Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp's Diary

Friday 01 December 2006

Hotel ActuallyQuiteABitMoreThan Acceptable Tokyo Rising


Hotel Actually-Quite–A-Bit-More-Than Acceptable, Tokyo.

Rising at 04.55.

Morning View I…




10.11  And while waiting for the Feeding Trough to open I…




Lanes of former eating adventures…


In Tokyo, buildings are designed to fit the space available…


On this morning, Mount Fuji is visible I…




Breakfast Table I…




Hotel Acceptable is particularly quite-a-bit-more-than-acceptable while sitting on the 40th. floor for an extended reflective breakfasting experience, tasty treats oriental & occidental on the trough, and Mt. Fuji in this distance.

The long view continued to present itself (to an accompaniment of much slurping of the miso on table right). This included a revisiting of the sense I have been given in life all that is needed to achieve the aim. The last time I experienced this sense, as strongly, was in a car in SoHo, NYC, in the Autumn of 1984. All that is necessary is there, available in potential. The work is to actualise the potential.

On two occasions, here breakfasting-with-a-view, I have looked down and watched my left hand writing in the Pen-Tab 5 Subject Notebook which I have found to be the most convenient medium for hand-writing journalizing: large enough at 200 pages & small enough to fit into a shoulder bag. In the same way I trust my feet when I see them walking, and allow them to carry me to a particular place or situation, I observe the hand writing & allow it to continue, responding to a flow of thought. I suspend judgement & grant permission that this activity proceed unhindered. Afterwards, I read what has been written. Sometimes, I learn from this.

At other times, I direct the hand to make notes & quotes from current reading, and various arising ideas. This visit to Japan, with the available time for reflective breakfasting, has been valuable.

The overall focus for my reflectivity has been Performance; or, in the approach I take, The Act Of Music: the act of music is the music. My reading on performance & musical activities, over many years, has been mainly from authors with an academic background. My own background is practical: learning on the job. My interest is to see to what extent the academic approach can inform my practice & clarify my experience.

Brief comment: almost none of my extensive reading, over 25 years, has addressed two practical concerns of the working player:

1.         The active exploitation of the performer, and fundamental dishonesty, of/by the music industry.

2.         The frequent sheer nastiness & hostility from audients & commentators & other players; and, on occasion, fellow collaborators/co-workers.

In other words, almost nothing in the musical literature is written of the extent to which we encounter lower aspects of human nature in our professional lives; and how we deal with this.

Q.        Do you believe that you are alone in experiencing this?
A.        No.

Q.        Do you believe that you suffer worse than others?
A.        Yes & no: more than some, less than others.

Q.        What do you do about it?
A.        Firstly, allow it to teach me: this is the school of living life.

Secondly, use it to refine my practice.

Thirdly, establish rules of procedure, engagement & disengagement with those who actively direct/broadcast negativity and/or hostility.

Turn a seeming disadvantage to your advantage;
the greater the seeming disadvantage, the greater the possible advantage.

Is it possible to transform negativity, to turn it around? This is a question worth holding. And, a practical note: a long view is necessary.

12.28  Offline, an e-flurry done. Lobby call 13.00.

Goodbye Tokyo! I…




14.56  Red Carpet Club El Fabbo To The Max, Tokyo Narita.

Yow! The Happy Gigster is happy indeed in a Red Carpet Club worthy of the name. It is well equipped, clean, up to date, huge – and it has free wifi online access! The population of Bredonborough could fit inside here, albeit jostling a little, but they would be very happy nibbling their complementary rice crackers while quaffing free cold beer in tall, refrigerated glasses.

Layli, of our promoters Creative Man collected John & myself in the lobby at 12.45 and was impressed that we were in the van & off 15 minutes before official departure time. This is the first time in 10 years! In return I quoted Trey getting into a Crimbus: in this band two minutes early is already late.

A swift carrying to Narita: 1 hour & 10 minutes. Straightforward procedures & now in Club El Fabbo, online & dealing with cruel recommendations from The Sidney Smith. Sidney The Brute seeks to persuade me to reverse a long-held position. Will Sid succeed? We’ll wait & see.

Friday 1st. December, 2006: Part Two;            


UA838 Tokyo>San Francisco, Somewhere Above The Pacific.

We have passed the international date line and are now much later than we were just a few minutes ago.

Distance traveled: 3325 miles.
Distance remaining: 1890 miles.

Listening to Soundscapes in Nagoya: Fantasia On The Scheme Of Schizoid is beginning. What’s a fantasia, then? shouts the man, now long overdue for a high colonic, who also shouted you’ve got six strings – play them! at the third G of G3 in the Royal Albert Hall (2004). Certainly dear Sir! Your slightest wish is my most emphatic command!

From the Encyclopedia Britannica…

in music, a composition free in form and inspiration, usually for an instrumental soloist… In England the fantasy or fancy for keyboard, lute, or viola had a late flowering at the time of Henry Purcell (1659–95)… Some composers have exploited the fantasia for its programmatic, or descriptive, possibilities… While appealing particularly to the romantic imagination, the fantasia served, from the beginning, also as a vehicle for instrumental elaboration of vocal music.

This Schizoid Fantasia would not be easily confused with the original Schizoid.

Now, At The End Of Time. This is the music of a man who, when at the end of his 20s, had a terrifying vision of the future. Now, at 60, he sees that future unfolding and on course. This is the Bad News, This is the Good News.

Various arising circumstances are pushing, forcing & encouraging me to return my attention to the period in time, just before & just after, that future-seeing. I find great resistance in this re-visiting but have, nevertheless, found myself beginning to do so. In this visit to Japan, I have also become aware of the future opening with accompanying possibilities. 

For some time, I have been anticipating a certain-something at the end of this year. Expectation is closed; anticipation is open. And something has been opening. Where this leads, I have no idea. This is wonderful news.

This morning, at breakfast, I found myself touching (what is sometimes technically referred to as) the expanded present moment of my life. This contributes context & perspective to any particular part of it we happen to be living through.

Now, Queer Jazz (with clicks as a programme changed) has morphed from ambiguity to a quiet certainty which hope & faith bring to a man in his life’s Autumn. Not quite music for a Saga holiday, though.

06.56 Soundscapes in Osaka.

Schizoid Fantasia underway. Very different to Nagoya.

07.37  A gentle evening in Osaka, for a very old man.

07.43 Soundscapes Tokyo now beginning.

07.46  Schizoid Fantasia – yowalamus est!