So, what of the performance?
The venue: unbuilt. A concrete amphitheatre in the middle of a building site. No running water.
By the time we were into TCOL (second piece after "Frying Pan") I knew: the centre was hollow; the heart was undermined. This doesn't mean that a show is necessarily wretched, or worth abandoning immediately. It does mean that, unless angels descend on chariots of fire and blow trumpets of gold in your ear, the best you can hope for is a professional & competent performance. Even, flashes of something more.
The other guys know that I don't play "FraKctured" for photo sessions. Most sound checks we play it, and it's getting to simmer gently. Last night the band asked me especially to play it and, with the centre of the performance established, I enjoyed doing so. Tonight, I made another call, even though Adrian needed a breathing space to deal with his guitar problems. Adrian dealt with those problems superbly, and ProjeKct Three burst into action on demand & in response to necessity.
One of my personal highlights of the evening: a juxtaposition of wonderment and delight. As Adrian cheerfully bounced into the litany of 20th. century terrors (this is itself an astonishing contrast) I looked up during "Hiroshima! Aids disease! Terror! Misery! Death! Pain! Horror! Suffering!" to see an ice cream vendor (as in any cinema of my youth) walking up & down the seats with a glace in hand, touting for trade. And successfully so.
But, you can't tell people what to do or how to behave. You can ask, even several times. And then, you respond to the particular conditions which develop when people affirm their rights to do whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want. So, in front of ongoing flashes, a feature of the entire evening, I regretfully abandoned the photo session before the final encores.
A comment on our week in Italy: the abundance of graffiti everywhere. This is not graffiti as artwork: this is graffiti as noise. Even on historic buildings & monuments, and even in the heart of Rome. One of Billy B's more prescient comments, while driving to a hotel in Canada (973): "Graffiti is a social barometer". So, what does this tell me of the state of contemporary Italy?
Other news of the day: Paris, Madrid & Barcelona are sold out.
From this morning's reading:
"Whatever you may give him he will reduce every (thing) to the level on which he is himself".
Probably the converse is true: a good heart will see in everyone the very best of who & what that other person is, or may be. The saint will see the sinner's star core essence shining brightly from within the darkest corners of the basement. In other words, the world we know most deeply in ourselves is the world we see as present within others. The story of the Harrowing Of Hell continues to move me & convey a hope far beyond anything I am able to conceive. Which is, itself, indicative of the essential rightness of this principle.
But this is not a new observation to the Diary. However, the observation has a continuing power to illuminate difficulties, contradictions, confusions & our irrepressible impulse to piss in the wind (if not in the communion wine).
Also from my morning's ruminative & reflective reading session over cappucini at the Shangri La's outside cafÈ, in response to the question - "What is the aim of King Crimson?" - the answer appeared in one sentence. This is the simplest formulation which in the past 31 years of pain, suffering, wonderment, distress, joy & bliss arising has flown by and bit me on the ear.
Also this morning, while sending out good wishes to the Guitar Craft community around the world, my personal voice began to "dictate" a response to an arising question for a personal project for the first half of next year: the PRS Annual John Lennon Memorial Lecture. This year the address was given by Sir George Martin.
Increasingly I am being asked to talk, or speak, or write, about a broad spread of musical subjects. Perhaps the world is suggesting it is better for me to talk about music than to play it. Perhaps the increasingly aberrant range of strange notes which find their way to my guitar goes too far, or not far enough. Perhaps I am not sufficiently photogenic.
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