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GC Down Mexico Way
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Feb 15, 2012

Robert Fripp will be directing an introduction to the Guitar Circle in Mexico in 2013. You can check out the details over on the Guitar Circle website

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Dear Mr Eliot
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Jun 15, 2014
Jakko Jakszyk's musical fantasy Dear Mr Eliot: When Groucho Met Tom is now available on BBC iPlayer for the next six days. For listeners outside of the UK it's possible to download the show as a podcast.  Yesterday's edition of The Guardian ran a very favourable preview of the piece and you can read an interview with Jakko in The Independent for more details about the background to it. You can also hear Lenny Henry, who stars as Groucho, talking about the piece in Radio 4's Loose Ends show. Jakko was scheduled to be interviewed as well for the show on Friday but in the end decided to keep on Crimsonising with the rest of the KC team. 

Sylvian & Fripp Reissued
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Jun 13, 2014
Sylvian & Fripp’s The First Day and the David Sylvian-mixed edition of the live album, Damage are being reissued. 

The albums are straight forward reissues for the Panegyric label rather than remixes or enhanced CD/DVD-A packages.

In this extract taken from an illuminating article by Paul Tingen in 1994, David Sylvian reveals the background to the recording of The First Day.

"Then, in the spring of 1993, came The First Day, a collaboration with Robert Fripp which took his fans and the press aback -- this was definitely not the Sylvian of old. The album was unusally aggressive and hard-hitting, featuring the wild, distorted and full-frontal antics of Robert Fripp on electric guitar, funky and gutsy rhythms courtesy of drummer Jerry Marotta and stick player Trey Gunn, and seriously direct and sometimes disturbing lyrics by Sylvian. He comments: "Making this album was definitely a cathartic experience, both for Robert and myself. It comes out of traumatic experiences, but it also resolves them. In the end healing takes place. In working on this album I really surfaced from the experiences of the previous years and managed to move on. It was a turning point for both of us." The two men had worked together before on Sylvian’s second solo album, Gone To Earth, in 1986 and plans they had made at the time for a further collaboration only started to come to fruition when Sylvian was asked to do a tour of Japan in 1992. Sylvian: "Robert approached me in late 1991 about whether I wanted to join a new King Crimson he was forming. Though very flattered, I decided that I didn’t feel equipped to take on the whole baggage and history that comes with being a member of King Crimson. So instead we took the offer of the tour as an opportunity to write material for an album."
The First Day was recorded between December 1992 and March 1993 at studios in New York and New Orleans, with help from Jerry Marotta on drums, and with David Bottrill behind the mixing desk. The latter two had both worked extensively with Peter Gabriel; Sylvian explains that he chose Bottrill to get away from the dry, silken sound of his long-standing recording partner Steve Nye, and achieve a more up-front rocky sound. "I had a desire to go into another sonic area. I love the warmth and beauty of the tones that Steve gets. Steve also used to give me a lot of feedback on the way I arranged things. But as I have continued to develop, it just seemed natural to move away. We’d exhausted our relationship to some degree. We might work together again, but for now I enjoy working with different engineers and co-producers."

As a result, Sylvian went into the studio with a new engineer, pre-improvised material, a new outlook on life and a new musical partner. It’s not surprising that the results turned out unlike anything he’d done before. He remembers: "In the end, three pieces were directly culled from live-performances, ’Jean The Birdman’, ’Firepower’ and ’20th Century Dreaming’, although the latter two were greatly extended and transformed in the studio. Once we had recorded these three pieces, we faced the choice of adding some ballads or making a more dynamic album. We decided that the album should be more confrontational, so we put the quieter pieces aside for the time being, and will maybe record them on a second joint album."

An interesting aspect of The First Day is that it combines the two previously rather disparate approaches to making music that Sylvian favoured -- the tightly arranged and the loosely improvised. For Sylvian, this was a step forward: "Improvisations are particularly important in collaborative work, because what’s important there is the relationship between the musicians involved. Improvisation allows that to come into focus, how you react to each other in the spur of the moment. I enjoyed working in that way with Holger Czukay and Rain Tree Crow. It means that you’re not bringing your own limitations in terms of structure and songwriting into the studio with you.
"On the other hand, what feels good whilst you improvise isn’t always going to be interesting for other people to listen to. So we spent a lot of time working on pieces and developing them. It was a challenge to make them work for other people. Neither of us had thought of putting on a piece like ’Darshan’, which is 18 minutes of rhythmically repetitive music with jazz-type improvisations going on throughout. So there was a lot of re-structuring going on in that piece, whilst at the same time I tried not to weaken the live performance that gave it its power in the first place. It was a way of combining Robert’s and my approach to recording music, and a challenge that I enjoyed."

Last December, Sylvian had a triumphant return to the London stage when he played two concerts with Fripp at the Royal Albert Hall, no less. The concert was a world away from the dark introversion of his 1988 concerts. Though never an entertainer, Sylvian (whose gear for the occasion included a Steinberger guitar, Yamaha KX88 MIDI controller, Roland JD990, Korg Wavestation A/D, M1R, Zoom 9030, Akai S1100 and Kurzweil 1200Pro1) looked relaxed and in his element. Musically the concert was close to a revelation. The First Day was an interesting album, but somehow marred by a certain ’monochrome’ mood and sound, as well as crudeness of some of the material. It may have fulfilled a cathartic function for Fripp and Sylvian and contained some excellent music, but it didn’t quite make an altogether satisfying listening experience for me. At the Royal Albert Hall though, Fripp, Sylvian and Gunn, with help from drummer Pat Mastelotto and eminent guitarist Michael Brook, put down one of the best live shows of 1993. What hadn’t always worked on the album suddenly came to life and caught fire. And some elegant and deeply moving ballads by Sylvian proved enough counterpoint for the heavier pieces. A live album with material taken from the last world tour has been mixed by Bottrill and Fripp, and will be released this summer."

King Crimson Rising Up
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Jun 13, 2014
Some more photographs from yesterday's rehearsals at Elstree...

Mel's Live Album In Cologne
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Jun 13, 2014
My thanks to Ulrich Spiegel who sent in the following item of information on a live album Mel Collins’ is involved with next week.

Saxplayer Mel Collins will come to Cologne to record live album with GOLDMAN

Wednesday. 18.06. + Thursday 19.06.2014
Entry 20h | Begin 21h

Thomas Kessler (Dissidenten, Nighthawks)
Helmut Zerlett (The Unknown Cases, Harald Schmidt Show Bandleader)
Konstantin Wienstroer
Dj Heli
Mel Collins

More Photos Please
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Jun 12, 2014
Tony Levin updated his blog on the Crimso rehearsals including yesterday's photoshoot with Scarlet Page.

Happy Birthday John Wetton
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Jun 12, 2014
Currently hard at work with Asia, John Wetton celebrates his birthday today.

What are your favourite Wetton moments in Crimson? Share your thoughts over on the guestbook please.

Ooh, Suits You Sir!
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Jun 11, 2014
King Crimson have been having their photograph taken today by Scarlet Page. Here's some shots taken by Trev of the boys and Scarlet in action...

Jakko's Dear Mr. Eliot
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Jun 11, 2014
Jakko Jakszyk's Dear Mr Eliot: When Groucho Met Tom will be broadcast on   on Saturday 14th June as part of BBC Radio 3's Between The Ears series. The show is a musical fantasy, part drama-part documentary based on the meeting between Groucho Marx and TS Eliot - a fairly unlikely mutual fan club by any stretch of the imagination. In addition to writing the script and music for the programme, Jakko also plays the part of TS Eliot alongside Lenny Henry's Groucho.

The Independent newspaper ran an interview with Jakko yesterday about the programme and Jakko and Lenny are guests on Saturday's Loose Ends on Saturday to talk about the show.

Crimheads will not that it's not the first time TS Eliot has had an association with King Crimson. The Deception Of The Thrush takes its title from a line in Eliot's The Four Quartets and of course a sample of Eliot reading from the work also appears on many performances of that tune.

The Radio Times previews Jakko's show: Stereotypical views of the poet TS Eliot and the comic actor Groucho Marx are blown so far out of the water in this musical fantasy that writer Jakko Jakszyk might just as well have attached his script to a torpedo. Eliot is no po-faced high priest of modernism and Marx is so much more than an artist who relies upon exaggerated physicality for laughs.

Based upon a real-life encounter between the two, when Marx went to dinner at Eliot’s London residence in 1964, it reveals the almost boyish admiration they had for one another’s talents. A further delight is Lenny Henry’s narration and his performance as Marx.

NYC Tickets Today
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Jun 11, 2014
It seems that tickets for the extra show in New York at the Best Buy Theatre on Sunday 21st Sept are going on sale today at 12.00 noon and not Friday as we reported yesterday. Check out the details here. 

King Crimson At Work And Play
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Jun 11, 2014
Taken from last night's Facebook update by Trev Wilkins

This is part of Robert's office. Today I set up a Korg MIDI controller keyboard patched via an IK Multimedia iRig Pro to his iPad. We have an app called Thumb Jam on the iPad and I've programmed the keyboard pads to send Program Change messages to select each sound required, Mellotron at the moment. This is routed into the Axe FX via a Tascam line mixer and its FX loop return block. Routing this way means we can send the sounds directly into his rig 'at the top' giving great flexibility.

After the excellent rehearsal (those drummers are so good and great things from Mel) we spent some time working on the guitar sounds and updating our previous user presets.

Tomorrow we have photographer Scarlet Page coming to tale some band photos so the band will all be in Sunday best!

Afterwards some of the time took themselves to a local hostelry for a well deserved meal and chinwag.

Here's a shot posted by Gavin on his Facebook page. He writes "King Crimson full band rehearsals !!! In a much bigger room this time. Lots of good stuff happening."

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