Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-04-11 - 11:46 a.m.
I got up around 5.30 am to catch the train from Gfd to Leamington, change into a suit and then get the train and taxi to the office.
Saturday I invested in a CD of 1965 Dylan press conferences, C Ricks on Dylan and Sin and a book on Yeats and Metaphysics. Yeats had a systematic approach to the cosmos relying on non-standard sources - he was born in the 1880s and so he picked up on a new wave of ideas that was quiye widespread amongst artists around the turn of the century but which now look a bit barmy.
I enjoyed M Collings on the impressionists on Saturday night C4 - at least as much as I thought I was going to. I had read some of Manets diaries - around the time of the Lullabies concert and that was a help. I have always liked Monet - most people seem to these days. But I didnt know about Cezanne's life and strange personality or about Courbet and his political connections. I thought MC looked a lot more middle aged - fatter, balder, v smart suit. He didnt quite come clean about the links between what he liked about the Impressionists and his own current painting.
This was followed by the 60 min R2 programme on Laura Nyro which I recorded off digital-air to CD. There were a lot of good interviewees - her father , Ms Kurt her biographer, D Geffen etc. The problem with this programme was the same as the problem with the T Hardin one. They brought out the colourful personality but they only mystified the way in which the apparent crack-pot produced such stunning revolutionary songs.
They also rather fumbled the phases of her career - not explaining Smile-Nested-Mother Spiritual at all well - except to say that she had calmed down. I suppose all of this shows that an artist of this calibre cant be succesfully tackled in a 60 minute programme - however well researched and well intentioned.
I made a discovery about Pirate Jenny - the song which helped light the blue touch-paper on B Dylan. Weil was himself surprised and stunned at what he had created in the 3d opera - it caught him by surprise and made him revise his categories. The 3d opera and Mahoganny which he wrote at the same time look back to the Soldiers Tale and Pierrot Lunaire (maybe even Wozzeck) as well as forward to The Doors, Dylan, Judy Collins, Tim Hardin, Nico, Jackson Browne and of course - ND. The movement is all about expanding the limits of what a song can be.
This raises the question of what happens to song-form in the interim - say in the 30s 40s and early 50s.
Began to get more and more interested in the relationship between Foucault and Deleuze. I read a sentence in which an analogy is drawn between F and Varese - Charlie Parker's choice of composition teacher and mentor to Miles Davis' producer at Columbia.