Fripp for Friday: Sorcerer of Sound



Robert Fripp has been ripping the guitar apart and putting it all back together wrong for almost 40 years. He never got the memo that progressive rock is just a label, that it's not actually supposed to be progressive. No one explained to him that prog bands can't have the energy and aggression of a punk band. No one ever told him that little professor looking guys aren't supposed to play with gut-ripping emotion. Nor that- especially in the 70s- prog guitar heroes weren't supposed to play with New Wave weirdoes like Blondie or the Talking Heads or get Daryl Hall to sing punk rock. He's a very obstinate character.

I saw Fripp doing his solo electronic guitar work called Frippertronics in the old Winter Gardens at the World Financial Center. It became obvious seeing him that at heart the man is a sorcerer of sound, and was unleashing huge torrents of emotion throughout the place. It was fascinating to see all of these stock broker types glued to their seats, all misty eyed.



Here is Fripp with prog supergroup King Crimson, who are coming up on their 40th anniversary next year.

12 comments:

  1. thanks chris!

    fripp is just excellent, one of my guitar heroes

    this covers the "rock" post for the week :)

    have a good weekend

    -john

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  2. I've been reading for a while but this is my first comment.

    I am a HUGE fan of KC and Fripp. I would agree that he's a Sorcerer. I’ve seen them live many times. One of the more amazing things about watching him play is that he is so calm and controlled even though he is just belting. He termed it as “what you see is not what you get”. He’s ability to pull from the collective consciousness is amazing. There are many musicians who fall into this category. There where times that I saw Les Claypool as a wizard. He’s got the height and the beard and the weirdness. He’s a dark wizard that can conjure the oddities of life. Carlos Santana is another who can conjure the "unconscious or collective consciousness" very well. Not sure if you’ve ever seen him but it’s another real ‘event’.

    My theory is that performing arts transcends space-time. Follow me here; books and paintings are a past tense kind if art. Unlike music you don’t write the same book for your audience. Performance art keeps you in the past because you are recalling something that’s been done, however you are performing it in the present and yet you have to be in the future (a few bars or lines ahead) to know where you are going. The major difference is that with music you are working with vibrations and moving air and affecting the emotion of you and the audience all at the same time. I always thing of Close Encounters - music would be the common denominator between us and any other species that is out there. It’s physical math. These thoughts are not as polished as I’d like them to be but I would hope that you can see what I’m saying here.

    PS your blog is a wonderful read and I'm glad to see that you have a musical tangent too.

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  3. Lark's Tongue! What an anthem. I must have listened to this album a thousand times in my college days. Bill Bruford is my all time favorite drummer.

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  4. Yes, music is magic, which is why I write about it so much. More to come...

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  5. Have a look at the album art for Lark's Tongue in Aspic. You think possibly someone had an interest in the eso?

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  6. I believe Fripp was a disciple of JG Bennett, who comes from the Gurdjieff tradition.

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  7. You've got great taste my friend!

    Prog rock is where it's at. It's great to see guys like Fripp are still going strong. Their ability to project the intensity of their passion through music is indeed magical. A few months ago I stumbled upon the music of Arjen Lucassen. He's quite a trip.

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  8. I'll bet he tunes to A432. ;)

    Read my blog called "Common Ground: A Dash of Music and an Inch of Sun" to catch THAT wave.

    Peach!

    Light and Truth,
    (perhaps equally opposing cosmic factors),
    Brendan Bombaci

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  9. ... good stuff, by the way. Reminds me of seeing Satriani play at the Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque, NM years ago.

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  10. Chris,

    Just doing some re-reading of your older posts. The April 10, 2008 post shows a photo of an old edition of a book "The Divine Plan for the Ages" published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in Brooklyn. Ok, have you seen the photos of the new waterfall exhibits throughout NYC? One photo at this site shows the blue illuminated water fall on the Brooklyn bridge with the Watchtower Society publishing buildings and signs illuminated to the right of the waterfall. Do you have any idea what's going on with that photo or the waterfall art exhibit in general? I thought NYC was finished with gates after those "Orange Gates" exhibits. Does no one find it strange that the mayor simply erects these huge exhibits all over the city? And of course the exhibit ends in October, I suspect before the Tut exhibit arrives. See the photo here, and thanks so much.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/
    popup?id=4583226&contentIndex=1&page=1&start=false

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  11. Soapie, I'm sure there is some ritual meaning to all of this. Water, bridges, gates, arches, towers. What it is may only be known to the people to whom this particular set of symbols is meaningful.

    Funny you should mention Satriani BB- he opened for Bowie at Giants Stadium when Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew was playing with the Thin White Duke.
    (shredding doesn't work in stadiums, btw)

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  12. He's married to Toyah Willcox.

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