|| Tuesday, 25th September 2007
Parford Well B&B Exceptionally Acceptable, near Chagford, Devon.
View from a room I…
A superb breakfast at Maison Daniel…
Until God does make me breakfast, Parford Well is about as close as it’s likely to get.
Over breakfast, the FT Magazine for this past weekend. This has several interesting stories, the first concerning Tony Sicoria; he was struck by lightning, died, and returned with music:
But I became convinced music was why I was here. For me, the music is a spiritual thing… I am a scientist and I know I sound crazy, but the music seems to come to me from an outside source.
Well. I am not a scientist, and I must be crazy too. The second, considering the sinister amongst us…
Although left-handers form about 11 per cent of the population today, roughly equivalent to early Victorian rates, a new study shows that left-handedness dipped significantly from 1890 to 1910.
"Left-handedness is important because more than 10 per cent of people have their brains organised in a qualitatively different way to other people," said Chris McManus, psychology professor at University College London.
The third, game theory & Northern Rock…
Game theory is the study (by economists, mathematicians, biologists and others) of situations where what you do may affect what I choose to do, and what I do may affect what you choose to do. The theory is big on catchy stories with memorable names, but ultimately it is all about mathematical representations of interactive decisions, called “games”…
Perhaps we should not be surprised that trust is difficult to regain once lost.
What! But surely this doesn’t relate to photographers who can’t be seen but do have (presently unbalanced) rights & who viddy away (but only for seconds!) at musical performances?
These 3 stories somehow fused & coalesced as a commentary on (supposedly) invisible photography at performances, and how photography / viddying / recording cannot possibly have any effect on anyone or anything at all – no one saw what I did! and even if they did, it has no effect! and even if it does have effect, they can’t stop me! but it has no effect anyway! and anyway I have the right to do anything I want without any concern for anyone else – but hey! what I do really doesn’t affect them or any other members of the audience! and if they don’t like it, they should know that famous people who work in public have no rights! so it’s the performers’ fault! and even if they did know they have no rights, let’s get a balance here! I have the right to do anything I want! and I’m paying them a compliment by doing to them what they asked me not to! why don’t people photograph me as well? I’d take it as a compliment! but no-one seems to want to compliment me! I wonder why!
I am left-handed in some facets of my functionality, right-handed in others; so not truly ambidextrous; but am informed by many online posters that my brain is organised in a qualitatively different way to them (although these were not the words used). Where these posts refer to consumer / audient / fan rights to non-consensual photography, autography, viddying, recording, even getting to know me personally – they only wanted to say hello! – that their decisions & choices have significantly & radically affected what I choose to do in (at least) my professional life. This, even where I couldn’t possibly have seen them, couldn’t possibly have known what they were doing, and when they were doing so little I couldn’t possibly have seen or known anyway, and in any case - they had the right!
10.19 Super Audio Mastering, Monks Withecombe, Dartmoor, Devon.
Simon and Thomas, trainee engineer, have their hands on the pulse…
… of Fripp & Eno 1972-75.
Today, we are re-mastering No Pussyfooting.
10.33 Analogue machines have been checked with tones & Swastika Girls, Side Two of No Pussyfooting, is now begun.
11.08 Swastika Girls now on through-run.
SH: Nice hiss.
RF: A warm pleroma that supports our listening.
These are two experienced analogue-listeners, differentiating between intrusive noise & a nice hiss.
11.24 Brian & Robert are two young men playing, having fun, 34 years ago.
The original recording of (Side Two) Swastika Girls, took place at Command Studios in Piccadilly. Brian set up the looping in the control booth and, after 5 minutes of listening to the loops playing-in to the multi-track, I walked into the studio, strapped on & wailed out.
Command being what is was, we took the tapes to Air Studios (George Martin’s studio at Oxford Circus) & continued mixing & assembling No Pussyfooting there. On the way to one of the sessions, Brian looked down & saw a torn-out page of a magazine, which he brought into the studio for examination. It featured young women in (incomplete forms of) Nazi uniform, sporting swastikas & the headline Swastika Girls.
At this time, F&E’s work together was not very much supported by the business representatives nominally forwarding our interests (that is, our work was actively opposed). No Pussyfooting was also disliked by former Crimson buddies when I played it to them. So, on a piece of paper, written in large letters & placed on the mixing console - No Pussyfooting – that we should not compromise what we felt to be right.
11.28 Yow! I don’t remember that end to SG. Perhaps this was alternative take. And here, on the reel, is another mix of the same.
12.38 The backward version Take Two of SG is now running.
What’s this? I…
No idea how this got in to the DGM Archive - but here it is! Copy masters from Decca of The Cheerful Insanity Of GG&F. As part of the KC settlement deal with Decca for Michael Giles & RF (signed to them, but KC declining to stay with Decca as record label of choice for King Crimson, not itself a difficult decision), Decca received 2% (or 20% of artist royalties) on ITCOTCK for (I believe) 2 years; and we gave up all rights to TCIfGG&F. KC went to Island in the UK & Atlantic in the US. However, when TCI was eventually re-released on CD, including recorded material not part of the original release, Peter Giles (not a member of KC & therefore not party to the KC settlement deal) made contact with Decca (that is, the company then releasing Decca) & asked for his royalties. But it’s not released! was the reply. So Peter gave them statements of his publishing royalties on his TCI composed pieces generated by the CD sales. Oh no! Oh no! The record company found itself in a veracity-challenged statement, and subsequently agreed to pay Peter all the 7.5% original GG&F artist royalty.
This is, obviously, an extremely abbreviated history of GG&F business history with Decca.
13.03 The backward version of SG (Take One) is underway. The two mixes are on 7.5 ips copy masters which, most likely, I had run off for me in Air Studios at the time. So, although these are half the speed of professional analogue masters, they are first-generation copy masters.
14.48 Now onto the 15ips official master, which is sounding good.
15.30 This is the mix that was released, with a different ending to the two copy-master mixes we were listening to earlier.
Now, onto backwards versions, as originally featured on John Peel. I returned to Thornhill Cottage, Holt, late one evening, switched on John Peel’s radio show, and came in near the end of Swastika Girls – played backwards! I leave it to The Sidney Smith to tell the full story. Anyway, today – we are formally preparing a re-mastered backwards version.
And behind all of this proper activity in my professional affairs, an e-frenzy of heroic proportions is erupting. Dealing with Sanctuary is part of this.
15.53 The backwards Swastika Girls is stunning.
16.15 Side One - The Heavenly Music Corporation – is underway.
16.17 This continues to hold power. Where did this come from?
The Master at work…
17.47 Pub Acceptable, Sandy Park.
Back to Parford Well & practising…
… on Ben Crowe’s prototype RF Signature model…
Custom guitars are, inevitably & necessarily, individual. This is their charm, and why independent guitar makers are sought after. My aim is to develop a relationship with this, Ben’s (prototype) instrument. I find no contradiction or competition in playing superb instruments made by different makers. They all have something which is only of themselves..
And over the road, now set up & computing in The Snug…
Several years ago, when this was a bona fide English country pub, David Singleton & I had a pint of cider each; this while we were staying at Parford Well & working with Simon Heyworth, newly relocated from Sanctuary HQ in London (when Sanctuary was Sanctuary). The cider was authentic scrumpy, familiar to me from my teenage years in Dorset. Scrumpy was cheap (at 13 pence a pint in 1962) and exceptionally powerful. Historically, farm workers in Dorset & Wiltshire (and other parts of the West Country) used it as an anaesthetic during harvest season; conventionally in pubs, it was only served to grown men, such was its strength. When in Penzance, as a roadie for Greg Lake’s first professional group Shy Limbs (early 1967), I listened to a lovely old man telling me that cider & snuff had never affected his wits (nearly all of which, to my youthfully callous perceptions, had long since been washed away). Urban dwellers reading this might not be aware that rural legends are told about the secret ingredient that makes scrumpy what it is; but after a pint or two, I doubt that any scrumpy drinker would care.
This pub was acquired by Peter de Savary perhaps 2-3 years after that, and it is now a gastro pub with B&B, and the village-pub-feel continues; surprisingly, given that it has been completely re-modelled. But most acceptable, nevertheless.
It is rare that I feel too old for the establishment I enter; in the early evening, this is one of them. The locals here, well into their quaffing before the hour of six, are mostly young persons. In Continental Europe, I don’t have the sense that people drinking-at-any-hour of the day is somehow people drinking-drinking; here, I have the sense that people are drinking. And with a pint of tasty (non-scrumpy & gentrified but most tasty) cider to accompany my computing, I suppose I am one of them.
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