Iain Cameron's Diary
"Click here to access the Fruitful Album" - Click here to visit Music for the Highveld Project
2010-04-29 - 9:09 a.m.
The other night I chose EBTG Radio on LFM to freshen up my library. It was a succession of mostly late 90s duos with a female vocalist and a producer whom I hadnt heard of - with the exception of Lamb who I caught the first time round. I got the impression that many of these outfits had faded from the scene by now. This is a pity because I find their general approach pretty much to my taste.
The bear played Steve Reich’s Eight Lines and I remembered he had written something called Music as a Gradual Process. I found an essay here:
Its quite ANT like, for example: ‘Musical processes can give one a direct contact with the impersonal and also a kind of complete control, and one doesn’t always think of the impersonal and complete control as going together. By “a kind” of complete control I mean that by running this material through this process I completely control all that results, but also that I accept all that results without changes.’
I still have a thing about processes – whether organisations understand themselves as a set of processes, for example. And if so whether the processes line up with the responsibilities or whether the responsibilities cut across the process – then you can start on rationalisation. Can one regard one’s own make-up as a set constituent processes? How could we bring about process improvement?
I nearly bought a set of Steve Reich writings in Charing Cross Rd a few years back. The only thing I can find is an expanded collection from Amazon US which costs $20. I have told myself I ought to catch up on some of the purchases I made 3 years ago and have lost track of before splashing out on more print. I have glanced at a commentary I bought on Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition. Then there’s Deleuze and Guattari’s Thousand Plateaus which I remember as being quite anecdotal.
There’s a good general introduction to the contemporary drift here:
It occurred to me that a good approach to the Architectures of Knowledge might be read the conclusions at the end of each chapter.
I read something recently by Robin about someone she knows who worked on the great hit albums of Fleetwood Mac in the 70s. The bear pulled You Make Lovin Fun – there certainly is some kind of magic about the way its put together. There is meant to be a drum and bass thing – one ahead one just behind the beat – but there’s a lot more to it.
Whitesell has a good section on the evolution of Miss M’s approach to words and music from Summer Lawns through Hejira and Don Juan to Mingus. How she leaves the catchy popiness of Court and Spark and reaches forward with an increasing informality of the speech patterns in the lyrics linking to a new approach to melodic line and harmonic underpinning. I have to confess that at the time she left me behind. I loved Hejira but was baffled by Don Juan especially the longer pieces. It was obviously less confessional than Hejira – and I missed Mingus completely. At the end of the decade there is that wonderful DVD where she has Jaco Pastorius, Lyle Mays, Michael Brecker and Don Alias in the band. A lot of people see that as some sort of summit – a band the like of which we will never see again..
In Whitesell’s terminology her third phase follows where she becomes more politically engaged and angry. The instrumentation undergoes a large scale change too. It’s the segment of her career that still presents most challenges I think – the least popular amongst Last FM listeners. The idea that a female vocalist/writer should inhabit a sound world constructed from virtual sources is now just obvious – hence the bands on that Last FM audio stream I mentioned to start with.
The bear likes Judy Collins’ version of Sunny Goodge Street – he has a point I think. I decided that Donovan was under represented in the library and added a live album from 1967 – a performance in LA with about 20 tracks – reviewed as one of the summits of the sixties with H Mcnair on flute. Bear also spun Vanessa Daou’s Passed from Dear John Coltrane – hints of psychelic soul plus some out tenor – quite irresistable. According to a 1998 interview in the Wire John Martyn’s Solid Air was influenced by Pharoah Sander’s Astral Travelling