Sunday, August 31, 2014

Jeff Gburek 13 Questions

Jeff Gburek, 1963, guitarist/electronic music composer, sound sculptor working throughout Western Europe and the USA. Extended and prepared guitar techniques, signal processing, open source applications and field recordings textural, concrète, electro-acoustic music, wherein extreme pianissimo, organic object manipulation and silence contrast energetic swells of electronics. For 8 years he has worked with movement artist Ephia in Djalma Primordial Science evolving a praxis of body and sound through performance and pedagogy. Other projects include the Berlin-based electro-acoustic trio ZYGOMA with percussionist Michael Vorfeld & sampling by Michael Walz. 

Appearances with Keith Rowe, Tetuzi Akiyama, Kyle Bruckmann, Pascal Battus, Raven Chacon, Tatsuya Nakatani, Annette Krebs, Lucio Capece and Tom Carter (Charalambides), show him crossing many strains of improvised, electro-acoustic and experimental music. Stones, found objects, phonography, electronics, digital manipulation, studied Javanese and Balinese gamelan music, developed as a percussionist studied the theories of Partch and Xenakis while working in the dance/theater/butoh project Djalma Primordial Science. STEIM residency and Darmstadt summer, building a unique electronic environment for processing guitar and field recordings at STEIM in Amsterdam, September 2005.

What was the first musical sound you remember? 

Yes... exactly... well, even a single memory seems to come with a cluster of associations, other memories inside another memory, "the center cannot hold" and while it's not mere anarchy loosed upon the world, it's very hard to make a chronology for the memories, to establish the first... So, maybe, yes, this is the subject of dreams and the displaced substance of what we make in every form of art...

So, what do you dream about?

That rather unmentionable sound and a few other things I'd like to do and then about other things I am not quite sure I can ever understand...

Why did you decide to pick up the guitar?

I have an uncle who as a young man played the drums in a rock/country-western/polka cover band, in Buffalo, NY. Every time I visited, after the social niceties, I would ask to be allowed into the basement to freak out on the trap set. At one of the band rehearsals the guitarist gave me some rudimentary instructions on an instrument I could just barely hold. My parents later bought me a kind of kiddie acoustic guitar but my first instinct before any studies was to tune all the strings to tones I liked and to drum on them with a pair of pencils. Some kind of primitive synthesis. In a sense the guitar came to me pre-deterritorialized, my first use of it was prepared, or just weird.

Which work of your own (or as a sideman) are you most proud of, and why?

I'm very happy with "The Watermark" and "A Million Voices Minus One", both recorded in 2012 in my home studio, and both great departures from the work in EAI that I had been consumed with. The cd "Respect" with Tetuzi Akiyama, also. There is also the unreleased sequence called "Apophis" that I have worked on since 2010-- wherein I use all the skills and instruments, including granular synthesis, radio captures, into the mix. "Apophis", after the near- Earth asteroid and the Egyptian serpent of chaos. It's a musical interpretation of the idea of cataclysm and placidity intertwined in bliss broken apart by vision that turns one theoretically blind. It's a domestication of the elementary forces in the universe doomed to failure. It's pretty good. It needs a label. 

Which is the main border, the main drawback of the guitar?

Historically speaking, I had reached a personal and social impasse, which had little to do with the guitar itself; I was around small town musical conservos, if I did anything weird, I would be censured, even thrown out of the band. After I heard Derek Bailey-- and quit the bands--, I got into musical territory my teen peers playing Zeppelin couldn't hang with. So I began recording with a two-track, turntables, some guitar noises, loops I created with 8 track tapes of Charles Mingus, which means I studied Mingus backwards and forwards, and off-side. These baby syllables in the language and technique of Musique Concrete took their cue from the Beatles Revolution No.9, which both frightened and fascinated me. Later I read about the production of Revolution 9 and realized what a step had been taken, based on steps already taken by electronic music composers Stockhausen, Pierre Schaefer, Pierre Henry, Luigi Nono. Later I read that McCartney argued that Revolution #9 should not be included in the "white album". I often wonder what might have happened to me had this "seed" not come to germinate in my mind. It came as a sign not only of new musical techniques but the presence of the social upheavals of the 60's which still seem to be playing themselves out, while the techniques themselves (loops, cut-ups) have more or less become ubiquitous.

What do you change or add to your guitar?

I change the strings, when they break. (Laughs). No, seriously, each guitar has a different function. I have an acoustic I use for finger-picking music. An electric that is for tonal playing but it's multi-taskable. An electric for prepared table-top actions. (Pascal Battus has that wonderful phrase "la guitare "environnée", the guitar environed, surrounded by stuff). The only things extra are the piezo-electric microphone elements that can be positioned where I want them to catch other resonances. I have a few free-standing coiled pick-ups as well. But I have a long history of using small speakers, telephone receivers etc.. I derive pleasure from small motors hacked out of cd players and cassette decks modulated with a voltage potentiometer, so they spin at different speeds and generate different tones. Ebow in there sometimes, violin bow. psaltery bow and slides of various weights (bottle-necks, brass, pedal-steel slides). I place a small zither on top of the guitar strings at times so those vibrations pass through the pick-ups. I even seriously tried to attach it to the side of one guitar, and made mess. I have dreams occasionally about guitars that are more like harps and one I dreamed in particular had long wires attached to the resonator and it had to be dragged across the floor so that the movement vibrated the strings. I use also a miniature theremin and various cracked pedals which are not connected to the guitars in anyway.

What’s the difference between a good guitar and a bad guitar? 

Every guitar has some good sounds, sweet-spots and the like. I guess a good guitar is the one with the most of these. I've gone through hundreds of guitars. There's no single favorite because I think about music as organization and orchestration of sounds which depend in turn on others sounds... so, yes...
8. Do you play other instruments? Do you approach them differently?
There has never been an instrument I wouldn't dare to play experimentally. This freaks out musicians who believe you have to study an instrument formally. And while I have nothing against traditional technique and virtuosity, I am usually looking for certain sounds from instruments, I know how to get them, and I don't consider being able to play a Mozart concerto on the violin, for example, of any use to me at all in making my own music. But in any case, I tend to gravitate towards string instruments because my muscular coordination has developed in this direction. And I don't touch reed or brass instruments much because embouchure takes time to master, let alone the circular breathing you need to get the most interesting effects. I used a bass recorder on "The Watermark" cd and in a peculiar way in that I sing through it while playing but I wouldn't be able to play an entire concert doing so. I studied Javanese and Balinese gamelan and so I had some experience in this area of tuned percussion instruments and learned how to play the rebab-- a kind of double-coursed spike-violin. I also studied the oud for a while and learned a bit about Arabic maqam.

Define the sound you're still looking for.

My oeuvre is variegated, some would say schizo, and much of it still invisible to people, so I can't answer this directly other than to say I am looking for different sounds pertaining to each realm of activity. My work is in between two generations, lost there so far, between the old school experimentalists and the native digital generation. I am looking for new sounds, ones I dream, or ones I discover accidentally, through tireless experimentation, and then l learn how to re-create them under more controlled conditions. I'm also interested in accidence per se, as nature being "smarter" than humans, the intervention into rational control systems. That said, I don't feel that my work is focused primarily on any search for novelty so much as discovering a different sensibility about organization and listening and permissions.

What other extended techniques do you use?
I've been very interested lately in using the violin bow interspersed with pizzicato on my Hoefner electric, getting a contrast between the two unique attack systems. I enjoy being able to create long cello like tones, working with the overtone series and adding hammer-ons, bell like tones. Variances in the bowing angle on 5 strings (yes, I only use 5 strings) creates extraordinary shimmery ringing clusters you just can't obtain otherwise. It also permits me to play a bit like viola-da-gamba and add some ghost of folk or classical music.
11. Which living artist (music, or other arts) would you like to collaborate with?
I play with Tetuzi Akiyama, whenever we can arrange it; the next concert will be here in Poznan, Poland, in November and we just released a new cd called "Respect" on Bruce Hamilton's Spectropol label. I and Karolina Ossowska are preparing a cd for a joint-label production (Spectropol, Catalogue of Wonders and the third TBA).

I really loved playing music in the home studio of butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno when I was in Japan many years ago. Keith Rowe, Eddie Prevost, Rhodri Davies, Pascal Battus, Ayankoko, Joseph Angelo, (I have played with them all and would again, anytime). Olivia Block (there's always tomorrow, for that). Martyna Poznanska's work interests me.
"Coppice" (Noe Cuellar and Joseph Kramer) -- prepared pump-organ and magnetic tape -- a dream-machine, an over-grown garden, full of bioluminescent algae and fossil. Filippo Panichi, who's in Italy, (we should have a CD or net-release available soon). Wilhelm Matthies. I want to prepare dance-hall beats for M.I.A. I also have done some sonorisation for works by the poet Stephen Ellis and I would love to do more of that.

What dead artist would you like to have collaborated with?

It would have been great to play with Sun Ra's Arkestra. Or the early AMM. John Dowland? Crash Worship? But to the degree these are "voices" inside me, they cannot be considered dead.

What’s your latest project about?

Always about outer space, or inner, "between the inner memory and the outer archive" (Sloterdijk)... Rather than saying anything about the next project (something that I'm still dreaming), I'd prefer to make a kind of general observation on aesthetics by introducing an idea from Octavio Paz. In his book of essays published in English as "Alternating Current" (Arcade,1990. pg 22) , he writes:

"The time of which the creations of primitive peoples are a living symbol is not antiquity; or rather, these works reveal another antiquity, a time previous to chronological time. A time before the idea of antiquity: the real original time, the time that is always before, no matter when it occurs. A Hopi doll or a Navajo painting are not older than the caves at Altamira or Lascaux: they are before them."

I've alluded to this dynamic in my replies above: the primitive synthesis (finding that the guitar was already a kind of tunable percussion instrument) and to dreams (which can never be entirely pulled through the eye of the needle into fully manifested materiality). These are the sources, the springs. They are out there, ahead of me, in a time before me, outside of time, primordial. The guitar itself depends on how we think about it. Keith Rowe's mythologem refers to Pollock's painting on the floor and this happened in the 50's. Keith started using the guitar in a "flat" manner in the 60's. This means something to me: not a history lesson but an actualization of pre-history. "That is always before, no matter when it occurs." We can follow a path of movement towards the radicals of sound and music themselves to the monochord of Pythagoras. All of these actions are simultaneously inside and out of time. Just as I am here.


Bandcamp Discography

  • Saiko, Session II: "Has Anyone Ruined My Soul, Like Me"
  • For the Eaters of Mana
  • Red Rose for the Sinking Ship
  • Ramifications
  • Maidan, 2014
  • The Watermark
  • a million voices, minus one
    Jeff Gburek
  • Jeff Gburek Live@CPA-Firenze, 2006
  • Chryptochromes, for Paul Klee
  • The Hour of the Devil by Fernando Pessoa, translated by Jeff Gburek (pdf) with Movement 4 of the "Apophis Cycle"
  • Slope/ The Experience of Losing Control
  • pRIMo mArZiaNo
  • the why not album
    jeff gburek elecTronica volume II
  • the why album
  • In Moment Hatching
  • Spectrograph on Lou Reed
  • Fulica atra vs. Rana esculenta
  • Magnolia acuminata
  • Follower from the Gorge
  • Radio Wide World, Flux & Permittivity
  • Hermaphroshoot: Jeff Gburek & Stephen Ellis
  • 5 Books of Disquiet
  • sKETCHES of Several SouthWestern FeLONs ON tHe EvE of thEIR JUST demise
  • Baranca del Cobre: Meeting with the Raramuri
  • 3 Śmigus-Dyngus Caprices for Processed Non-Player Violin, Voice, Organ, and Ghosts
  • mass and momentum
    Jeff Gburek
  • the only escape is a dream
    Jeff Gburek
  • Stinging Cassettes! Java/Bali
  • Multi-Binaural Acoustic Guitar
  • Solo Gatto (for Edo Pisto)
  • Virtuous Circles: Jeff Gburek
    Jeff Gburek
  • Bayou Coquille, Louisiana
    Jeff GbureK
  • the black transparency II
    Jeff Gburek
  • Djalma Primordial Science @ Knitting Factory, 2001
    Djalma Primordial Science
  • Fabietta's Theme
    Jeff Gburek
  • Dead Man's Chest, 2 for Zbigniew Karkowski

  • 99942 Apophis Cycl
  • FRIPP interview ONE

    Interview with Robert Fripp in Rock and Folk

    The May 1995 issue of the French magazine "Rock & Folk" has a interesting 4 page interview with Robert Fripp about himself and King Crimson. It includes an arty photograph of the new band. Az iem shorr mozst eeetee ridders arr nit fluint whiz ze languige Francaise, I thought it would be good fun to translate and transcribe this interview into English for y'all (and to practice my very rusty French).

    (Disclaimer: The following is an example of what you get when you translate English into French and back again into English (especially when I do the translating!). I have tried as best I can to choose words that Fripp would most likely have used when translating, but at the end these are as much my words as they are his, so I question the value of quoting any of this - paraphrasing would be more appropriate. Still, it is an interesting interview that I hope ET readers find was worth the effort to translate - beaucoup d'heures et quatre dictionaires.)

    Following the usual interview introductions and habitual musician's bio, and an explanation that Fripp was against doing interviews but that he was making an exception here, Fripp begins (note: all ellipses are copied, not added):

    Fripp > I began playing guitar December 24, 1957. My mother and I were shopping the day before Christmas, in a little town near Wimbourne, and we found an Egmond Brothers. A lady had returned this guitar to buy another more expensive one. It was a terrible instrument, and impossible to press the strings beyond the 7th fret. It demanded a colossal physical effort that I had to integrate into my technique. It took me more than 13 years to get rid of the damage that could have been forever irreparable. The beginnings were primordial. One year with this instrument was enough to mess up my playing.

    Don Strike, my future teacher, lived only a few minutes from my home. If I had known him earlier, he would have found me another instrument, but unfortunately the shop keepers were only there to make money. After three months of self-teaching, I met Kathleen Gartell, a Christian woman in the Salvation Army, who ran a music school to keep young children with nothing to do busy. A few weeks later I had already mastered everything she could teach me, and she recommended Don Strike to me. Three years ago, I received a letter from her, following the death of her husband, to congratulate me on my marriage to Toyah.

    At 12, I changed guitar to a Rosetti a little less atrocious. Don then taught me the basics of the guitar, since Kathleen being a pianist, could not teach me any technique. Don's teachings were based on the Big Bands of the 20's. A multi-instrumentalist, he also mastered Hawaiian guitar, banjo...His wife would often appear in a flashy skirt to do a little hula-hoop...A real character who taught me a great deal by connecting me to tradition. One can only learn the guitar alone, all good teachers know that. But a good teacher puts an apprenticeship in an historical perspective. I remember from the very beginning having developed the technique of cross-picking, that no one was using at that time. At 14, Don Strike told me it was time I played in a band, and the Ravens was my first; since then I've spent 33 years and 9 months on the road. I also started giving guitar lessons at the age of 13 at Mrs. Gartell's school. At 17, another music store asked me to give guitar lessons. There was a convivial aspect, with all these musicians gathering at Don's home, discussing things...He then asked me if I would like to handle all his students.

    At the time, the importance of this request didn't seep in. He was a very proud man, and what he had just done must have cost him. From the age of 16 to 19 I worked with my father in real estate. At university I learned economics, political economics, history and political doctrines. To survive I played in a Jewish hotel in Bournemouth. Andy Summers had just left this big band to play with Zoot Money. At 20, I realized that I had to make the decision to become a professional musician and to dedicate myself completely to it. I played with The League Of Gentlemen in the region of western England. I'd close the office at 6 and jump in the truck for some far off town. At 8 we would be on stage, playing our takes of the Beatles and the Four Seasons, complicated instrumentals of the "Orange Blossom Special" type by the Spotnicks. I ignored the fact they had sped up the tape and tried to play as fast...I was rarely at home before 2 in the morning. On the way back I'd practice my technique, diatonic arpeggio exercises, I'd fall asleep and often wake up with my hand still in the process of playing...

    Rock & Folk  In your life as well there has been a need for a break, when in 75 after the dissolution of King Crimson you declared: "the time has come for mobile units..." Is it really possible to start from scratch in music?

    Fripp >> Why guitar lessons? Because I had the time to give them. I gave them at age 13, 17, 21 and 28...I know I will give more lessons or reform King Crimson. Every 7 years there are some changes in my life, it is irrational but it happens in music too. Two things allow us to characterize these changes. The effect of surprise: "how could that have happened?" And the sense of the inevitable: "how could that not have happened?" One recognizes the change by the sense of surprise, the rationality then constructs a notion of inevitability. At certain moments in my life, I pulled back from the noise and the confusion to allow the future to present itself and it has always worked.

    When King Crimson finished touring in 84, I isolated myself for 3 months. The result: I met my wife, a wonderful surprise, and the Guitar Craft seminar, another wonderful surprise. People asked me, "Why did you propose to marry this woman?" Well, because I knew it was my wife. "How did you know?" How could I not have known, there is a resonance...I proposed to my wife who very kindly, and generously accepted, and May 16 1986, the day of my 40th birthday, we were married at the Fripp family church where my great great great grandfather died in 1752, and my father is also buried, joined by my 92 year old mother...Since 86 until 91 when Guitar Craft played in Europe, I only dealt with personal affairs, I was not making any money from my record company. In 91, EG, my own label, took me to court and menaced me...I've spent these past 4 years in judicial battles with BMG and Virgin Publishing, and with my management, EG, who betrayed all of its artists by selling its catalog without compensating any artist with royalties.

    Four years of my life on the brink of bankruptcy, because my record company EG was also my manager since 69, a judicial aberration that could not happen today. These people had access to everything related to myself and totally controlled my interests. My tour with David Sylvian in 93 was a breath of fresh air, the first in many years. In July 93, my dear mother passed away while holding my hand. Following that I put King Crimson back on its feet. Bill Bruford still being managed by EG, I had to wait until he was freed...That was four years of darkness, of nights spent faxing the world until dawn, of holding together with coffee...I made it through thanks to Discipline Global Mobile, my new label, putting into practice my theories from 20 years ago...When I spoke of leaving the prehistoric world, of the need for new mobile units, of reducing production and distribution costs, I was hoping that EG would understand that I was also addressing myself to them...But there you are, too bad...My label doesn't have the money to do promotional work, but one of these CDs can, by selling for 10 times less than a disc produced by Virgin, bring in as much money. Furthermore, the artists on my label give me nothing, they pocket 100% of the earnings...

    Rock & Folk >> "In The Court Of The Crimson King" was a real stepping stone in the agonizing pool of Swinging London. What was that monster on the cover?

    Fripp >> Barry Godber was not a painter but a computer programmer. That painting was the only one he ever did. He was a friend of Peter Sinfield, and died in 1970 of a heart attack at age 24. Peter brought this painting in and the band loved it. I recently recovered the original from EG's offices because they kept it exposed to bright light, at the risk of ruining it, so I ended up removing it. The face on the outside is the Schizoid Man, and on the inside it's the Crimson King. If you cover the smiling face, the eyes reveal an incredible sadness. What can one add? It reflects the music. I was never impressed by heavy metal. Nobody at the time sounded like us in concert. For me "Schizoid" was the first heavy metal track, that sound of an electric saxophone going through a Marshall amp...As for Michael Giles, he was a phenomenal drummer. No rock drummer could touch him in 69.

    Rock & Folk >> What was rock like back then?

    Fripp >> I was a young man without work signed to Decca. I arrived in London in 67 with Sergeant Pepper's bubbling inside of me. Hendrix, Bartok string quartets, an experience of passionate music...That was the power of rock in those days, without money, without the support of record companies. We were punky, like each new generation. It was the time of the student demonstrations in Paris, of Vietnam...Rock music spoke directly to youth. There was a sense of community, not yet of distance between the public and the artist...It didn't survive 1970.

    Rock & Folk >> Did you know that Kurt Cobain was a big fan of your album "Red"?

    Fripp >> I found out through John Wetton last year. The producer of the first Nirvana records told him: "I saw King Crimson in 74, I was 16 and I thought I saw God." He told John that "Red" was an important record to Kurt.

    Rock & Folk >> Why did you release "VROOOM" on a small label?

    Fripp >> The deal with Virgin simply wasn't signed yet. We recorded our rehearsals and we have already sold 50,000 copies in the States. The major labels are dinosaurs, a big body and a little brain. Virgin is headed by someone I admire and who is a little more human than the others. The problem is that it doesn't do any good to promote the music, you have to let it speak for itself and make it available...There will be other new King Crimson records on my Discipline Global label..."THRAK" released on Virgin is my best record since 79. But a live record will soon be out of the band recorded in Argentina. Since people like bootlegs, let them at least buy a good one, recorded and mastered in digital in three weeks by Robert Fripp and David Singleton...I started recording our concerts in 72 with magnetic tape...

    John Miller. St Michael's Mount

    Rock & Folk >> Why was "THRAK" recorded in Peter Gabriel's Real World studios?

    Fripp >> It's the only place in the world that I like recording. The studio was built with thought to the quality of the music and it shows. Gabriel spent 5 million pounds on this studio. Thank you Peter Gabriel.

    Rock & Folk >> What will the new live show be like, will there be a retrospective dimension, inasmuch as "THRAK" renews a lot of the 70's Crimson sound?...As if one shouldn't be ashamed any longer of being progressive...

    Fripp >> In 81 I had a very clear idea of the way that Crimson should have sounded, but at the end of a year of touring, Bill and Adrian wanted to make changes. I asked Bill to use an electronic drum kit and to no longer hit the cymbals. As for Adrian, I asked him to modify his approach to the guitar...But at the end of a year, the cymbals had reappeared...Some people say Fripp is a dictator, but see, I've always made concessions, and in any case you can't tell musicians of that stature how they should play...Especially since the money is split equally by each member of the band. As for your question about being progressive, during the 81-84 period, there were in fact some things that one couldn't envisage anymore. Certain prejudices against the word "progressive" (which is not one for me and that I never use) have since disappeared. When we started we didn't say that we were punky, but in 77 that became possible, the same is true concerning progressive music...

    John Miller. Distant Islands

    The act of musical performance in a commercial context is quasi impossible. No book exists to address the complexity of this question. If I walk on stage with the idea that I am in the process of promoting my latest record, then the music is already dead. The same goes for interviews. I cannot conceive of interviews as a means to promote my music. All that matters is the quality of the performance, which involves a number of things. If I'm in a classic 3000 person theater hall, how do I play knowing that I don't hear the musicians well, that a part of the audience is too far away to see?

    Not to speak of the people on the sides who can't hear well...The traditional post-napoleonic theaters were created to separate audience and artist, so as to ease the idea that the artists are gods, but also to make distinctions within the audience itself. The rich in front, the poor behind, the very rich people with mistresses in the little boxes above. The traditional theaters were created so that nothing and no one communicates. Its catastrophic...
    John Miller. Horizon.

    Rock & Folk >> That leaves drugs...

    Fripp >> They open the door an instant, but afterwards that door closes itself, the musicians know the price they must pay, the public does too...

    Rock & Folk >> You still have no idea what you are going to play in less than a month. Of what you would like to play/not play, will there be more from "Red", more psychedelia, more world-fusion?

    Fripp >> These past four years I negotiated. These past 18 months, Virgin treated me like I was an enemy. I went to the USA in a bad state, to give one week of guitar classes and performances. I came back with lots of music, and then Virgin demands that I spend days and months doing promotional work in the USA and Europe. I put my guitar down and I haven't touched it since...I said to Virgin: "There's a price to pay. Do you want a new King Crimson record in 18 months? Well there won't be any way that will happen if you continue to harass me." There's a whole lot of new King Crimson music that we won't be playing on this tour because I'm currently doing an interview with you today. King Crimson has never done a Greatest Hits Tour. Will it ever? No. King Crimson plays music that is governed by three essentials: the time, the place and the people.

    John Miller. Algarve Farm

    Rock & Folk >> Will there ever be a reunion of former members of the band?

    Fripp >> I'm constantly getting calls from former members of the band due to legal affairs with EG. Every former King Crimson member has always expressed the desire to work together again. In theory nothing would please me more. In reality I already have new musicians and my idea of a reunion of former King Crimson members would probably not suit them. These people think that they were part of the only real King Crimson. I have my own ideas as to how we could use these former members of King Crimson, but I have other priorities...

    John Miller. Mount's Bay Impression

    Rock & Folk >> Have you heard "Testing To Destruction", the new David Cross solo album?

    Fripp >> No...

    Rock & Folk >> What do you think in general about contemporary guitarists, from The Edge to Steve Vai?

    John Miller. Untitled.

    Fripp >> I never comment on other musicians. There is however an extraordinary rebound of the instrument...In 69 there was a great hostility and great prejudice toward technique and intelligence in music, as if one had to be stupid and incompetent to matter in British rock. Today it's like athletics, where people are ready to lose a competition to make money. The athletic spirit is dead, the guitarists, although more and more technical, play only on the surface...But there are some extraordinary young musicians...

    Rock & Folk >> There is a big return to the idiomatic in music, blues, country, forms of expression simple and "pure", that you have never encountered in your 25 year career...

    Fripp >> I've never thought in terms of categories. "Starless And Bible Black", "Red", "Larks" don't sound like the blues...

    John Miller. Autumn Sunrise

    Rock & Folk >> Unless one considers the sometimes fretful nature of your playing as a personal interpretation of the blues?

    Fripp >> The vocabulary of the blues is very limited, but some musicians with a great expressive ability know how to live with it. Take for example the English language. There are a thousand ways to pronounce the same word by using different accents. The same with words of the same sentence...This is also true of the blues. In 67, I wondered more what would have happened if Hendrix had interpreted Bartok's string quartets, or Stravinsky's "Rites of Spring". Hendrix with his power, his distinct style, his cutting edge in a totally different framework. The merging of the Afro-American culture, the blues and jazz, and the tonal harmonic European system. For me, "Larks Tongue's in Aspic" tried to answer this question: later I tried to enlarge the framework of African music with "Discipline"...So, o.k. I'm not a blues guitarist, but I think I've met the Spirit of the blues several times...

    John Miller. Penwith Sandspur, Cornwall.

    Rock & Folk >> Do you at least play the blues at home, to relax?

    Fripp >> No. In 73 I was good friends with Robin Trower. He played me the blues, made me tapes...He educated me in the blues vocabulary, that I adore. Clapton, Mayall with the Bluesbreakers...But that's not my path.

    Rock & Folk >> An idea comes to mind. Would the solo on David Bowie's "Fashion" not in fact be the most bluesy thing you ever recorded?

    Fripp >> Yes, that's a wonderful example. There's blues-rock played with a contemporary grammar. Yes, a very good example, thank you.

    John Miller. Autumn Trees

    Rock & Folk >> Krishna-Murti, Gurdjieff...?

    Fripp >> I don't know any of these people, their names say nothing to me...

    Rock & Folk >> Of course, of course...Has the gurdjieffian theory of multiplicity not modified the question of harmonic intervals, and your scales in half key?

    Fripp >> If the question is to know if I have a discipline of life, the answer is yes. But I don't see things in categorical terms...

    Rock & Folk >> We know that you are sensitive to the oriental way of thinking, not centered around a subject that represents the world...

    John Miller. Celtic Coastline

    Fripp >> Yes, exactly...Let's take the example of karate. Is it something that each time is new and different? Yes. If I don't think that each situation is different I lose the fight. A lot of people in Guitar Craft have done martial arts. As for me, a little tai-chi...The question is to know if one is interested by a consciousness of this discipline, no? You must not think during the confrontation, discipline is always present within me, all those names that you mentioned to me as well, but I must not think about it...

    Rock & Folk >> Will you ever write about your method of playing?

    Fripp >> No. Everything that I can think of that would seem important to me does not give me the impression it could be recorded in a book.

    John Miller. Penzance over the Moors

    Rock & Folk >> Hyde Park in 69 with the Stones, rock in its satanic sense, does that say anything to you?

    Fripp >> There were a lot of people (laughs). It was a big event, and it was free. If the estimated 700,000 people had paid for their tickets it would have been a disaster, with riots, etc. Since it was free it left the door open, people didn't expect much of anything, and were ready to graciously welcome the unknown. Rock was a way to reunite people. We could be considered as spokespersons.

    Rock & Folk >> Is this quasi religious vision of rock dead, and do you regret that?

    Fripp >> The spirit of 69 never made it to 1970. But to say that rock is dead, certainly not. Every day there are young musicians of all ages that continue to play rock. The spirit of this music is alive. Even if the industry has closed a lot of doors to the music. The means and possibility that music can still be produced in this commercial culture has been very reduced, with all that conspires so that the music cannot be produced. These interviews that I'm forced to do, risk to compromise future concerts. But everything can still happen. I am here.

    JOHN MILLER (1931 - 2002)

    Artist John Miller is an iconic painter of the Cornish landscape. During his forty year career John’s idyllic beach scenes of Cornwall’s Penwith peninsula and the Isles of Scilly established him as one of the county’s most popular painters.

    Working from his studio at the now famous Beach House at Lelant with its magnificent views across the Hayle estuary to Godrevy Lighthouse, John painted his distinctive images of glowing beach and deep blue sky, which are so widely recognised as to have become synonymous with the county of Cornwall itself. His purity of composition and colour have had a significant influence on the form and feel of contemporary Cornish art, reflected today in the current trend for square canvases, low set horizons and luminous pigments.

    In 2012 New Craftsman Gallery St Ives presented a celebratory exhibition of John’s work to mark ten years since the artist’s death in 2002. The gallery, with the kind permission of John’s partner Michael Truscott, continues to exhibit some of the wealth of artwork that remains in John’s studio, a uniquely important legacy of powerfully beautiful paintings and sketches.