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Re: Fripp - "Sully his hands in commerce"
I did not make a statement regarding Fripp to have my nationality called
into question rather I was speaking to the entertainment value provided me
by Mr. Fripp. Given his ego, I am sure he would find this discourse
amusing and be delighted it was occurring. Which is partly my point. By
the way, I am a fan of his playing and witnessed myself the League of
Gentleman ... yadda yadda ... much more I have sat through and appreciated
the plights of much "lesser" artists in an attempt to create an event
involving something of their heart, soul and expression and to actually
communicate something to the audience.
It would have been more honest and frankly more lighthearted of Robert had
he admitted that the music was in fact precious and glorified ... but there
was nothing lighthearted about it or him whatsoever ... oh, save for the
"sully" comment ... I stand corrected.
>It's true - Americans really have no concept of irony do they?
>From: Mark Landman <email@example.com>
>Subject: Re: Fripp, making friends in the audience again????
>Date: 13 December 1997 19:12
>>I saw Fripp last night in Philly ... he never broke a sweat, presented
>>himself as some judgemental overlord, and completed the evening by having
>>mutual masturbatory session with some members of the audience over the
>>idiosyncracies of "Crim" factoids. His playing was mediocre and it was
>>more commercial than most anything I've heard in the genre ... commercial
>>in that he was selling TC Electronic, Eventide, and Roland products
>>a constant manipulation of them. He announced at the beginning that he
>>didn't see the music as "precious" and that people should feel free to do
>>what they want ... mill around and talk. It was probably the most
>>event I can recall being. His use of loops and high-end gear is notable,
>>however there is nothing more flat than an artist who demands an audience
>>find something to appreciate in the repeated use of the same motifs,
>>and movement over a protracted period of time and then tell you he is not
>>It was all art as commerce without substance. To end the evening, he let
>>everyone know that, "though he would not sully his hands in commerce", he
>>did have Fedx'd in a large supply of CDs that he was selling ... but that
>>his assistant would be doing that.
>#1 A sense of humor is helpful in determining what appropriate and
>unappropriate. I suspect the "Ésully his hands in commerce" comment is
>simply that keen British sense of humor some Americans completely miss.
>#2 Looking at several complaints in recent posts (early starting times,
>extreme repetition combined with extensive signal processing,
>for the audience to treat the experience as something different that a
>"sit-down" concert) paint the picture of someone who is trying to find
>better ways of allowing this music to happen.
>Perhaps the typical concert setting, behaviors and time constraints don't
>lend themselves to allowing "good loopage" to occur. I know Mr. Fripp
>endeavours to present this material in all day installations at churches,
>subways, etc. I remember as far back as his appearence at Mabuhay Gardens
>(with the old Revox set-up), his comments to the effect that we'd have
>better off bringing pillows and relaxing on the floor to experience
>Frippertronics. The emergence of "chill rooms" years later seems to me to
>confirmed some small prescience on Mr. Fripps partÉ
>The fact is this is someone who is deeply concerned with trying to balance
>the sometimes unbalanceble extremes of art and commerce. Fripp seems to
>truly care about making real music happen, instead of presenting a
>pre-packaged format of material to promote record sales.
>Even if his opinions make us uncomfortable, or are downright unfathomable
>at times, we should be glad to someone who stills cares so deeply about
>what he is doing after suffering in the music industry for so many yearsÉ
Paul Poplawski, Ph.D.
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