Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp's Diary

Monday 28 January 2002

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


Waking at 00.25 after some 90 minutes sleep to guitar practising in the house and the dog barking. Went back to sleep around 01.05 and then woke with the convent bells at 06.00. Rising at 06.30, now showered & exercised.

09.02  Martin & The MBs are meeting the Level One at 09.15 for a morning of lateral fingering on C major / A natural minor, and personal meetings are erupting everywhere. My personal meetings begin at 09.30 and continue for most of the morning and afternoon. Hernan has 26 names on his list.

12.27  Personal meetings this morning were without guitar and mostly concerned practical issues, mainly earning a living; perhaps earning a living while being a guitarist; perhaps earning a living as a guitarist. This especially impacts upon those who are Argentinian and has mostly to do with relocation. So, this would seem to be the basis of my morning…

music > earning a living > relocation.

A printed e-mail has also come in from Bill Rieflin regarding a dream he has just had (as of Friday) and wonders whether this has anything to do with our course here. Who knows? I have written a brief response. 

18.09  My personal meetings are ended for today. I no longer allow myself to become ill with personal meetings. At one early course in Italy, during the first period of GC courses, I had 37 personal meetings a day plus all the group meetings. Now, there is support, mentoring buddies & sufficient accumulated experience at courses that hollow commentary & dopey behaviour is immediately perceived as being out of tune. Once upon a time, long long ago, I would have to defend and justify standard GC positions against hostile attack; for example, on drug use.

20.05  An eruption of performances at dinner. Plus comments from the Level Two suggest they are getting to grips with articulating the strategies they are adopting in their G major work. They would like me to attend their meeting this evening as A Pointed Stick.

The Level One are addressing circulating, and would like me there. The disruptive character, who throws off riffs, is probably undermined by arrogance. He is not so arrogant with me lately. 

Half of Hernan’s clients were good, half clueless, he says. He believes that he helped some people. Also discussing a possible move to Spain. I suggested San Sebastian.

Dessert was tasty: a coconut gooey on a biscuity base.

22.06  On the way to the notice board a Level Two asked me about the aphorism “Ask why seven times”, a point he raised at dinner. We considered how & where this might lead.

An evening of discovering a different approach to circulating, one which is instantly more musical.

Level Two: reminded them of lateral & vertical approaches to G major; plus learning simple chords of the primary triads. Then division of attention with counts of 5&7 against varying feet & hands.

Level One quite unable to function. There are major perceptual, sensory input processing, problems of a staggering degree & impossible to exaggerate. Perhaps one member of the Level One is what I would call “normal”, in the sense of being functionally reliant in co-ordinating visual information with the operation of their hands. One of them was not playing guitar, but sitting on his seat in the circle. We applied the new circulatory approach, with multiple striking of the same note, from 1 up to 12 times, and various jumps from 5 to 10 times. These were wonderfully musical and gentle. These jumps had the effect of going from piano to forte, and the slow additions and subtractions of graduated amplitude and chord complexity. In the middle of the circles, a privilege to stand, it was.

I attempted to engage the arrogant character by encouraging him to be forward. And how Cathy & Frank deal with the bodies is beyond me.

22.41  Editing of Dear Crafty 1991 and now winding down.