FRIPP & SINGLETON ANSWER BURNING QUESTIONS NYC
on Feb 17, 2023
In a conversation that took place at The City Winery in New York City on September 23rd 2022, Robert Fripp & David Singleton answer some “burning questions” from the audience.
I came from a classical background and approached rock condescendingly. I read that Béla Bartók was an influence of yours. In Lark's Tongues, I hear what I think is The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky and I was wondering if you could comment on the classical influences that may feed into King Crimson and your own conception of music.
Certainly. May I invite David's answer to this first please?
Many of you know that Robert is uncomfortable with many of the things that come with being a conventional rock musician. The spotlights and the light show, for example, and Robert has been recommending for a while that we have it more like an orchestral show without autograph seeking and the celebrity side of it. And I have always thought that is why Robert is unique. His discomfort is why he is interesting. Robert really is a classical musician who plays rock music. So therefore, live the discomfort, because the discomfort is part of what you are.
This is my manager giving me advice. There is a learned musicological dissertation and analysis on Larks Tongue In Aspic Part Two, the name of which is the sound of Hendrix playing Bartok. And this is taken from a quote of myself where I am saying that what I was seeking is: what would it sound like if Hendrix were playing the Bartok’s String Quartets? And this goes back to Robert, age 20, in 1966 at Bournemouth College, doing A level’s. I was about to go on to London and take a degree in estate management and go into my father's real estate firm as a partner. And then Hendrix came on the scene. And then there was Sergeant Pepper. And then at the same time, I began listening to the Bartok String Quartets and Judy Collins and Stravinsky and Elgar and a wide range of music. Duke Ellington had done the first set of two at the Winter Gardens in Bournemouth when I was working at the Majestic Hotel up the road. All these musicians, all these different forms of music. My experience of it was of one musician speaking in a variety of dialects. And I could not go back...