Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp's Diary

Friday 23 February 2007

DGM HQ A grey grey



A grey, grey day in the valley.

10.43. Crafty Jim Gomez’ funeral was yesterday at 16.00 Pacific time, or midnight GMT. In the inbox this morning from J&D…

… We had been hoping to see you again on the circulation course where we had planned to be on the kitchen team. We are unable to go now because D is pregnant and we are expecting our first child. So on this day when the news comes that there are those who have flown away, there is also joyful news that there will be a new little crafty on the planet in the fall.

Above my head is the sound of My Holiday by Ian Wallace, vibrating the floor of SoundWorld II. This is a wonderful lift on a sombre morning.

Hugh is in the DGM Art Department, and we have been selecting John Miler artwork for At The End Of Time, fine-tuned a further degree following further listening yesterday evening. The listening was chosen, not as professional listening, but as appropriate to news of two family members flying away.

18.33  A drive into Salisbury for lunch with violinist Davide, who is en route from Bath to London. Davide has been recording contributions to Siouxsie’s new album, following work on Coldplay’s new album (produced by Eno).

Back to various arisings. Including an enquiry on picking to the GC AAD project…

Crafty: By doing nothing here, from what I understand, it becomes more a case of  "allowing" the wrist to return. The question then arose, whether one could say that this "allowing" is, in fact, directing a natural reflex of the wrist, which is performing the movement "for you", if you like? Any subsequent, non-initiating release, then is just a further consequence of the reflex.

RF:      This allowing is not directing, it is allowing! In your words, this is allowing the wrist to perform the movement for us, while we are holding a pick. We direct the hand to the particular guitar string, and then – release it!


Something like, when we are riding a bicycle, we pay attention to pushing down on the pedal. We do not put our concern into directing the foot to rise afterwards – the returning foot seems to take care of itself. The analogy is not exact: in cycling, we put effort into the down-pedal; and the returning pedal, driven by the other foot pushing down, lifts the first foot. But the sense of return is very close. (Alexander himself learnt to cycle by watching cyclists, then mounted a bicycle for the first time & rode away!).

With the down stroke, the very words imply an effort that is, properly, not made: the wrist is released, and then it returns. That we are holding a pick, that the hand is placed on the guitar, is seemingly irrelevant to the quality of motion.

The craft of craft is down stroke: we direct the action & do something. This is functional.


The art of craft is release: effortless effort. We do nothing, and while we are doing nothing, a string is picked, a note is played, and then the hand returns to where it was. This is qualitative.

Off to Bredonborough.