Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp's Diary

Wednesday 23 January 2002

Guitar Craft Levels 1 & 2 - Convento di S. Maria della Pace, Sassoferrato, Italy


Rising at 05.30 at Chez Horse in Chiswick, final closing of the suitcase at 05.55, kissing the Little Luvvie goodbye, and in the car and off by 06.10.

However one might choose to drive to Stansted Airport from Chiswick, the route sucks. The North Circular is an obvious option, but it sucks. The main alternative – M4 west, M25 clockwise to Junction 27, M11N to Junction 8 – is longer at around 72 miles. But it has the promise of continuous movement, rather than stop-starting and traffic lights. Drizzle & rain, darkness and then lighter greyness; two multi-vehicle accidents between Junctions 21-22 on the anti-clockwise M25 led to a long tailback which I saw but, gratefully, escaped.

Arriving at the long-term car park around 07.35, tasty salad for breakfast in the car, and then a bus to the passenger terminal which is quite a hike away. The Ryanair desk for the Ancona flight opened at 09.30, and I was the first in the queue. Then through passport control and a lukewarm latte followed by a quite-warm cappuccino, in the mistaken belief that the first error would be rectified by the second. While sipping gently although quickly, that all heat might not escape before the cup was emptied, I found myself beginning to consider the creative act & the possibility of writing a few notes on the subject. This was partly prompted by some questions at the Acton Guitar Institute. I am still unknowing of whether my visit to the Acton Guitar Institute might have been of any use to someone there.

Boarding, Gate 4 at 11.10, I arrived 20 minutes ahead of time. Cathy & Udo arrived around 11.00 accompanied by a Level One, one who had come here for the summer NST course. Cathy felt the Q&A at Acton GI had been of use. My own comment was, there hadn’t been enough necessity among the students for me to have been of very much help. Generally, the students’ questions didn’t burn, and when prompted as to why the question was being asked they expressed mere  “interest”. Being interested isn’t enough to light a fire, let alone a burning question. Only a deep & driving necessity catches fire in our hearts.

A feature of Ryanair “no-frills” flying is a policy of no pre-arranged seating: whoever gets on board first chooses the seat they want. I was first on board, entering from the rear, and chose the left aisle on the last row. The flight was not very full so there was a wide choice of seating. I declined to buy any of the snacks or drinks that, befitting a no-frills outfit, were available for purchase (I was carrying my own snaffle) and read the FT.

Take-off on time at 11.40, with a superb view over the Alps, and we landed in Ancona ahead of schedule at 14.45 (one hour time difference). Alessandro Bruno plus helper were waiting with two vehicles to carry us and our stuff to the Convento di S. Maria della Pace. We arrived in time for tea at 16.00. There are familiar faces here, some of which have traveled from Argentina & Chile & Japan & America, as well as from within Europe.

22.05 A good dinner of chickpeas and salad that will exact its revenge in the house later. Hernan visited to bring me up to date on various arisings & presented the application letters on a floppy disk, plus a few analogue letters. Martin Schwutke & Alessandro visited with an external driver to download the floppy via UBN to this Apple G4 Powerbook: the G4 doesn’t read floppies internally – CD or DVD only dude!

Hernan brought alarming stories of life in Argentina during the present crisis, plus a report on the Nunez family in Kiel, developments in the lives of various Crafties, and the needs of courses as he sees it. We also discussed Chief Feature and how it even moves into our bodies and generates dysfunction. Martin presented a photograph of Balthasar Scwutke, a wonderful little dribbling Beast, very new to this world and currently in the Andes with his mother visiting Balthasar’s maternal Grandparents.

I have been collating new aphorisms that have been appearing during the past year but not yet edited and/or are a long way from being digested.

22.39 More collating of aphorisms, and now to wind down. But my attention is being drawn along the corridor by guitars playing tango…