|| Saturday, 29th April 2000
This is not all there is.
But this is all there is.
A day of practising & e-flurrying. I've been reading several other Diarists.
This from Jacob Heringman's:
<Thursday 27th. April, 2000
Another good review of black cow turned up yesterday. That brings the total good reviews I've seen to about 8--there may be others. That seems to me to be pretty good press coverage. But surprisingly, all these good reviews don't seem to be having much effect on sales. We'll see what happens in the USA now that black cow is officially available over there. And Josquin is on its way.>
RF: Good reviews have, as far as I can see, no effect on sales whatsoever. And I'm not sure that bad reviews sell records either.
<Another good practice-day--cheers me up no end. I seem to derive joy simply from sitting alone and practising my instrument, even if it's just technical exercises. I suppose the personal satisfaction comes from... d) the connection to the world outside myself that comes from "communing" with a piece of music and a distant culture.>
RF: In my view, this perception of Jacob's is not imaginary. In Guitar Craft this is referred to as "contact at a distance". Usually this applies to contact at a geographical distance. Connection with a living tradition also involves a connection through time. "Traditional" time is an ongoing present moment, so the connection to the tradition may cover space but also a direct contact with its temporal roots.
For example, I am very struck by the saints of the day who are remembered & honoured in the daily services of Christian Orthodoxy (St. John the Hairy is probably my favourite). My sense, at one service, was of being in the presence of family; even though in historical time St. John the Follically Enhanced had flown away several centuries earlier.
DGM's Present Moment imprint ("where tradition & innovation meet") is clearly a recognition and acknowledgement of this. An externally dormant tradition may be revived. How this happens is interesting & mysterious: how is a transmission renewed without external referents? Any particular current, or process, will inevitably go off course as it unfolds in the world. This is inevitable, and may therefore be anticipated. So, we may reasonably anticipate that the founders of a tradition in some way allow for this to be corrected. How they do that is another matter.
Matt Seattle's renewal of a dormant / lost connection within border piping resonated with me very strongly when Matt first told me how, as if by chance, he found a rare book of transcriptions & connected to them. Matt's connection was not primarily (in my view) with the "tunes" but with the spirit of the pieces. "Out Of The Flames" is one of my very favouritist DGM releases: it conveys joy.
In linear time, what we do today creates the future. In an extended, or larger, present moment it is as true to say that the future creates the present. This particular kind of creative future "resonates" and draws our actions towards it. It is this potential future with which we engage, and more powerfully, which engages us. How Guitar Craft invented itself, and then continues to do so, is astonishing. In its first year (1985) so much foundation information came on download: as if all we had to do was watch & listen.
Part of a discipline is the practice of listening to oneself while one is speaking. There are different elements to this, and different functional effects / results which take place during this practice. Sometimes, while listening as if behind Fripp's right shoulder, I hear him saying something of interest (surprising in itself, we might all agree). Often, during the introduction of the early GC exercises, I noticed that what was being said was far more than Fripp "knew" or "intended".
One of these early exercises, technically called "The Transmission Of Qualities", was introduced in the Claymont Barn. The exercise was introduced to students working in the Circle and, as they worked with the exercise, I looked and then saw how it is that transmission takes place. This takes several forms. The form which struck me particularly at the time is the renewal of a current that has atrophied or "died out".
So, with Matt & Jacob's work, I continue to look at their careers & listen to their work with interest. Their records don't sell well enough to earn them a living. But don't worry guys! they don't even sell well enough to repay DGM's costs. So this is, at least, equitable. But any work of quality generates repercussions which escape quantitative measure, even though this may take a pile of linear years before we see how. And then, probably, we won't ever be able to discover all the effects of our work. In the narrow moment of the musician (and sympathetic record company), where bills & interest payments have to be paid & made, we persist and endure, and do what we may. And hope. And trust.
Jacob's diary continues, in a reversal of linearity:
<Wednesday 5th. April, 2000
Another nice review of black cow today, in the new issue of Gramophone. All of this critical success, though pleasing to me of course, is still rather bittersweet because it proves that one can be a critical success and still an economic failure. The realities of trying rather unsuccessfully to make a living as a lutenist are very much at the forefront of my mind at the moment, especially because I've just received my first DGM royalty statement which shows just how indifferent the world has been thus far to black cow, and just how unlikely it is that I'll ever earn any money at all from my solo lute releases... Matt Seattle's recent Diary entry on the same theme is timely, and very much meets with my sympathy. Andrew Keeling is also in the same boat. We all do what we do because we feel strongly compelled to do so. We all do it for virtually no financial reward... When I feel myself getting depressed or bitter about the fact that the world is largely indifferent to my efforts, I remember Robert Fripp's words: "making music is its own reward". The privilege of making music is the musician's reward.>
RF: A privilege for which the working musician pays dearly.
A yesterday e-letter to the Sidney Smith:
Another way of approaching the question "How relevant to King Crimson was the contribution of this person?" is this:
Consider their work before.
Consider their work afterwards.
This then gives you a better perspective.
Only a suggestion!
In response to the Guestbook: the decision to accept only credit card payments has been a long time coming. We have delayed this for as long as we can. May I suggest that a customer who like to continue with DGM mail order, but doesn't have a credit card, make an arrangement with a friend who does? DGM operates to the degree that it is able in a world which responds as favourably to us as it does to our artists. How could it be otherwise?
Search Robert Fripp's diary archive.