Wednesday 18 April 2012

The Orchestra Of Crafty Guitarists


The Orchestra Of Crafty Guitarists V –
Special Performance Project
April 15th to 23rd, 2012

Foresteria Sorelle Povere di S. Chiara
Monastero s. Maria Delle Grazie
Corso Vittorio Emanuele III n. 68
01010 - Farnese (VT), Italy.


Rising at 06.15.

Today is my Sister Patricia’s birthday. Hooray!


Morning Sitting at 07.15.


Breakfast at 08.00. A comment was presented on yesterday’s The Guitarist Inside meeting.

The morning’s work planned. This includes handing over money to Director Nunez before 09.45 so that we can buy food.

10.59    Orchestra meeting at 10.00 with two concentric Circles and 28 guitars.

One of the Seven Assumptions for working in the Circle: presence. We began by intensifying our personal presence, extending that out into the room and returning to a collected state. This is not in itself enough to connect us to others in the room. For this we bring attention to the centre of the breast, where we become aware of our connection to all living, sentient and conscious beings; and our Wish. Wish is one way to connect us to what is Real, to affirm our aim and aspiration.

When ready, please begin.
C. 8 minutes.

When ready, please begin again.
C. 12 minutes. A little into this and I had the sense of an improvising ensemble. The closest I have been to the spirit that was flying by, in an outside context, was as a member of Keith Tippett’s Centipede (1970).

When ready, please begin again, again.
C. 8 minutes.


Inner Circle, when ready, please begin. The Outer Circle were primed for action, but as three of its members left to prepare lunch, this was taken as a sign that our time together, on this occasion, had run its course.

12.24 off to T’ai Chi with Luciano.


13.48    Martin d’Ag arrived for lunch, a considerable asset to the Team.


Lunch punctually at 13.00 with an Octet performance of a rocking piece in 7/8.

Comments: on The Guitarist Inside having resonance with this morning’s sitting.

A comment on the sense of presence inside the building when Alain put his first footfall into it on Sunday.

Chris’ comment from yesterday evening, on the presence emanating from the Crafty Green Room at El CAT in 2009; and how the public were attracted to it.

Story told of the schoolhouse at Sancreed, Cornwall, the possible first Guitar Craft House; and how St. Credan’s monastery continues to resonate away even today, although it is invisible. At a certain level of intensity, Presence persists in time while also residing outside of it.

Words of utility and necessity were spoken.


20.45    An after-lunch meeting with Roberto D re: the first volume of The Writing Project.

Tea at 16.00.

Six personal meetings afterwards.
Topics covered included:
Music is the language through which Love speaks to us.
Dissatisfaction with existing industry models for the professional musician.
The OCG: to play or not? Suffering.
The Guitarist Inside: very powerful.

T-ai Chi with Luciano at 18.30 in ballroom.

Dinner 19.00.
Superb performance by The Guitar Circle Of Europe led by Martin.
Comments on the qualitative differences between trio and quartet, sextet and septet.

22.03    Meeting with The OCG at 21.15. Thirty guitars in two concentric Circles, of 22 and 8 guitars. This configuration did not support my original idea for a presentation to the Team, so instead moved to Seven Assumptions For Work In The Circle, including references to two exercises for The Guitarist Inside.

Rehearsing for the two performance troupes continues.

Seven Assumptions For Work In The Circle.

Common Practice
Playing In Tune
Playing In Time

1.    Intention.

Our entry to the Circle is intentional.

One simple, practical example: when entering the room, crossing the liminal threshold into the sacred space of the Circle, we pay attention to our first footfall.

Our attendance is not by accident, nor is our participation arbitrary. This implies that we have an aim.

2.    Presence.

We cultivate a sense and awareness of our personal presence, of the Circle and our place within it. This is determined and governed by the quality of our volitional attention.

3.    Goodwill.

We participate in a spirit of goodwill. We leave any negativity at the door, outside the room, and enter holding goodwill towards the others in the Circle: without judgment, without criticism, without hostility.

The quality of our feeling lives is revealed in the quality of sound we produce from our instrument: the depth and richness of timbre. This is the personal correspondence to playing in tone.

4.    Common Practice.

We assume familiarity and a sufficiency of competence in the
elements of a common practice:

the morning sitting and Doing Nothing;
the Guitar Craft, C pentatonic major, tuning;
specific guitar techniques, such as the Primaries:
NB the GC repertoire is useful but not necessary;
entering, moving within and leaving the Circle;
the scale of C major / A natural minor;
the GC House Rules.

5.    Playing in tune.

This is indicative of our personal state.

6.    Playing in time.

This is indicative of our personal harmony.

One practical example: punctuality.

7.    Listening.

This is indicative of our station; ie our level of Being.

If we can’t listen to ourselves while speaking, we’re not quite present with what we are saying.
If we are absent from our speaking, our words are empty: there is nothing to be said.
If we have nothing to say, better to say nothing. For some, this is very hard.
So, if we don’t listen to ourselves while speaking, better to be quiet.

(This is part of the practice of Necessary Speaking employed in the GC Kitchen).

If this is true of words, how much more of music?

The Eighth Assumption:

The Assumption of Virtue.

Saturday 2nd. October, 2010
Casa De Encuentros San Juan Bosco
Av. Fuerza Aérea 1800
Pvcia. de Santa Fé