Iain Cameron's Diary
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2010-09-05 - 9:06 a.m.
Someone has sent me Claude Bolling's California Suite. I think I may have owned something similar by CB on cassette in the 70s - it's excellent flute playing but it's not really my style. Commercially, I believe, it was a great success and as piano and flute music it has entered the repertoire. There was some more commentary on LEPs on linkedin. I started to remix the second canon - possibly one of the homemade loops is just too fuzzy but I have sent it to Gilbert. I played Hissing of Summer Lawns and thought again how brilliant it is - indeed I put something to that effect into a shout. It's over too quickly. North Marine Drive does seem very rooted in Surrey - but the sax playing is delightful. I see that a forthcoming exhibition at the RA will include some Egon Schiele - I didnt manage to see any when I was in Vienna - in fact I didn't see much that appealed. The Schiele is part of a collection of art from Hungary. There isn't much Hungarian art before the 20C.
I got up just before 9am and went through the e-ms. Lots about Hofner guitars from PW. Amazon thinks I might need a new phone and they are probably right. Nothing from AK for two weeks. At midday I set off for the Whitechapel gallery for the following:
FLAT TIME/sounding A composition and performance by composer/author David Toop based on John Latham's ideas of Flat Time. Performers:
David Toop: laptops, flutes, strings, amplified processes, omnipresent score.
John Butcher: saxophones, etc...
Phil Durrant: Maschine, etc...
Aleks Kolkowski: gramophones, Stroh violin, etc...
+Roger Turner: percussive markers
John Latham's 'Flat Time Hypothesis of 2000' elaborates on various forms of art, sound and those immaterial and mysteriously insubstantial events that exist as anomalies within our predominately space-based, object-based materialistic epistemology. David Toop Highlights Flat Time's affinity to the conceptual framework of an improvising musician, innately understanding and responding to the world in terms of events. Commissioned by Ligatus, University of the Arts, London on behalf of the John Latham Archive and supported with funds from the PRS Foundation
I thought I had registered my interest but my name wasn't on the list. We had to wait unti 2pm and then we were shown up to a room at the top of the gallery where the performers were already in place with their apparatus. The piece starts with silence but in fact there was the sound of a lot of latecomers shuffling into place. I estimated that the audience totalled about 100 which must be pretty good for something of this duration and character. Was it music or was it sound art? Doubtless D Toop has a line on this since he teaches sound art at the LCC. I thought that arguably it might be sound art. In Fear of Music there is the suggestion that sound art is the sound end of conceptual art and Latham was certainly a conceptual artist.
We encountered Latham's ideas of time in his house in Peckham where there is an item in the first room about it - it's a roller blind. Across the top is a line which represents the variety of durations - from nanosecond to aeon - I think it's a kind of logarithmic scale. But the relation between the rolled part of the blind and the hanging part represents past present and future. The notes to the performance mentioned three Latham perspectives on time in the context of sound performance. One is counted time, another is the all embracing score and third is called time-based ordering -for me a vaguer conception.
The performance was mostly sound rather than notes although flute, saxes and violin were used at various times, I didn't especially like the flute sounds which were fluttery middle register. The sax included some multi-phonics. From where I was sitting I couldnt see the fourth performer who had a variety of gramophones of different ages. No sooner has the room finally filled up than some people started to leave. The end of the piece was clearly indicated by a percussive punctuation and then performers' silence. There was substantial applause at the end when the performers clearly relaxed.
On the way down the stairs I was asked if I wanted to go into the DVD launch - I had been in two minds whether to but asked I said yes. There were drinks on offer - I had a Becks. At one end of the room was a screen onto which I presumed the DVD was being projected. The films were mostly abstract - circles and lines. The DVD was on offer for £15 as against a list price of £20. I was hoping there was going to be a presentation on Latham but nothing like that happened so I drank my beer and watched the vids.
Home to the Wagner Strauss Schoenberg Webern Berg Prom on BBC2. This prompted a search for a free score of the 6 Little Piano Pieces. I regret losing all those Schoenberg and Webern MIDI arrangements.