[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

The Evil Robert Fripp, Pockets Stuffed Full Of Cash

>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 
>was nothing lighthearted about it or him whatsoever ... oh, save for the
>"sully" comment ... I stand corrected.

I think the "precious and glorified" aspect of it is in the eye of the 
beholder.  It's well documented that Fripp has been attempting for years 
to get the audience to drop many of their standard expectations for what 
a musical performance entails, and instead, listen and experience what's 
actually happening before them.  High ticket prices, tall stages, 
impressive light shows, the very scale of the venue, all of these can 
serve to distance the audience not from the performer, but from the music 
itself.  When a different type of music (Frippertronics or Soundscapes in 
this case) is being presented, perhaps a new mode of listening is also 

You'd also mentioned the ticket cost ($40).  I'd say that cost reflects 
seeing four acts.  If you had no interest in Vai, Satriani or Sheppard, 
then, well...that's the way it goes.  Would you have been happier if 
you'd paid $10 for the ticket?  I think that having Fripp on the tour 
serves more as an introduction to ambience/looping/experimental guitar 
for fans of conventional guitar playing.  If you go there already 
well-informed about the nature of Soundscapes, then you may find a clash 
between the setting, the music, and Fripp's "performance".  

The nature of Fripp's performances on the tour have also been documented 
extensively in the music press, Elephant Talk, and even on this list 
earlier this year. Anyway, for those who may be considering attending a 
Soundscapes performance, bear in mind the following:

1) There's not much to look at.  Fripp doesn't move much when he plays, 
and his equipment set up doesn't require many notes to be input from the 
guitar before all sorts of processing twists everything around.  
2) On the G3 tour, Fripp starts when the doors to the venue opens, or 
sometimes even before.  That's correct--he may have to audacity to play 
music when you aren't there, and are barred from entering.  Arrive when 
the doors open in order to hear all of the public performance.
3) Fripp may step away from his equipment, or even walk around the venue, 
yet sounds will continue to emanate from the speakers.  After a while, he 
may sit down and "play" a little more.  Or not.
4) Fripp doesn't like photography or bootleg recordings.  Flash 
photography has caused the performance to come to an unxpected early 
ending, or may result in him leaving the stage for a while.  Again, 
sounds will proably continue to emanate from the speakers.
5) Fripp may speak to the audience.  He may be funny, pompous and/or 
boring and conceited. Or not.

Travis Hartnett