Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp's Diary

Monday 11 February 2002

Guitar Craft Levels 1 & 2+ - St. Vincent de Paul Circle V Ranch, Santa Barbara, California


15.36  Ralph Verde, co-registrar with Bill Forth, collected me from The Upham in Santa Barbara at 11.26, 4 minutes ahead of time. We visited a bag shop at the bottom of State Street where I acquired a softcase for this Apple G4, to reinforce its traveling capabilities. The drive here, of around 30 minutes, is through some beautiful landscapes.

A team of experienced Crafties were already here, the Kitchen Team preparing lunch for 13.30 under Kitchen Supervisor Patrick. Frank Sheldon is also close to double-dating on these two almost back-to-back Guitar Craft courses. Curt Golden, Bill Rieflin, Tony Geballe, Paul Richards, Rob Rushin, Debra Kahan & Bill Forth, all from the early years of Guitar Craft, and many other familiar faces from early courses. Bert Lams has also now arrived and Ralph & Scott, co-facilitators & registrars, shuttle up and down the hill carrying new arrivals.

As I sat at the lunch table, there it was: silence waiting. I am beginning to have a better sense of what comes with silence. I’m not sure who else in the dining room welcomed silence, or was aware of its presence, but there it was. Nor was it necessary to be quiet, or to stop all activities, for the silence to remain. So, silence is accepting of activity. I was engaged in conversation and, when talking, I lose touch with silence.

The Director’s Cabin, for such is the name upon the wooden plaque outside, is set up some 30 yards the hill from the main center of activities & dining room. Suitcase unpacked, bed repositioned, computer on desk, Ovation guitar revibrated. Bill Forth has just popped by to give me a book on Dorset, by Arthur Mee. Arthur lived in Salisbury Close until his death in the 1980s. This volume was first published in June 1939 and reprinted in 1951 (sixth impression). There is a note that the changes wrought during the war have not been included in the reprinting. I add that more damage has been done to Dorset in the past three decades through inappropriate development than the Luftwaffe would have conceived possible.

17.05  The Staff have held their first meeting. Frank & his assistant Sandra (abandoned at Newark Airport on her last journey to Guitar Craft, at Lebanon, NJ), co-registrars Bill & Scott, Mentoring Buddies Curt, Tony, Bert & Paul & Bill, House Manager Tom & Kitchen Supervisor Patrick. This dealt with practicalities such as timetable, the presence of cats in the buildings, which buildings are available for personal & group meetings, the lighting of a fire for morning sitting, the acquisition of lamps, washing & cleaning up, sweeping floors, the use of house shoes.

Silence joined us at the beginning of the meeting.

19.10  Now, a schedule written for the notice board, soon to dinner…

20.55  Silence was present at dinner from the beginning. As I sat on the head table, at 19.38, there it was – silence, waiting. At 20.10 the room became aware of it, or at least accepted it, and fell quiet as silence embraced us. Then, at 20.30 I declared the House Rules, or conditions of the course. It is very hard to interrupt silence and break its moment. Declaration: should these House Rules be unacceptable to anyone, they are entitled to a full refund with their free meal.

21.04  Ralph & James have delivered a table lamp to Director Lodge & the Inaugural Meeting is now set for 21.45. Bill Forth is returning to LA.

23.16  Roaring fire with almost everyone present when I arrived at 22.43. The course, which contained courses within it, was declared underway at 22.48. We went around the room introducing ourselves and saying who we are, where we come from, what brought us here, and our aim/s for the week. Several of the Team who were involved in the early courses and Red Lion House were asked how their histories of the period are proceeding. Feebly, is the quick answer. Not well, is the longer scenario. I related the story of Hernan’s shoe… and presented myself…

What brought me here? Tom Redmond suggested that a course in America was necessary. Hernan also wanted a course for Europe, which was also necessary. So I asked them: which is more important? Both, was Tom’s reply. So, that is what brought me here.

What is my aim for the week? I have three:

1. To sense the condition of Guitar Craft & Crafties in North America.
2. To prepare for a project which will begin in the second half of 2006 and last for approximately one year.
3. To respond to the needs of the course and those within it.

The Inaugural Meeting ended at 23.02.