Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-05-28 - 2:46 p.m.

The SUMMIT came and went – one of my guests lives round the corner from Mick Beck – an unexpected surprise. The data arrived on my desk yesterday morning and I spent most of the day extracting the key issues and putting them in context. I tried my conclusions out on a couple of colleagues and this morning put the SUMMIT conclusions with an earlier strategy review document that was part of the famous contract. Then I despatched the package as the confirmation note to the invitees for next Wednesday’s evening scenario planning event – an impressive bunch though I say it myself.

Also at the SUMMIT I learned a bit more about what the output of all this processing is meant to be – not just an analysis of “needs” – but also a gap analysis – plus the priority areas in which the gaps have to be closed. This is rather further than I had anticipated . We have to pre-empt any down-stream diversions by specifying the needs very strictly – in a way which suggests what the priority gaps are.

We have a strategy day tomorrow – Saturday – and I think that I wont write the questionnaire until after tomorrow. We are going down to Lincoln College Oxford.

I woke very very early this morning and got up and read some of the Deleuze commentary – about how cinema presents us with de-synthesised world which is potentially very radical – as a stimulus to re-integrating a new world. Unusually, he believes that machines are more radical than living things. Machines can belong to a world of “becoming” whereas organic entities are fixed around their identities. The implication seems to be that by seeing ourselves as mechanisms we might become radically different. Shades of the cyborg.

The potential read across to the musical domain beckons. There might be more dramatic opportunities for expressing true “becoming” within machine made music or where music is expressed through machines. In fact the general relationship between music and becoming could have something in it – perhaps harmony orchestrates “becoming” for example – and themes or other musical units of meaning may maintain their identity or succumb to the process of becoming. I first bought Repetition and Difference because I thought that it might illuminate the meaning of the former. In fact it looks much as if it is the latter that carries most of the meaning.

All this theorising was running through my mind as I started to take the Box music on to another stage – first by adding a guitar part. I am using the El-Maya SG-like instrument with the old Pandora’s Box that I have had for years. The good thing about it is that switching between patches is very simple – and so it is possible to change patch in the middle of a take. I put nearly 15 minutes of music onto MD. I have learned some of the advanced editing on the SONY machine – which makes it very easy to put down break markers and to take them out again – much easier than any other machine I have used. The looping on the Tascam can exploit these movable markers quite effectively – it is easy to fine tune the length of a loop down to 0.1 seconds.

My portable PC has completely given up talking to the net which has caused some extra problems in getting the scenario event together. Definitely time to invest in something with a Cdwriter that works.

Just before it gave up I wrote a piece on ND and lyricism – reacting to Andrew’s comments about Drake Plath and mythology. Since I have been thinking more about lyricism in the ND oeuvre – is the poise one of superficially elegant lyricism with a hint of irony? A Duncan has a good paragraph or two about that cultural malaise. Is it simply that ND got the 80s vibe right a bit too early? Surely this can’d be the whole story – although it might explain some of the current swirl.

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