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RE: Robert Fripp's Radiophonics and A Blessing of Tears

From: Rainer Thelonius Balthasar Straschill [mailto:rs@moinlabs.de] 
Sent: Saturday, November 27, 2004 2:26 AM
To: info@krispenhartung.com
Subject: AW: Robert Fripp's Radiophonics and A Blessing of Tears


you said: 

 However, with all due respect to the man and guitarist, I'm not at all
impressed with these particular works.  I find them dull and
uninspiring.  I even read through his academic discourse in the CD
insert.still, no greater appreciation of what he is doing.   I'm sure
the CD would make an outstanding soundtrack for a sci-fi or art film,
but as standalone works, I think they totally misrepresent Fripp's
caliber as a musician and composer. 

perhaps it's just the other way round - the King Crimson material
misrepresents Fripp's caliber as a musician and composer?


Could be! 

I guess I'm being too hard on Fripp's CDs here.  I often fall victim of
measuring my taste in music by 1) how innovative or unique the
harmonic/melodic structure is (relative to what has been done prior) and
2) the technical ability involved.   It is a bias, I admit, and often an
impediment.  My first impression with a lot of this textured music is
that...hmmm.... I think thousands of guitarists, including myself, could
probably sit down with the same gear and play something similar....and
most likely thousands of guitarist who don't have a fraction of the raw
talent and ability as Fripp.  So, taken "in its self" what is so special
about this one?  The technical aspect is not that taxing, and neither is
the innovativeness in my mind.  I suppose if he had done all those with
a raw guitar sound rather than thousands of dollars of processing, I
might have jumped out of my seat with intrigue.  Hence, the effort seems
standard.  Back to the painter analogy, it is like any painter sitting
down and painting a very commonplace abstract landscape...some backdrop
and wash...a few colorful streaks here, some metallic speckles
there....ta da...pure art!  But does the painting have some unique
personality?  Scrutinized relative to other works, is it offering
something new and annotative?  If some unknown artist paints this
landscape...it gets thrown in the basement...if some artist genius with
a huge name paints it, all of a sudden it is pure genius.

Yet, I sometimes contradict myself if my above comments are taken as a
generalism. Because there some soundscape that I really enjoy to help me
relax or focus. For instance, I'm not sure if any of you have heard
Michael Peter's stretched landspaces, but I have a copy of that CD and
absolutely love to work to it. It puts me in a very peaceful state of
mind. I liked it so much, I created a music video DVD of it and his
computer art work.  I wasn't compelled to do this with Fripp's
soundscapes, so I guess MUCH personal preference, intersubjectivity, and
individual nuances are at play here. I like Chai tea...my wife likes
Earl Gray.

Krispen Hartung