Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp's Diary

Tuesday 23 June 2020



Rising 06.00. Shortly afterwards, in the top shower room, a sense of how to arrange new material in Chapter Four of The Guitar Circle.

Morning Exercising down the garden, and reflecting.

The same act, with intention and without intention, is two acts.

A competent musician is asked to have the capacity to solo/lead, accompany / support, and Do Nothing / tacit. Each of these has seven distinct qualities /modes: seven degrees and approaches to soloing, accompanying and Doing Nothing.

Morning reading and writing…


In a professional undertaking, the musical “result” is pretty much the sum of individual contributions. In KC the invitation is to join a group, where the outcome of/from the group’s musicking becomes more than the sum of the parts. Remove the individual members, what may be adjudged their contributions to solo work and work with others, and what remains is (perhaps) King Crimson.

If any KC member privileges themself, rejects the collective authority or joint individuality, as impinging on a perceived self-interest/ambition/who-they-are, the repercussions are problematic.

The notion of a group We, or shared Individuality, has never been overtly discussed in KC. In Guitar Craft and The Guitar Circle, this has been a focal point for most of GC life (thirty-five years). To have a common I/We is a very high condition, only conventionally available after decades of personal practice, whether within or without a group context; and approached with care, discrimination and preparation within an undertaking with others. To be able to guarantee oneself is already an achievement; that others may be able to act – as if their lives depended upon it! – with person/s within the Team, only becomes possible where founded upon a reliably-established discipline. Much more is required even than this.

Acquiring a personal discipline is an ethical undertaking, and a pre-requisite for group transformation.

In professional contexts of my experience, this level of commitment is rare.

In King Crimson, regardless of the contingencies generated by the level of participation / commitment / capacities of the players (alternatively expressed, their “weaknesses” or “failings” within the group) the aim is to construct situations and conditions where collective action plays to the members’ particular strengths. But, over time, inherent limitations in players’ “weaknesses” precludes further development of musical strategies and shared intention. At which point, the band has run its course.

To The Guitar Circle.

11.50        Down the garden…

13.52        Lunch by the back door…

Down the garden for tea with Toyah…

19.15         Practising. Watering. Writing. Watering. Done.