Iain Cameron's Diary
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2012-07-01 - 8:35 p.m.
Today was memorable - I set off at 11.30am by bus to the St Margaret's Tavern. Nigel was the first to arrive and the Mick turned up having driven up from Eastbourne. I knew Mick pretty well at school and although he was at Cambridge the same years as me we kind of lost touch. He has been in Germany for 36 years even though his wife and children are UK citizens.
Then someone turned up who I didnt recognise - it turned out to be Martin who was the son of one of the teachers we had in the junior school. He left to go to Richmond Station to pick up George who I had at last seen at Sussex University. Of all of us he was the one who looked most like his schoolboy self.
As the recollections gained momentum I found out all kinds of strange things about our past lives which were hidden from me at the time. There was a network of girls that had been dated that I knew nothing about. There was one girl that Mick and I had dated and whom I have been trying to track down for a long while. He had no such desire to see her again. The time flew by - Mick bought us all a meal - I had a duck wrap which was absolutely excellent. What a strange crew we have turned out to be.
I watched the end of Spiral last night on BBC4 which I thought that was pretty good. The heroine has a pony tail in earlier series apparently and this undermined her credibility they say. She looked just fine to me. Have I mentioned diving back into Alban Berg - esp the 4 clarinet and piano pieces, Op3 SQ and the Altenberg Lieder.The clarinet lines feel very close to what we do. A question has been forming - if Wagner's music works by increasing tension reflecting a person's search to get beyond the traps of sensuality what then does Berg's post-chromaticism amount to? If you start at the end with the Violin Concerto and Lulu perhaps you dont get the complete answer. We have been discussing Wagner's Tristan chord in the gtr group reaching the tentative conclusion that this mode of expression is no longer available
We talked about the Hounslow West Methodist Youth Club. This was already on my mind because of Quadrophenia - that place was where I got closest to the mod life accurately displayed in that movie. But it also influenced my attitude to blues gtr and harp playing. Roger Ackling was also a member and he is now a famous artist. Someone remembered the poetry mag we produced there. I have a copy somewhere.
Frank Sinatra was on BBC4 last night. I found myself thinking about the arrangements. First - It was a very good year. This arranger had fallen out of favour and this particular arrangement was maybe his last big job. There was film of FS recording it with the chamber orchestra in the studio - I was very impressed by the arrangement. Then Nelson Riddle - arrangements that I first heard as a child. He is regarded by some as the greatest ever arranger. He does not seem to have had a formal musical education. It seems that he uses polychords to get those fantastic harmonic flavours - on straightahead 32bar Broadway tunes. That is really something.