Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp's Diary

Wednesday 28 September 2022

Bus Dismal, Outside the City Winery, Philadelphia.


Rising 09.59.

Entering the day with intention and feeling less dismal. The bus will not be changed, so what remains is for me to change my attitude towards it. And rather than heading straight into the e-world of stuff, instead reflecting on what might be said this evening.

Meanwhile Bus Dismal locked Tour Manager Renee out of the front of the bus, with its necessary facilities, at 07.00. The Revenge of Bus Dismal.

The Team are off running, leaving me to collect my thoughts. These may not be the words that are spoken, but it provides me a framework in case the moment feels right.


A common assumption of the counter culture was that music can change the world, and this was a primary moving force in the formation of King Crimson.

So, the good news: music can change the world.
The bad news: it comes with musicians.

Part of this common assumption was also that, even simply by listening to music, the world has changed.

This is the good news.
The bad news: it also comes with audients and audiences.

Music, musicians and audiences meet within a performance event. Within a performance the possible is possible, but also - the impossible is possible. This is where the event comes to life with such intensity that the trajectory of our lives may be re-directed. That we rediscover something we knew in our childhood, but which has escaped us since. That we find something we always knew was there, but somehow was just outside our reach. Perhaps music reaches over and takes us into its confidence, speaking to us directly, personally, intimately. The noumenal enters the phenomenal, the unconditioned enters the conditioned, within and through the performance event.

This is the good news.

In our culture, the agency that brings together music, musicians and audiences in the performance event, to engage within an act of performance, is the music industry.

This is the bad news.

In the Western model, we have moved from being liberal, civil societies with market economies to being market societies, where the expression of human values are increasingly addressed in terms of commercial relationships; where aspiring to the Good, the Real and the True are ambitions that can be measured by market research; where acting in service to the wellbeing of our community becomes healthcare as a business model. And for a record company/music provider, where music is a commodity, where auditors are customers/consumers, and where musicians are to be controlled and exploited.

This is the terrible news. Is there any hope?

The incredibly good news: where there is Music there is Hope. Always. Despite all the horseshit that comes with allowing music into our world. Within the performance event, a benevolence impulse remains as constantly available to us as we are available to ourselves.

For this, there are requirements.

  1. Our intention: we must Wish that this is so. Simply expressed: the performance event, as an event, takes precedence over what we might personally want from it, rom the demands we make upon it. Our event moves from the personal to the impersonal.
  2. We must be present. Simply expressed: in the here and now of this particular event, in this particular moment, in this particular place, with these particular people for this specific performance event tonight.
  3. We must have a sufficiency of volitional attention to hold ourselves in place, open and available, so the event can move inside and through us. Simply expressed: this is our capacity to be present. Then, we may respond to the process as it unfolds.