Iain Cameron's Diary
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2006-08-19 - 3:17 p.m.

E-mail from someone in the southern hemisphere who hopes to mathematicise the difference between John Zorn, Jan Gabarek and Wayne Shorter in terms of improvisational style. Who says the culture is on it last legs? I sent the outline on to Charlie Alexander at Jazzwise – plus an aplogetic question about when we should team up to prepare for September 9. The White Hart Band has 7 minutes at the Nick Sinclair Brown memorial in Cambridge – for which we need to break the habits of a lifetime and rehearse. I have started to work fitfully on my chops – not sure I care for the sound of the flute.

Also an e-m from a Canon in another part of the southern hemisphere about Highveld Music. This got me thinking about 90s themes and in particular Prof Siebert and the Dubrovnik Dialogues – the next spasm seems to be at Yalta in November and its only 50 euro plus accomodation at the Hotel Bristol. Tempting.

Somehow this led on to the Rose family – a philosophical baby-boomer crew from West London. One of them was cited in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 1996 Christmas sermon – and the other wrote the stuff about Sylvia Plath that wound me up about a year ago. Anyway I bought a copy of the other one’s vision-thing book which is in the same series as Minima Moralia. I said to Paul W the other week that there was a kind of post-Frankfurt cultural rapprochment in the mid 1990s which I inadvertently fell into – all of this stuff goes to prove the point. It all seems a long time ago – although I liked K Armstrong’s daoist meditation in today’s paper.

It would be nice to say that Siebert had taught the Belville Three and was implicated in the discovery of techno but that isnt quite true as far as I am aware. Siebert actually teaches in Kalamazoo which is the other end of Michigan although he must have visited Detroit a lot. In fact, digging deeper I find that he gave a lecture on dialectical materialism and political theology in Detroit in 1983 – the timing is good – maybe I am onto something here?

Have discovered what may be the site of Haydn’s joke in the Op33 Eb 4tet – needs me to polish up my sense of humour – something to do with dominant seventh chords a minor third apart (again).

All this software trauma has provoked me to get Cubase working – and to make it talk to the Edirol sound box which it did quite willingly – much to my surprise. There are lots of softsynths and effects sitting in Cubase which beckon, not least because by CZ101 needs a good service. Its over twenty years old may become a vintage item.

Today I am in Leantown nursing a cold and so fooling around with this stuff fits in quite well. My current path is to start with writing some MIDI score – maybe a couple of tracks and then to orchestrate this in the softsynths, exporting to a Wav.

I have managed to take one of these Wav exports and develop it graphically in sonata form – harmonic distance can be introduced quite easily within Wavelab – and my development technique in that software can perhaps render a sonata development, cutting the core ideas into fragments and juxtaposing them to create a musical narrative.

I haven’t managed to get a MIDI input into Cubasis working – there’s a Midi input sitting on the Edirol box but how to get the software to recognise it? I am wondering about another pathway – using floppy disks.

There is a bit of software instability in Cubase and I cant help thinking of the Microsoft saga – where earlier this decade big customers revolted at the reckless and unwanted addition of unasked for features in core software applications to justify the premium for a later release. The standard software business model is beginning to shift away from the USA in terms of competitive advantage. I read a very good article from McKinsey – an interview with a retiring head of an Indian software major – where he talked about their inspired use of maturity models.

Maybe I have finished the first part of the study of the niche vehicle cluster in Coventry – who would have thought that there are around 20 non-volume car manufacturers in the area? Maturity models will probably feature in the second draft.

I am listening to Steve Reich’s piece about the Hindenberg, Dolly the sheep and the A-bomb. There’s a line – if you want to understand life think about information technogy. He quotes Turing.

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