Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-01-01 - 11:02 a.m.

I have been listening to Tutu – the Marcus Miller/Miles collab that marked the start of final phase – provoking comparisons of MM with Gil Evans. George Duke is a another contributor of standing to this album with his Backyard Ritual – and then there’s Scritti Politti as another surprising source.

A thought – if you compare this music especially as it was rendered by the live band with the way 21CSB plays live nowadays what are the similarities and differences? There’s quite a large improvised content and a fundamentalist approach in the bass – there’s also a familiarity with a swathe of musical history and the ability to use complex harmonic concepts but selectively rather than compulsively. Synths are important orchestral resources for both outfits Is there a KC connection to Scritti? Answers on a postcard please.

The album which follows Tutu is Amandla which I only have on tape just at the moment. I used to love it as driving music in the late 80s. It has an amazing tribute to Jaco P on it whose origin is explained by Paul Tingen. Its one of those stories about messing in the studio when suddenly it starts to happen and everyone hopes the engineer is on form to catch it. Amandla doesn’t have quite the reputation of Tutu – I ought to check out whether I still prefer it?

I am listening to Full Nelson. This is a reference to Nelson Mandela and a bebop composition of Miles and Prince’s middle name. Ah yes – how foolish of me to forget that connection. Miles called Prince the Duke Ellington for the 1980s. MM was a bridge between the two. That’s certainly a “school” rather than an isolated phenomenon.

New Years Eve Yvonne and I drove down to Bath with Yvonne to see Ruth and Stuart in their new house. Bath was beautiful – very Georgian – reminding us of Edinburgh where we first met. Stuart played me the new Annie Lennox CD which had some Pink Moon like themes.

I also remembered that the first time I saw a Dhorn was in a Bath music shop in 1990. I went in and asked about it – but just didn’t push hard enough down the path – might have saved myself most a decade.

Ruth showed us some films she has had converted to video – home movies from 1959 – with pictures of our junior school music teacher, Mr Turner, plus some of his children, one of whom was in my class and sat next to Ruth. She showed me a Christmas Card from another Turner son who is in San Francisco and has just married a Japanese woman.

Paul W mailed about Lullabyes and I explained some of the New Years Resolutions associated with the project. The evening of Saturday 30 November 2004 at St Martins in the Fields in Trafalgar Square – that is the Lullabyes concert – put it in your diaries now. Robin mailed to say it was OK to link the Making Music page to her excellent songwriting material on her website and Peter Chatterton has just put this up on the Music Making page – which looks a lot healthier for it.

The house is starting the year full of people. Louise arrived yesterday afternoon and Vita decided that Lizzie and Hannah should recover here from the New Year’s parties. I picked them up around 1.00am and as soon as they got in they started cooking risotto. Apparently all three had been crippled by fashionable footwear.

Yvonne and I slumped the New Year in - in front of the telly watching Paul Rodgers and Desmond Dekker. Yvonne said that it reminded her of the pub gig in Croydon thirty years ago where she first saw Free. PR has lost none of his ability - My Brother Jake was just extraordinary. No wonder Jools set himself the task as a teenager of learning the piano part.

Does 2003 deserve any valedictory comments?

I am really pleased that www.kwase-kwaza.org has doubled its monthly traffic volumes and was on an accelerating curve in the second half of the year. I also like the way that the site fought the blog wars during the Iraqui campaign. May 2003 was definitely a peak in the first half of the year which has only just been topped by December. Ciaran’s Race Against Time has to be a landmark as well – it kicked fundraising into a new dimension – through the £10k barrier.

The big KK volume driver just now is the way that Derek’s pictures are being used by a number of blogs. The Making Music addition is an attempt to broaden the offering for that segment and I hope that perhaps even today we can link the pages explicitly.

Netprojects often change their fundamental objectives during development – this is really a new arena in project management – the cutting edge of the interplay between structure and chaos. (As far as work is concerned in 2003 – having brought Peter C into the Academy project on knowledge management is a good development. I could bone on about the carry over between the Automotive College and the Automotive Academy but that would strain everyone’s patience.)

The business model for recorded music is being changed faster and more deeply than any other at the moment and I always knew that the opportunity to raise money from CDs would be a limited window – we have to open things up further.

We seem to be switching back to events in 2004 with the CD as an awareness raising instrument – to illustrate the concept behind the event. Actually I am hoping we can use the event as an opportunity to sell contributing artists’ CDs. Events need a lot of development time and the right location. “The Race Against Time” is so powerful that we could actually use 2004 as a development year to scale up in 2005 – while we develop the locational side.

If anyone has DAB – try The Groove which is just soul/Tamla and minimal chat – almost as good as listening to radio in Detroit. Just now J Jamerson is pumping through This Old Heart Of Mine. That’s the way to start a New Year. Hope yours is as happy as this music.

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