10.55 David & Robert are in the Music Room listening to Demon Mastelotto's mixes of ProjeKct Three. "This is for serious tokers at college" is Fripp's comment (without implying support of such practices). David's expectation, following P4, was high energy projeKction. Surprisingly, the governing mood is (quoting David) "downbeat dance, chill-out, ambient dance". Sonically, P3 is surprisingly rich & grooves gently forwards while presenting the audient with a series of definite ambiguities to accept / resolve / ignore ... n responses.
The recent Guestbook posting from K. Pfeiffer, suggesting the Club releases both volumes of Crimson "On Broadway" simultaneously, has prompted the Venal Leader to propose to the Team here that we implement this idea. The original intention was to release the two albums separately because of these two main concerns in World Central:
1. Not everyone would want both Volumes 1 & 2 of "On Broadway". I disagree: it seems likely to me that anyone who wanted one half of the performance would want the other half.
2. The price (£26) is high. My view: the cost is the same as releasing the volumes separately. And, presumably by now, we accept that low-volume runs such as those the Club features is inevitably more expensive than mass market download.
Guestbook postings are increasingly interesting, although most questions asked by posters would be answered by the posters themselves were they to put sufficient effort into asking themselves the questions.
Comments To The Guestbook:
1. Henry Potts (UK) 11-May-99 15:48 GMT:
"A question for Mr Fripp -- You have written in the background notes to the Collectors' Club that: `A record company's value is its ownership of recording copyrights. DGM refuses to own the copyrights of its artists which, regardless of its status as a "common practice", I regard as a criminal act.'
Yet, in your 16 Apr 99 Diary entry, you explain how you do not seek prior approval for Collectors' Club releases from the artists involved: `a former member of Crim approached us because their prior approval hadn't been given to one of the Club releases.' You go on to explain why you think it would be impractical to do otherwise.
So, the artists' ownership of their music is central to the whole ethos of DGM and yet DGM releases material without the artists' say-so. Could you perhaps explain this apparent contradiction? Are the artists' rights inalienable or only of secondary concern to other issues?
Yours bemused, Henry".
Perhaps Henry (cf. Jeremy Weissenburger's post for 5th. May) is bemused because he is confusing two distinct issues:
1. Who owns the artists' work?
2. Who presents the artists' work to the listening community?
The answer to the first question is, in a DGM context, clearly the artist.
The answer to the second question - who chooses which material, mixes / produces / masters & presents this to the public, is: it depends upon the project.
At the beginning of the EG debacle, and their sale of the record & publishing catalogues to Virgin & BMG, I acted immediately to safeguard the interests of the players & their work as best I was able. This took two forms: dealing directly with Virgin & BMG, & dealing with John Kennedy (the leading music industry lawyer) to serve a High Court writ on Messrs. Alder & Fenwick. All the players of King Crimson, from any period, signed a letter authorising me to act on their behalf regarding the musical materials. The only person who declined to give me power of attorney to act with / for Crimson catalogue sonic materials was, ironically, Peter Sinfield.
Power of attorney for the catalogue enables me to deal with Virgin on, for example, matters of re-issues ("USA" & "Earthbound") remastering to take advantage of developing technologies, re-presentation & publicity. Otherwise, every discussion I have with Declan the Hero would have to be ratified by The Committee of the Greater Crim. In practice, unworkable. Committee meetings of each individual group, in their lifetimes, were almost unworkable.
The material for the DGM archive & Club releases requires constant sifting, processing and keeping up to date. This is also unsuitable for Committee decision making (more accurately, non-decision making). My Diary post discusses the practicalities of this.
This puts Raging Heartless Tyrant & in the position of having prime responsibility for decisions regarding which materials are released, by whom, how & when. The requirement for this is a global overview of matters Crim in their totality: art, commerce, pragmatix. If there were someone else able to fulfill this requirement, they would already have the job (at least from 1984 and probably 1974). Releases from "The Great Deceiver" to the ProjeKcts present to the listening community, & Crim players, the ongoing results of those decisions.
This does not imply that Fripp acts unilaterally in Crim matters musical or business. On current Crim business, the other guys (and Richarde Chadwick) are all involved in discussions on our future. Any one of the group may take the initiative, musically or otherwise. Addressing the archives, David Singleton is at least as involved as I am in the choices made. Adrian Belew mixed "On Broadway". Pat Mastelotto is mixing P3. Bill Bruford visited World Central for the mixing sessions on "The Night Watch", "Absent Lovers" & P1.
But, when it comes to making final choices from the array of alternative approaches, taking into account the musical interests, DGM & Virgin & Pony Canyon & Rykodisk business issues, a round-robin of all involved parties isn't an option (although as indicated by the letter, we sometimes do that too). Generally, the final decisions are taken by David Singleton & myself, having usually consulted other prime movers. If the other guys have no confidence in my / our choices, given the DGM track record of the past 7 years, then the archiving ends & I'll put my energies into present & future projects / projeKcts.
I have no problem with that option at all.
Otherwise, I continue to feel responsibility to the larger present moment of King Crimson & will address that until my sense of it changes.
Perhaps this goes some way to explain the "apparent contradiction". And indicate, in a small way, how impossible it is to stop and explain what / how / why it is that I / we are doing to any interested party, well-meaning or otherwise, who doesn't have sufficient data to make reliable judgements. In the absence of data, points of seeing & direct apprehension of the events under consideration, "by their works shall ye know them".
In business practice, "goodwill" is an indefinable but recognisable quality. Goodwill is "valued" & attributed a money figure on the sale of an ongoing business. But DGM has no value. It doesn't own its artists' work, and couldn't sell itself as a company with its business aims to anyone who:
1. Doesn't share those aims;
2. Doesn't share the commitment to realising those aims;
3. Has the capacity, expertise & experience to honour them.
So, DGM's actual worth as a business is as a business model. It has no intrinsic financial value. No ambitious business person could / would / should take any interest in DGM at all. DGM is, at least in some sense, a vocation. Probably, as with Guitar Craft & King Crimson, DGM will exist for a period of time, serve a particular aim, discharge a particular function, and then disappear.
The nature of any concern which shares the aspirations & aims which DGM post to the masthead, prohibits acting with violence. Like, adopting the buccaneering business practices of the 1980s (characterised by The Independent as "based on greed & characterised by the abuse of trust"). If our listening community doesn't support us, and if our artists demand that we behave aggressively on their behalf, DGM will disappear sooner rather than later.
But, we may act decisively, energetically, & actively to further our aims.
2. Michael Peters: does mouse / Mouse / mouses have a Buddha nature?
This is one for Michael to address within his personal practice. But my view is: no. This is solely the responsibility, and privilege, of the human animal whether our exemplar of perfection is the Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Zororaster, Ashieta Shiamash, Mary, The Mother, or ...
The taking of life carries with it the duty to meet the unsatisfied obligations owed by the deceased lifeform. This is most obvious when eating. Mr. Bennett's form of words, spoken before meals at Sherborne House, presents this idea in the form of a grace:
"All life is one and everything that lives is holy. Plants, animals and men, all must eat to live and nourish one another. We bless the life that has died to give us this food. May we eat consciously, resolving by our work to pay the debt of our existence".
This idea is found in Mr. Gurdjieff's notion of Reciprocal Maintenance, & JGB's pentad of the essence classes is another form of addressing the same notion. This systematic approach of the pentad is very provocative & suggestive of the responsibilties involved in taking life.
Michael's type of question usually accompanies an urban dweller. Country people are in closer contact with the cycle of living & dying and the functional contributions of living things. Their approach is utterly unsentimental. I make no apologies for culling the population of creatures who (I encourage to live outside my home but not inside) run over food surfaces leaving excrement & piss. I acknowledge in turn the logic that suggests there is a level of order (far beyond my comprehension) which might, in turn, cull the population of a destructive & intractable animal race of which I am a member.
Anyway, why address this question to a working guitarist?
15.01 My sense is the Collectors' Club is the ideal forum for ProjeKct Three's album. It's almost as if the club were created for this kind of release - process oriented, not sufficiently developed for mainstream goal-oriented audients. After all, this is part of the Club's defining rasion d'etre.
16.24 We have spoken to Pat Mastelotto on sonic matters P3 & matters business Crim.
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