Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp's Diary

Monday 15 April 2013

Casa Stella Maris, Caorle, Italy.



Rising 06.15 local, 05.15 body-time.


Morning Sitting at 07.30.

Breakfast at 08.00. Silence tangibly walked in c. 08.10.
All those attending have been on at least two courses before, so no House Rules were posted, this for the first time in many years.

12.19 Inaugural Meeting at 09.45.

The Orchestra Of Crafty Guitarists VI - Special Performance Project

Casa Stella Maris, Caorle, Italy
Saturday 13th to Sunday 21st of April, 2013

Acknowledging at 09.47 that The Chamber Orchestra Of Crafty Guitarists is underway, moving around the Circle of 29 introducing ourselves with who, where, what, why and our aim/s for the course.

The principle of structure suggests that any complete event has seven distinct qualities. Cf the GC Aphorism: Ask why - seven times!

The seven degrees of relaxation move from the body and the physical, the small through to large muscles, and onto Absolute Liberation! Theoretically that is, because we have no idea what Absolute Liberation might mean. But, it is possible that we move from letting-go of unnecessary tension in the muscles, to letting-go of “unnecessary” thinking and our imaginary feeling-concerns.

What is a Complete Guitarist? The Guitarist Outside is fairly clear: the functional aspects of playing the instrument.

Similarly, the Complete Musician. The musician plays music, but only at the beginning or “lower levels” of musicianship. Only when Music leans over and the musician is “played” by music, that a musician is worthy of the name, and also when Music begins to enter our world in an authentic fashion. According to the principle of structure, the transition between the Musician Outside and the Musician Inside begins at the transition between the third and fourth levels of musicianship. And there is nothing inevitable about that process continuing.

What is The Orchestra Of Crafty Guitarists? Is it only those of us within the Circle at this particular moment? Might The Orchestra be something more than this, more than the people here in this room?

GC is in its fifth life cycle, and the leitmotif is Presence. What exercises and practices are needed for us to become present – swiftly - in front of an event, such as a performance? To perform honourably is a pointed stick: it is necessary for us to become present. So, what do we do, the guitarist outside, to move to the Guitarist Inside?

RF Personal Aims:
1.    The development of the First Primary and First Secondary Exercises. Noting their growth, now after 28 years of being relatively static, represents metaphorically and analogously a moving-forward and development within Guitar Craft and the Guitar Circle.
2.    Continuing The Writing Project to a second draft of The Guitar Circle. This takes the book from being, essentially, an historic view of GC activities and undertakings, bringing it to the immediately-present. The Guitar Circle will provide information and recapitulation-material for those who have been involved since the beginning of Guitar Craft, but also wave a flag to those members of the family who have not yet become involved or attended a course.

Free dispersal from the Circle c. 10.20, returning with guitars.

Twenty-five guitars in the Circle.
Becoming present:
Please bring part of the attention to the soles of the feet;
to the top of the head;
and what is in between;
what is in front of us, and what is behind;
what is to our right, and what is to our left;
to what is above us, and what is below.
Returning part of our attention to the soles of the feet;
moving the attention up through the legs, up the spine to the top of the shoulders; the finger tips and the palm of the hands, up the arms to the shoulders; up the neck and to the top of the head.
Then, to the left hand: the palm, the back of the hand, inside the hand itself; into the thumb and each of the fingers in turn.
Moving from what is inside, to what is outside.
Returning to the skin, the boundary between inside and outside.
Then bringing part of the attention inside, and into the left foot.

When ready, please begin. Circa 10 minutes.

Bringing the attention to the sole of the left foot, up the left side on the in-breath, across the shoulders, and down the right side on the out-breath.

When ready, please begin. Circa 10 minutes.

Please bring part of the attention to the left hand:
the tip of the little finger;
the first digit of the little finger;
the joint between the first and middle digits;
the middle digit;
the joint between the second and third digits;
the third digit;
the joint where the little finger meets the hand.
From these seven distinct points into the whole of the left hand.

When ready, please begin. Circa 10 minutes.

A 15-minute break. Those working in the kitchen left for lunch preparations.
In the Circle: 22 guitars.

Beginning with G natural minor.
Then moving to D natural minor; and the 1,6,7 voicings of the Procession chords. Mrs. Moscow took the Team walking, returning to the Circle c. 12.20.

13.50 Lunch at 13.00. Comments, reports, observations, noticings and points of seeing were invited.
Mr. Marty enjoyed the changing, shifting reverberations of the processing through the building and outside.
Another of the Team heard music within it.

Kitchen meeting called for 14.30 in the ballroom I…




15.10 This is the best-equipped kitchen we have had on a GC course, that I remember, since the very beginning. There are even sharp knives. Patrick would be a happy boy.

Housework underway.


16.27 Tea at 16.00.

18.34 The Guitarist Inside at 17.30.

A circulation – without thought!
This was pretty skanky.
Then, bringing attention within the body, from the soles of the feet to the top of the head to substantiate Presence, and a second circulation.
Is anything different? Yes!

Presence within the body is not sufficient to connect us to others. For this, we must be present within the feelings.
Bringing attention to the centre of the breast, using breath to strengthen Wish.
May we wish for each other what we wish most deeply for ourselves.
Breathing wish into our notes as they moved into and around the Circle.

Bringing attention to the sole of the left foot, rising up the left side of the body, across the shoulders and down the right side of the body, from the sole of the right foot to the sole of the left foot, and continuing.
Maintaining this “circular” motion experiencing the presence of life, holding Wish in the centre of the breast, while playing the Procession chords.
Then, moving Wish into the circulation of sensation, while continuing to play the Procession chords.

Then, three circulations and letting it go, c. 18.12.

Mr. Marty is now addressing the Procession voicings with the Team.

19.55    Dinner at 19.00. Comments presented on The Guitarist Inside…
The quality of the sound changed.
Feeling differently towards others, afterwards: without the usual judgments (paraphrase).
And two other good comments.

21.36 Meeting at 20.45 of The Chamber Orchestra Of Crafty Guitarists.

In the Circle: 25 guitars.
When ready, please begin.

Dividing into two groups, of twelve and thirteen.
Group One played for Group Two.

Group Two: what comments would you make of Group One’s performance for you?
What were you doing while Group One performed for you?

Group One: what would you say of your performance for Group Two?
A:    Grumbly.

Group Two then performed for Group One, who proffered comments.
Group One then presented their comments.

Group Three, of eight players, then performed for the rest of the Circle.
Then Group Four, of seven players.

Returning to the full Chamber Orchestra who, following a count of four, played for one minute and eight seconds. Not everyone was keen to end.

The Chamber Orchestra dissolved, becoming The Guitar Ensemble Of Europe with Director Nunez.

Also today: The Writing Project and looking at The First Primary.

22.08 An e-mail has gone off in response to a Work Proposal. Regrettably, it is not supportive. This upsets me: part of my work is, where possible, to support the initiatives of others. As a younger man, if I did not hear no, I assumed yes. As an older man, if I do not hear yes, I assume no.

Yes sets in motion a whole train of repercussions. Where the yes is a response to necessity, the repercussions are also necessary. Necessary repercussions are mostly within our capacity to address. Where our yes is not determined by necessity, the consequences are likely to be more than we are able to meet. If our yes is to an arbitrary undertaking, or an undertaking which has no proper call upon our attention, then the repercussions may well be overwhelming.