Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-11-09 - 8:14 a.m.

I read Vitaís piece about Matisse and Cartier-Bresson at the weekend and really enjoyed it. I may have mentioned that she did stuff like taking a Cartier Bresson shot and painting it to see if she could find some Matisse-ness. She has come up with some great ideas about the way the two of them engage with the situation at hand - and also about the influence of the surrealists. I would say its quite Kantian but thatís probably just me. It seems I used to be in the same junior-school class as the Prof in the faculty that she quite fancies doing her next study in. Funny old world.

The current car has a tape deck. I was looking for my tapes of early Berg pieces - Op4 and Op5. I picked up the French flute on Saturday morning and when I was in the shop I saw the Oxford Companion to Berg. Opening it I saw that there was an analysis of the relationship between Schoenbergís Op 19 no 2 and the short movement from the clarinet and piano piece Op5. So that was that - so I was looking around for the tapes. (Luckily I have a CD of early Berg piano which includes the Op 1 Sonata). But I couldnít find the tape. (I have downloaded the music to the Sonata for two dollars 44 cents.)

Berg is an odd figure - well may be he is more normal than Schoenberg or Webern but thatís not saying much. Getting involved with Schoenberg seems to have made the other two odder - they are certainly a bunch of oddballs - not an advert for the practice of atonal composition as leading to a balance and rational life-style . And then in the 20s Adorno latched onto Berg - after Berg died Adorno escaped to Manhattan and then came back to Germany after the war. So we get at first had a view of Berg through the greatest philosopher of music of the 20th century - and a view which places him alongside a number of others towering figures Plus they canít help but be part of everything else that s happening in Vienna. Adorno does have some astonishing ideas - that the pursuit of emancipation - the classic enlightenment goal - may not lead to utopia - but something nastier - and that maybe you see this in late period Beethoven.

I have ordered the Op5 clarinet piece from Amazon - it comes with some Beethoven and Brahms. I think maybe I heard the Brahms last year in Warwick. What I found instead tapewise was some archival stuff from about 14 years ago and earlier.

This includes early Amiga sequences plus a recording that I made sometime in the 80s with Bob Brearley. Bob and I met in a jazz class in Chiswick in 1967 and these recordings (duets) were made around 20 years after that. I think they are with my Gemeinhardt which is the flute I had before the Yamaha. They are just straight ahead classic repertoire duets but Bobís playing is so good - I had forgotten just what an excellent player he is. The flute is mostly in tune which isnít always the case when I come across an old tape. I know Bob got to the point of transcribing Bach Chorales for the guitar so that he could really make his chording stand out. I am wondering if I could clean up some of his parts and build round them. The other thing on the tape is Radio 3 tape of a talk on Wittgenstein which is probably 12 years old.

I have been digging deeper on OOL and the link to Science Studies - I mentioned that SS guru Bloorís latest publication is a hardline sociological version of Wittgenstein. As far as I can work out he and Latour fell out because of fundamental differences over what it means for something (eg science) to be essentially rooted in social processes. The link through to Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science looks the most important to me - if you are doing AI its easy to think that the meaning is in the hardware that you are working on - when really its it the social network that you are part of.

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