in 1991, i played in china with a band formed especially for the occasion
(dennis rea - the guitarist & organizer - wrote about this in his book
Live at the Forbidden City; a film was also filmed, but never made).
we played mostly in hotels & arenas. we also played in a music school,
for an audience of students. the backline was provided by the school.
the drum kit i was given to use was just a few steps up from being a toy.
after the perforance, we (dennis) were beset upon by the students and much
chinese was spoken. “what do they want?” i remember asking dennis.
his reply, “they want the holy grail."
at the nov 3rd 2018 london gig, i was the guest du jour for the Royal Package
("Access to the venue one hour before doors; Central Seating Rows 1-5;
Insights into the world of King Crimson and DGM presented by David Singleton -
producer and manager; Q&A with one of the eight band members; Programme/
Photograph signed by all the members; Exclusive VIP Laminate; Exclusive VIP T-shirt”).
i was asked a question that has been nagging at me every since -
because it deserved a far better answer than the one i gave/evaded.
in my understanding, it was a two part question which i distilled into:
a) how do you do what you do?; and, b) how to bring innocence into a field of experience?
the question 'how do we do what we do?’ encompasses a lot.
so i focused on the basics: learn to play your instrument; practice;
learn the material; practice. in fairness,this is more an answer to 'what do you do?'
the how of it is bit something else. but, it’s the bit that makes all the difference.
and, probably, in king crimson, there are as many hows as there are members.
how to learn to play an instrument? how to practice? how to learn material?
we’re already in front of a considerable meal. but not an indigestable one.
even within the world of how, procedures are knowable and therefore describable.
but it can take a while. years. decades. on the subject of craft, robert has written superbly -
at length & in detail - and this information is widely available.
another (non)answer to a question not-quite-asked is:
this is what we do. so, we do it. if we don't know how to do it,
we figure it out. just like in life.
as to the point of how to bring innocence into a field of experience?
easy: just let it all go.