Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-06-18 - 6:59 p.m.

K Mice/Beefheart J is back from the Adriatic having witnessed a magnificent avant guitar duo who would have done the Captain proud. Our mutual friend Professor Chatterton has graced the net with another great site. Try www.theraceagainsttime.com under the button at the top of the page which has just had the PC treatment.

I sent some more material to the client and then improved Ch 4 and sent that. My segmentation of sector DM is now 100k jobs of a kind which are bound to increase the next decade. About 45k which will probably stabilise and about 240k where the future very much depends on decisions taken in the next year or so to inject the key skills.

I started the day taking a hack at Robin’s tune Married to the Muse – maybe because I have been thinking about it’s parallels with Tow the Line. My MTTM trope has a long pre-history starting with a first edition of 3 songs that Vaughn Williams published in the 1921 – Merciless Beauty. I used to work opposite Westminster Library and they foolishly sold it to me for a few pence. I sequenced one of the songs and eventually decided to manipulate the song into a treatment for Robin’s. As I sometimes say – I am often struck how odd it is that Cathy ends up singing “We’ll to the Woods No More” on Plundafonix. This from the 1925 VW set, Along the Field, and seems to me to be another VW muse song.

Merciless Beauty is the first song VW set after Wenlock Edge (1908) which like Along the Field is Housman. I especially like Bredon from the 1908 set. VM suddenly burst into song at the end of his life with the 10 Blake Songs which just have oboe for accompaniment – just as Along the Field only has violin. The 10 Blake Songs can be usefully compared to Pink Moon in my view.

Anyway somehow I disinterred the MTTM midi and cut it down to about a 25 bar loop and started working at it with the gutstring and Pandora dumping the results on the Nomad – adjacent to the strange flute piece that is around and about – which I may be tempted to try as a new B section to MTTM. Before I got in the car I also tried some baritone Dhorn on the A section.

I have a new way to work which involves driving along rather than across the Avon Valley. There is a very picturesque moment where you can see Hill Knowlton on the opposite bank and then down the river to Guy’s Cliffe and behind that the 17C gothic tower of Warwick St Mary’s – by the same architect who did St Johns Honiley after Christopher Wren. Anyway the sight of the church by the Cliffe reminded me that the manuscript about Guy’s life is in Caius library and I had suggested to Cathy that she has a look at it. She tells me she has got a job in Oxford next year.

Obscure musical facts no 1654297. The producer of the early 1970s Laura Nyro Patti Labelle retrospective of girlgroup songs is the not yet famous Philly pioneers Gamble and Huff.

Having worked through the Laura Nyro in memoriam CD Time and Love which I found in a pile somewhere I have been going through the double compilation issued just after her death in 1997 which seems to pull me in deeper and deeper. I have decided that rather than being a gradual LN completist I have to accelerate the pace. Probably Christmas and the Beads of Sweat is next. I remember I used to love it and I read someone say this week that it is the definitive version of Up on the Roof – all three songs from that album on the compilation are the tops – so why waste time?

Exchanges with Larry got me trawling Patrick’s book last night and I saw to my surprise that around 1972 David Geffen had been interested in taking up ND. There was a 1972 issue in the US of an LP drawn from all three UK ND eases and apparently the great deal-maker had very much seen the point – curiouser and curiouser. DG of course looked after LN’s career. I am not sure she was especially good at towing the line but why should she be?

I very much envy Larry his Blueshawk. There was a cousin guitar in the shop down the road from my flat and I was sorely tempted – it was in pounds what Larry paid for his in dollars. These later two pick-up Gibsons are lighter than Les Pauls which means that you can play them without having your foot amputated as seems to have befallen John Martyn. Larry also mentioned Blake.

Great to hear from Tony Reif again and that his health has improved.

Paul mailed about the Sonnets.

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