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  • Norm Adams

London Blog 4


Wow I missed a day there. Yesterday was very busy, with computer work in the morning, drifting into the afternoon, and The AMM concert at night.

We’ve been talking about a few things on the computer front. The first project that came up was building a new sampler that cuts recordings into randomly accessed slices (without clicks), an improvement over the slicer I’m currently using, but not something that renders the current programming completely obsolete! Always good.

So we got a good start on that, both in the flat and at the Southbank Centre, which is the equivalent of the Halifax Library it seems: a gathering place for people to read, work, and even listen to concerts!

The concert at night was preceded by an interview/discussion led by a writer from The Wire, who seemed familiar with AMM and their long history. The discussion hinted at the rifts that have marked AMM’s history (Keith Rowe, an original member had a falling out with Eddie Prevost at some point) but weren’t directly touched on in the discussion. The members did share their common ideas about music and improvisation, and revealed a few points that they didn’t quite agree on! The seeds for great music making I guess. The questions from the audience were often very specific, about events from concerts in the 80’s sometimes. This showed the dedication of AMM’s listeners; they came to the concerts and were obviously marked permanently by some of them!

After dinner at a Turkish place with a young singer from Scotland, Jane, Sebastian and Ellen Waterman, (a friend and fellow improviser from Memorial University spending her sabbatical at Cambridge) we arrived at Café OTO in time to stand at the back of a very crowded room. The music was beautiful: formless, patient (patience was the greatest musical quality I enjoyed), with ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys. At some points it verged on silence and at others crescendoed to denser, but never very dense sections. We all loved it. I felt privileged to have been witness to this significant historical event. 50 years is a long time.

We came home from the show to news that flooding in Northern England, around Carlyle, had cancelled all trains north to Scotland until Monday (and in more recent news, until Wednesday).

After a few emails, our Air B&B host set us up with another night in our flat, and we continued today, with more programming, talking, and a tour of Sebastian’s new as yet unreleased universal controller/interface app for iPad, that will eventually become part of my system (I’m now a beta tester!). More about that later. Sebastian and I made a field trip to the Tate Modern again, and I enjoyed a morning run along the Thames. We’re not sittin’ around here eating fish and chips, there’s some serious action going on!

Tomorrow is an early start so I’ll write more from the train (that will hopefully take us up the eastern route through Edinburgh to Glasgow….). Wish us luck I think there’ll be lines!





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