Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp's Diary

Wednesday 13 May 2020



Rising 06.30.
Morning Sitting in the Home Study.
Morning reading and writing…

Reflecting: on translating the word quality into Spanish. This is under discussion among our superb Team of translators, preparing The Guitar Circle (Volume One, tri-lingual edition) for publication this coming October 2020 by Panegyric. The Team prompt me to better articulate my understanding, so this morning, here we are.

Which Spanish words would best represent the author's understanding in the following phrases?

- Music is a quality.
- Quality spreads.
- An act of quality.
- The quality of our attention.

RF>Translating Team…

Many thanks for your persistence with this, and continuing to hold me to account.

There is good news, there is bad news.

Bad news: it is impossible to fully and accurately translate the ineffable. We are attempting to use words where words cannot go.

Good news: the experience we are attempting to convey is simply and readily available to all.

Q: So, why bother?
A: Firstly, through the articulation of our experience, that experiencing goes deeper.
Secondly, we are pointing at the moon, in case going to the moon interests others.
Thirdly, if anyone is interested in going to the moon, we can ride together.

Q: Why define Music when we can listen to it?
A: Because mostly, we can’t.

Accepting the limitations of our verbal language/s, beginning with the possible and moving gradually towards the impossible…

Using calidad for both meanings has the advantage of continuity with the common use of the Spanish-speaking GC community…

The author supports this suggestion.


A quality is perfect: it is what it is.
An act of quality: aspires to perfection.


Music is a quality


A quality is perfect: it is what it is.
It is unique.

Music is what it is.

A quality is ungovernable by number:
there is no “big” music, neither “small” music, nor “a-middling-amount-of” music.

There is Music.


Quality spreads

The finer may inhabit the coarse, but not the converse.

Music may enter sound, and move between the notes.
No amount of banging and clanging around can force itself into becoming Music.

How Music inhabits sound is mysterious.
The good news: it is simply available to practice and experience;
e.g. The Exercise Of The Transmission Of Qualities.

If a quality is present within us, it is present by Grace, not by merit.
This is experienced as a gift, not something earned.
The quality of a gift is that it remains in motion: a gift is to be shared.

Our work is to prepare a space, where the finer may more freely enter, by becoming increasingly present and available.
We intend to be present and available.


An act of quality

Undertaking an act of quality is to enter a process of graduating approximation to perfection.

The Exercise Of Qualitative Endeavour is one approach to developing excellence.

Perfection does not develop: it is already where it’s going.
Developing excellence is part of the process of moving towards perfection.

Excellence is a degree of attainment.
A degree of excellence is, in principle, available to measurement.
So, what criteria may be applied to measuring an act of quality?

Intention: the aim.
Efficiency: effortless effort.
Integrity: the being/presence/wholeness of the undertaking.

Conventionally, assessment/verification is undertaken by a community of the experienced.


The quality of our attention

The quality of our attention is the degree to which we are able to hold ourselves present in front of our aim/intention.

An “ordinary” adult has a volitional attention span of c. forty-five minutes.
A volitional attention span of ninety minutes is only available to those who have practiced.
In this case, the quality of our attention is available to quantitative assessment:
e.g. it may be measured on a clock.

The extent of the moment, within which we are able to remain present, is an indication of the harmony of our parts: i.e. a measure of our being.


The Act Of Music

Music so wishes to be heard that it sometimes calls on unlikely character to give it voice, and to give it ears.

Music is a gift.

It is not possible to play music.
It is possible to be played by Music.

Players (and audients) wishing to approach Music, to become an instrument at the service of music, develop within themselves the musical attributes of being in tune, being in time, and being in tone.

This is The Assumption Of Virtue.

It is a place where noumenal and phenomenal come together.
At which point, something becomes possible.

18.38 Attacking the inbox, with little result.

To the Cellar for afternoon practicing. And now some Quiet Moments.