Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-02-11 - 9:19 a.m.

Ash Wednesday - reading about VFT in Alison Mark’s book - meant more after reading Prof Rose on the haunting of Sylvia Path - esp the Ch on her late poem. Cordelia. A common issue in terms of muse theory and how to take it on from a personal position.

I, Helen, I, Iseult, I Sappho who was queen
Of the lesbians and like all good queens lives
I Clytemnestra, I Guinevere, and many more
Who are still to come
I am I, Veronica, truth seeking, truth-
Finder, bringer of victory.


With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I think I may well be a Jew.


Sappho was a poet and Billy was a real musician


Now I’m deeper than the deepest blue
Oh so weak in my need for you.

Or VFT again

I am certainly not a Russian, I come from Scotland
terribly English
Marie, Marie grab the reins
For you can’t drink/work/love when you’re dead.

I put the last bit in for the sake of simple haunting. (One of the tricks is that SP was attracted to the Jewish ethnicity because of its cultural engagement with truth. - a Prof Rose discovery.) So to resist construction by an unfriendly discourse or language game to someone else’s rules, the poet constructs an identity which is perversely resistant, bringing together a mix of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ incorporating some new history.

Not that the whole day was spent on poetics. On the way to work I read about the British Tradition in Sculpture as it looked from the approach to the Millennium - an interview with some critic or other:.

‘Amongst the echoes of Greenberg, Minimalism seemed so fresh - and Beuys too. Early Bruce Nauman appeared almost European though not so over-refined. I think its apparent non-reason meant a lot to us.”

I wrote to my boss about web casting and disruptive innovation - also about Geoff Mason’s stuff on ITC and skills in US, UK, France and Germany. Also to Captain Peter on this. I found a possible excuse to go to Lille in all of this - for about a day.

Onto Ash Thursday - for a trip for deepest Small Heath to do some European stuff at Delcam. A strange tale since this group last met. The Amsterdam event sounded like a good one to miss as indeed I did - but the UK seems to be building a platform which might be influential so I had better do my bit. Good local lunch - too much as usual.

On the way there I met Andrew Duncan on Oxford Poetry - www.pinko.org/106.html - and later on mailed Andrew K suggesting he might glance.

Wondered how to get more VFT. Seems she has shacked up with Stuff Smith at
http://www.abar.net/index.html - strange but true.

Have a look at http://www.lescousins.co.uk/

There's some free Jackson C Frank downloads plus Wizz Jones playing Blues Run the Game.

You will see that next Friday (11 Feb) is the first of a selection of 'Les Cousins' concerts at the Bush in West London - aimed at celebrating the classic English folk rock tradition and featuring both legendary performers and new artists. Having moved from 49 Greek St due to technical requirements the club now has online ticket ordering and a state of the art sound and lighting rig. Future performers will include Roy Harper, John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, Wizz Jones, Davy Graham, Fairport Convention and a myriad others.

Mark Pavey who I met at the Tanworth event in August has told me about this venture. He organized some events under the Les Cousins banner at the end of last year in Greek St which got pretty positive press coverage in the nationals.
He tells me that the move to Bush Hall is about tables, lighting, and the pa there and that he would like to see at least a 100 people at the Bush - down the Uxbridge Road not far from Shepherd Bush Green.

His band, Behind the Sun are playing as well as Mike Chapman. Mark tells me that Behind the Sun is slightly in the tradition of Pentangle - which is rather how I heard Gilbert Isbin’s new band .

It would be great if the Les Cousins tag could be re-established as an event/venue which stands in a modern way for some of the things that flourished at the original venue - songwriting, acoustic guitar playing, an open-minded and attentive audience, the mixing of genres.

The booking URL is http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/user/?region=uk&query=detail&event=116892&interface=bushhallbr

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