round off the 16 and the 32. Its not too simple-minded to wonder if Carl Craig gets back to this kind of harmony.
I was amazed to find that Music for the Gift and Stainless Steel Gamelan are on LFM – you have got to hand it to them. (I don’t think the bear should get all the credit).