Iain Cameron's Diary
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2006-08-11 - 3:12 p.m.

After a holiday, I find I need another holiday to readjust to normal life and the fact that it is so radically different from being on holiday – and my disappointment that holidays are holidays and not a permanent condition. Its not that there’s a shortage of relatively interesting work to be getting on with – its just that its nowhere near as inspiring. Perhaps my big mistake is in not going back to my early morning routine of a brief stroll to the newsagent and then to the coffee shop while I scan for relevant new developments.

Talking of re-entry, Vita’s plane had taken off from Dehli by the time the disruption started at Heathrow yesterday – and so they treated it as ‘committed’ and it landed pretty much on time. The problem was finding a terminal space to disembark – with few planes taking off this took the best part of a couple of hours – I am told. I was in Oxford talking to Laurence, where I bumped into a very attractive annotated score of Schoenberg’s 2nd SQ plus the Cambridge Companion to Adorno, both of which I found irresistable.

The last time I was in Oxford was to hear a production of the Marriage of Figarro in Merton College chapel with Cathie Bell singing Suzanna. Laurence and I were in the third row and I found it quite an overwhelming experience. Reading Rosen I have discovered the things which overwhelmed me are the things that are meant to do so – especially the ensembles – and the harmonious linkage of competing points of view.

Not long before that I had sloped off to the Birmingham Conservatoire to hear one of the end of term performances – my goal was to hear Shostakovich’s Viola Sonata which is the last piece he completed. The recital also included the Mozart Gm piano 4tet which sounded great. I immediately got a recording of this – which came with the Eb. It turned out that these pieces were written either side of MOF – and after he had completed the Haydn 4tets in the middle years of the 1780s. This is part of the background to getting the Haydn Op33 and also my hearing Don Giovanni – and then discovering that Rosen had mapped the whole area.

I sympathise with Robin and her upgrade problems – in fact I said to L yesterday that software instability had really put me off writing music. I have been wondering about going back to very simple software – say the version of Cubasis that I started on which still fits on an old fashioned floppy disc. There’s an argument to be made that if a musical idea is any good then it should be possible to express in the soundworld available on a relatively unsophisticated sequencer.

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