Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-03-04 - 9:36 p.m.

Fun and games with connectivity. My USB-Tascam pathway collapsed under me. I rebuilt it with some downloads from the Tascam site and so far mostly so good. Although I have to say digital audio is far from simple. The Tascam seems to have been a sensible investment after all. Its hard in digital audio working out what the right bundle of utility is – and so I bought the brand – and that seems to have worked in this instance. Although – it has taken me a year to get to understand how that bundle of utility might be utilised.

Just now I am listening to a WAV which has come out of that set of linkages. It is a duet for Dhorn and guitars in 3 sections. It is being monitored out through the USB socket as it plays. I am in the process of editing down the WAV. At heart it is a variation but the method of variation is different in each of the 3 sections. The root idea is a set of chord which span the keys in a pretty deliberate Giant Steps kind of approach. There are a couple of airsynth interventions one of which sounds like French. The guitar is mostly the EL1300 but the Crafter finishes it off.

I got my flute back from the shop this morning. Very nice it is to have it back too. I celebrated by knocking together something on the USB-Tascam pathway. The essence is yet another Coltrane cycle – take a pitch, add the augmented fourth and then from that note add the next two fourths – for the next chord lower the top note by a tone and drop down a fourth chord for the next three notes – raise the whole thing by a minor third and repeat – do that twice. Then I added the flute line. Maybe I will use this piece on the 18th. The flute is non-naturalistic – heavily compressed. This piece is a coda to the Plundafonix theme.

It is quite Cageian – it throws two things with different constitutive patterns together. The thing that they have in common is the use of compression for non naturalistic purposes. There is a contrast in the way the compression opens up one of the parts and makes the other seem very domestic.

There was a timely discussion of Thornton Wilder on the radio tonight. Timely because we had been thinking about him in relation to Big Fish which we saw on Saturday Night. The idea is that he is a source of a strain in US film making which uses avant garde or surreal techniques in relation to small town life. Then on the radio the discussion went into just how avant he was – and what a strong reaction he got in the 40s for his efforts and experiments. There were comparisons with Beckett and Brecht and with Pirandello and Ianesco – there must be something there. I think there’s sentimentality as well. Maybe I haven’t looked at recently enough but that’s how I remember it. The Blairism points in that direction too

I am trying to build a consortium round an idea whose time has come – maybe we made some progress today.

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