Iain Cameron's Diary
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2010-10-08 - 12:26 p.m.

There was a track that didn’t really work yesterday. I tried remixing it but I think I will have to write it off. I went to Café Oto yesterday evening arriving too early but there were several people outside already waiting for the doors to open. The Café filled up very quickly even though the salon was about the technical topic of field recording. It was the seventh salon of which I have been to three. The word must be getting round. There were three field recordists with samples of their work. The most interesting was a guy from Manchester who had recorded eg the sound of an egg frying, a nut burning and pondweed being disturbed which is much noisier than you might imagine. There were new terms to master like acousmatic. Apparently some composers do use field recording as a starting point or even in the piece but those present leaned much more towards a documentary stance although I think they all had a taste for the surreal. There seemed to be a widely shared desire to record the sound of the city and indeed to compare and contrast the sound of different cities. Cheap contact mikes are a commonly used tool as are small handheld digital recorders. The salon was an extension of the previous month’s about sound art. As the audience left fliers were handed out on the one hand for a recording equipment store and on the other for a weekend of Lachenmann – a pupil of Nono who I quite like. On 23 October there are two SQs with the Ardittis, an interview with the man himself and then an ensemble including L himself on piano with some strings and two vocalists – all of the for around a tenner struck me as quite a good deal. Last FM are sponsoring it.

This morning having failed to rescue yesterday’s piece I went back to the ingredients that have been working well for me with which it was easy once again to conjure up something novel and arresting. Yesterday at the salon it did occur to me that I avoid using microphones and DI everything or sequence softsynths. What if I were to mike my guitar amp? I wondered whether I am missing something. Bette mailed about the forthcoming Magic Flute in which Cathie is singing in North London. Laurence mailed about some futurology I hade sent him. Gilbert has a concert tonight. SV1 mailed about me listening to her radio so I replied and up came a track from Eli and the 13th confession.

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