Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-07-16 - 4:13 p.m.

A lot of official information and policy has come to light in the last three weeks or so – from the Treasury, DTI and DfES – and we have been sifting through, testing our familiarity with the main ideas and initiatives and considering our positioning on the areas where there is a lot of attention just now. Various colleagues have seen Brown in action with different audiences – they report that he is very very commanding especially with “old labour” audiences. I guess it can only be a matter of time. I read an article about a reshuffle in the next few weeks – some speculation that Patricia Hewitt might go to Brussels.

Lucky Brussels. I bumped into Nick Brown on the net in Brussels. Recovering.

This morning I went into central Birmingham to hear a presentation and discussion based on the magnum opus. I thought it went OK – better than I was expecting as a matter of fact. The audience recognised several of the key points and added some useful supporting thoughts which we will be able to use in the firm.

Yesterday I listened to the reminiscences on disc two of Standing in the Shadows of Motown of how strange James Jamerson could be – also how inspiring. There’s one by Jack Bruce.

I have started another drawing of the River Avon from the Saxon Mill – this time I have used watercolours on top of quite a heavily worked sketch. There’s no hurry to complete it – after all I already have one framed view from there. It can take its own time.

Certain “issues” seem to surface of their own accord – I noticed that a ‘couple of years back when I drew a chambered stone age tomb on the island of St Mary’s – how the mouth of the tomb, the entrance, emerged as a dominant theme – almost you might say, what the drawing is about. So, with this current drawing, the river is emerging as the subject – the sense of it flowing away from the viewer and the specific ripples around the mill. The river is flowing down to the cave belonging to Geoffery of Warwick where it must flow round the harder rock that the ruined house was built on. I could see the ruins as I drove to central Birmingham this morning through the rain.

I keep on practising the flute – something which makes me feel uncomfortable. I don’t like feeling practised. In fact generally at the moment I have an orientation towards acoustic instruments – well the U2 is semi acoustic.

I heard Jacob Bronowski’s daughter being interviewed by Bel Mooney on Radio 4 talking about secular rationalism. Definitely another age – when JB was our hero as teenagers.

I have been reading about the the Little Theatre Club in St Martin’s Lane – an extraordinary home of free improvised music. I need to write this up for the Lullabies site – the section about the music that has been played in that part of town – the Old Place, Cousins, the Jazz Centre Society, the White Hart, the Piazza etc. Haunting ND has appeared on the KK stats.

D Bailey thinks that some sort of stasis entered jazz with Art Blakey – he too calls it neo-classicism and he thinks it’s a bad thing. Another point of view would be that this stabilisation made it possible for jazz to migrate towards rock.

DB mentions how in the late 60s he always played in art schools rather than music venues. Not surprising.

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