Saturday 27 January 2001

The House was alive already

The House was alive already at 06.00. Some of the Level One were leaving for `bus & train stations, and airports.

I'm continuing to reflect upon the lecture: now, discipline sufficiently considered, I'm onto that part of the talk that falls under the heading of "The Act of Music".

The energy of the house has moved from focused to disrupted. People are moving about without definition, with shouting, while leaving.

This is where those left behind become vulnerable: the energy envelope of the course is no longer a protecting shield from the normal abnormalities of everyday life: the lack of a sense of personal presence, our careless movement through space, our negative thinking, the throwing of ill-will at people we dislike. All of this has impact. Within a defined and bordered construct such as a GC course, this negativity is (mostly) neutralised.

One of the difficulties from the chair I sit on is to see the power of fantasy in the lives of some of those who come on these courses. The most common illusion is one of "becoming a professional musician". In time, this usually evaporates: several years in smoky bars to hostile audiences undermine dreams of the professional life, and places illusion against hard actuality. But for some, this youthful illusion becomes deeply held fantasy - perhaps they deserve public recognition of their unique personal genius - and this fantasy becomes fixed in their centre. I look at them, and see that all they have in their lives depends on this fantasy, and that without it there is little else to keep them going. I know how hard life can be; when despair is our only companion. I hesitate before shattering their fantasy. In the past, on one particular occasion, I was very direct. Today, I shall say nothing. There is little more I can do without deconstructing a life.

Several very good comments made by the team during the Level Two final meeting. The Level Two was declared formally completed at 10.53.

Hernan & I drove into the small town of Sassoferrato, saw the small open-air amphitheatre where the visiting students in the Summer have been invited to make a performance. Then we went for cappucini & cakes, caught up with each other, and discussed a possible overview of Guitar Craft's mid-term future.

Hernan mentioned that a German guitarist who has been on several courses advertises his performances as "student of Robert Fripp - of King Crimson - and Guitar Craft". This is easy: anyone whose professional life refers to myself or Guitar Craft in these terms is not someone I regard as a student, nor do I regard them as a Crafty. A Crafty is someone whose life is based on the principles and injunctions of Guitar Craft, not one who trumpets the connection to further their career.

There is a guitarist in Argentina who had several lessons from me at Randolph House in London during early 1975, when these lessons were presented as "Guitar Mechanics". (This is where I met my pal Matt Seattle, when Matt was a guitar player). The Argentinean returned to Buenos Aires and taught the "Fripp Method" with "The Four Hundred Exercises" complete with stories of hanging with his pal Boppin' Bobby. Fernando Kabusacki & Hernan had lessons with him on this basis. This player based his career on a lie. When Hernan invited me to Argentina with The RF String Quintet, Guitar Craft & King Crimson, the lie was exposed. Now, after many years of seeing the repercussions which unfold from decisions, better that our decisions are true. Whatever we understand by that.

Now, to complete packing & close down lecture drafts in preparation for leaving this house at 15.00 to Ancona airport. Cathy & I are flying to Milan connecting to London Heathrow. I am hoping to see The Little Horse tonight!