GC Course Diaries by Robert Fripp: Level 1, 2 and 2.5 in Los Molinos, Spain

Date or timeframe: 23-05-2005 / 01-06-2005
Venue: Villa Mercedes / Padres Claretianos
Address: Calle San Pascual 3
City: Los Molinos
Country: Spain
Category(-ies): /

Monday 23d. May, 2005; 09.36

Villa Mercedes / Padres Claretianos,
Calle San Pascual Nº 3, esquina travesía San Pascual,
28 460 Los Molinos,
Madrid, España.

Never ever fly Air Iberia! The packed flight took off 90 minutes late, drinks & snacks available for purchase from the cart a la El Cheapo airlines. Mr. Sniffy had the window seat to the right of my aisle, his DVD-watching accompanied by sniff sniff sniff throughout the entire flight. In the mid-seat, an earnest thirties-something man slept through most of the flight, waking to launch a boobyist-attack of skin-picking & biting upon his fingers before our touchdown in Madrid.

Then, a passenger-adventure getting off the ‘plane – we couldn’t. No flight steps. Perhaps our arrival was unexpected. Eventually, flight steps arrived, a door opened & the passengers climbed on to two ‘buses which took us to the terminal. Then, a baggage-adventure – getting the baggage into the arrival hall. Perhaps, the baggage was also unexpected? Eventually, and to my relief, my suitcase arrived, intact.

Hernan & Alain had been waiting for 4 hours by the time I emerged into the Arrivals hall. Alain drove us to the house, arriving just after midnight.

This morning, rising at 07.00 (or 06.00 for an English person). Sitting at 07.30. Silence visited at breakfast.

10.57 T’ai Chi with Luciano at 09.45.

That is, to English eyes. A European “1” looks very much like an English “4”. So, t’ai chi at 09.15 for Europeans, or 09.45 for the English.

This is my third GC course in this retreat house, the first in January 2003 & the second, January 2004. Now, with a new Pope, there is a new supervisor of the House, and one unfamiliar with our work. He visited with the local priest this morning, essentially to get a feel for us. This relates to whether we will be allowed to use the Chapel.

Room With A View…

Clean Sheets & Tidy…

May is, happily, warmer than January (with snow the last time I was here) but this room is never warm. Currently, it is not quite cold (such as defined & described by Sherborne House) but it is certainly way too cool.

Of greater interest than this, GC Diarist & drummer Wiliam Frederick is visiting.

17.38 This afternoon William Frederick lead a circle presenting an interesting take on musical “feel”” –

Feel is a measure of integration.
This includes individual integration & group integration.
Feel is measurable & therefore describable.
It is possible to notice feel while playing. (WF).

Awaiting my arrival, fresh in from Buenos Aires…

The new Boudeaux Guitar Craft Professional model is sweet, a joy to play. A gentle production of GC guitars is underway in Buenos Aires, with two planned models: the Student & the Professional. Most likely, I will end up playing the Student version. Meanwhile, this is a delight to put on the body.

On the board this afternoon…

Guitar Craft House Rules

Villa Mercedes / Padres Claretianos,
Calle San Pascual Nº 3, esquina travesía San Pascual,
28 460 Los Molinos,
Madrid, España.

Monday 23rd. May, 2005

Honour necessity; honour sufficiency.
Act from conscience.

Nothing is compulsory, but some things are necessary.

No judgements are made: we accept you as you arrive.

There is no mistake save one, the failure to learn from a mistake.

Honour the role, respect the person.

Some people here will irritate you.
Don’t worry: you will also be irritating them.
Please act towards others with goodwill and with courtesy;
Otherwise, be polite.

You are not asked to accept any direction that violates conscience.

You are not asked to passively accept any idea that is presented to you.
Rather, you are invited to test ideas you find surprising, to establish the veracity of those ideas, or not, for yourself.
You are encouraged to adopt a position of healthy scepticism, while participating in a spirit of goodwill.

Please stay outside the kitchen.

Be on the course, to the degree that you are able to honourably bear.
For example, listen to the music generated within the course; telephone when necessary, or when useful.
Avoid listening to, and reading, any non-course material.
Recording during the course is discouraged.

Accept responsibility for your personal space;
and that part of the communal space which you own.

If you smoke, please do so outside the buildings.

Please stay within the boundary of the facility for the duration of the course.
If you require something, please ask the House Manager.

Drug use is incompatible with participation in Guitar Craft.
Although nothing is compulsory, this is necessary.

If Robert considers that any person’s continuing participation is detrimental to either that person, or the course as a whole, Robert may ask that person to leave.

If any of this is unacceptable, you are free to leave with a full refund prior to the beginning of the course.
If you decide to stay, you are asked to stay for the duration of the course.

22.14 Dinner at 19.00 with a proper dessert.

The Inaugural Meeting was brought forward to 21.00 & the course formally acknowledged as underway at 21.02. Then 51 people introduced themselves saying:

who they are;
where they come from;
what brought them here;
their aim for the course.

There is a wide variety of backgrounds & places of origin: Poland, Italy, Spain, Greece, Norway, Guatemala, Ireland, USA, Argentina, France, Japan and, surprisingly, England.

My personal aim for the course: to help anyone achieve what they wish for themselves (to help everyone achieve what they wish for themselves would be too great a challenge).

Tuesday 24th. May, 2005; 08.50

Los Molinos.

Rising at 06.30 (experientially 05.30 – yow!), sitting at 07.15, breakfast at 08.00.

At breakfast, a comment on GC “Levels”: this does not, in any way, imply that anyone here is any better a person than any other. We are all in the same boat.

14.04 Meeting with Level One at 10.00 & adopting a different approach to beginning than the one I have used for 20 years.

Meeting with Level Two at 11.00 & addressing the escapology of C major. How easy it is for those little notes to slip from our grasp. How many notes are there in C major anyway? Evidence from this morning suggests, perhaps eleven.

At noon: a meeting with Hernan to address various global arisings.

A word used at the Inaugural Meeting last night, now has its definition on the board…

1340, from O.Fr. diligence “attention, care” from L. diligentia “attentiveness, carefulness,” from diligentem (nom. diligens) “attentive, assiduous, careful,” originally prp. of diligere “value highly, love, choose,” from dis– “apart” + legere “choose, gather” (see lecture). Sense evolved from “love” through “attentiveness” to “carefulness” to “steady effort.”

We have been considering an appropriate name for the Meeting Room, which is certainly not a Ballroom. At lunch the room was named by Hellboy Tom: The Hall of Diligence.

20.33 Alexander at 14.30 with Mariela; for myself, meetings with Level One at 14.30 & & Level Two at 17.15.

T’ai Chi at 18.00 followed by Quiet Time.

Comment over dinner: a Level One participant would like something new: a new exercise. They had experienced a widening of perspective today, in the Alexander class, and would like that in a guitar meeting. Suggestion in response: our widening of experience relates more to our own quality of experiencing than novelty in the subject/object of our experience. The specific example given was of counting in 5 & 7 – done that, what about another? So, a suggestion for widening the counting experience was this: clap 14 bars of 5/8 & 10 bars of 7/8; while counting 10 bars of 7/8 over the 14 bars of 5/8; and counting 14 bars of 5/8 over clapping the 10 bars of 7/8.

Good dessert.

This evening the groups & individuals are working from their own initiative.

Wednesday 25h. May, 2005; 09.10

Los Molinos.

Conversation over breakfast with GM, a father of five, addressing the subject of childcare for parents on GC courses. The basic question: what is Guitar Craft going to do to provide childcare on courses?

This has been a subject of ongoing consideration in GC for some time, particularly now that the first generation of Crafties are mostly forty-something parents. We have not yet successfully accommodated children on GC courses which, essentially, are courses for adults. The question is given added focus by the possibility of a 6-week Summer School in England next year as part of the Virtuous Circle Project.

There seems to be two different cultural approaches to childcare: the North (America & Europe) & the South (America & Europe). In the US & Northern Europe professional childminding is a common feature of domestic & professional life. Office & factory crèches are widely available and/or with the increasing presumption in favour of institutional provision. In Southern Europe & South America, the relevant unit of organisation continues to be the extended family. Traditional patterns prevail: the husband goes out to work, the mother takes care of the children; the grandparents, aunts & uncles are also available for child support.

So, a Northern Crafty parent inclines to the question: what childcare will Guitar Craft make available, as an institutional/professional provider? The Southern Crafty would not ask the question, but knows the answer: children are the responsibility of the parents, with the support of the extended family.

Guitar Craft is not a professional institution and, although it is an extended family, childcare has not yet been factored into the equation.

At Claymont Court in West Virginia, where many of the early courses were held, there was a residential community & school that was the bedrock of the courses held on the property (of which GC was only one). So, childcare was factored into Claymont on both the institutional/professional & extended family models.

At Sherborne House in Gloucestershire, where the IACE courses were held over a 5-year period, there was also an ongoing quasi-community with sufficient parents & available adults to provide childcare & supervision, plus schools in the area. So, once again, a form of combined institutional + extended family model was in place. At Sherborne, the activities of the children were mainly separate from the adult courses being held, although there was also interaction.

GM asked the question: how to integrate children into Guitar Craft activities? Noting the distinction between courses & communities, I put this back to him: what will GC parents do to integrate children within GC? The initiative lies with them. Currently, the courses in which I am involved are specifically for adults. However, there are several parents in GC with a professional background in child education; and others with their own considerable parenting practical experience. One Crafty in Canada set up family life on GC principles: both parents attended courses; both children followed them; one is now an Alexander trainee. There are also schooling models available, such as that of Madame Nathalie de Salzmann de Etievan.

No doubt, more on this later.

12.21 T’ai Chi with Luciano & the bugs at 09.15.

Level One at 10.00 – one of their number has decided to leave: Guitar Craft is not for them. Sometimes this is how it is: neither a reflection on the student, nor Guitar Craft.

During the 1980s, a Western Mevlevi sheik sent me to the Halveti tekke in New York City. The Mevlevi sheikh thought the music of the Halvetis might resonate with me in such a way that it would provide a musical direction. The tekke & its work, tradition & music, did indeed resonate; but it was not my way, nor my musical direction.

Around the same time I visited the Halveti tekke north of the city, where the Head Sheik of the order was visiting America. He was a considerable man, deserving & receiving of respect; comments he made in response to questions continue to resonate with me today. But, it was not my way.

Also in the same time period, I visited a Turkish Mevlevi sheik who had moved to the West & was living in the Bay Area. When visiting San Francisco, I joined his group in turning. This was a field in which he had a gift & authority (and which experience continues to instruct me in Guitar Craft circles today).

This same Sheik, as a younger man and relatively new to the West, came to a King Crimson show (of the Discipline era, late 1981) in a San Francisco club, and brought his pupils. The Sheik & his entourage were made welcome & shown hospitality appropriate to a visit (subject to the conditions of backstage dressing rooms in a rock club) by a person of his station. He has, as an older man, also visited a more recent King Crimson performance in SF. The Sheik & his way have my deep respect & ongoing admiration: I continue to learn from both. But, this is not my way; although I feel that this way supports my way.

Several years after the event, I was told by a mutual acquaintance that the Mevlevi Sheik had remarked on the welcome shown him & his entourage at the Crimson show of 1981: the hospitality was very Sufi. As compliments go to backstage hospitality, particularly in a rock club, that has to be about the highest on offer.

A Level Two meeting at 11.00 addressing circulating & patterns of circulation where the note remains with the seat, although the person on the seat might move to another seat, and where another note is waiting for them.

13.53 A good comment at lunch, from this morning’s t’ai chi class: how a small noticing continues to inform. This is an example of the aphorism: small incremental advances are transformative.

Tragic news came in this morning: the boyfriend of a member of the team, a 24-year old Argentinean guitarist, fell over & died onstage in Madrid two days ago.

14.42 A personal meeting with one of the Team who sees directly into the world of energies, how they see music as patterns & colours unfolding in this world, & a discussion of how this talent is necessary to support their role in GC.

Gerald Wilde, the artist-in-residence at Sherborne House, saw into the world of energies & painted what he saw. On occasion, Mr. Bennett asked Gerald to paint certain themes, which Gerald would do. Gerald was brilliant, also quite mad, a practised drinker & a person I treated with a measure of caution. Gerald would occasionally seize upon a passing student, outside his accommodation/studio in an outbuilding by the back door of Sherborne House, and persuade them to purchase a bottle of liquor for him at the village store. On one occasion, I was that student.

20.17 Personal meetings this afternoon with the Kitchen Team. Various good & real concerns & issues.

A few words on Doing Nothing at 18.30.

Very few comments were offered over dinner. Inviting comments has been, so far on this course, a reliable way of bringing animated conversation to an abrupt halt.

A question regarding the exercise of attention lead to a brief presentation of the Tetrad Of Musicianship: we are all in the same place, but our experiencing of that same place is different.

The consensus, on what is the best use of our time this evening, seems to be a meeting of the large circle in the Hall of Diligence.

22.32 Self-organising Inner & Outer circles of guitars. Good work, and fun.

Thursday 26th. May, 2005; 13.28

Los Molinos.

Over breakfast: a few more words on division of attention & the Tetrad of Musicianship. Essentially, division of attention is only useful if there is attention available to divide.

T’ai Chi at 09.15

Level One at 10.00 in the Hall of Diligence. Making more friends: C,E,G & A have now been joined by D, B & F.

The Level Two-an-a-bit at 11.00 in the (newly available) chapel have been preparing a performance piece employing scalar movement in C major. They were joined in this by a trio of Buddies in an Outer Circle & Mariela on Alexander.

Lunch: so far this course has had a paucity of comments to offer on the work of the day, or just about anything else.

The members of Zum & The Big Time Trio have left for Madrid to walk by newspaper kiosks & test the power of volitional attention. While they are there, Big Time will perform at a radio studio & Zum with a Japanese dance troupe.

The promoter asked Hernan whether Robert would be coming to the radio station. This would sell more tickets, and bring more people to the show. Isn’t that a good thing? wondered the promoter. The quick answer to this dopey question is, no. If people bought tickets on the strength of the RF connection & came expecting KC/RF work, they would be disappointed & upset. They would also miss what is actually on offer – a musical treat. Everyone would lose, with the possible exception of the promoter.

Tom has offered a free Tuning Clinic to Level One at 14.30: it’s free, but costs $5 a string.

20.12 Silence at tea.

Personal meetings this afternoon with Level Two. One question: what to do with nervousness?

At last, a few comments at a mealtime. And a consensus for this evening’s work: a large circle followed by Levels One & Two working in their groups.

22.45 The large Guitar Circle was dismal. No attention, no presence, and an inability to play in time. The Team never quite arrived in the room.

Friday 27th. May, 2005; 11.19

Los Molinos.

The morning sitting is becoming more present, with less fidgeting & twitching.

At breakfast, spoons were not put out, once again.

Comments spontaneously emerged, over breakfast, on yesterday evening’s dismal Guitar Circle. The suggestion was made that expectation was involved: we expected the Circle of yesterday evening to have the same energising & musical quality as the Circle the evening before.

Expectation belongs to the world of the Happy Gigster, at the bottom of the Tetrad of Musicianship. The assumption of innocence, within a field of experience, belongs to the world of the Master Musician. The external context may appear to be the same but, experientially, the event is as if for the first time.

How to redeem the moment? Mistakes may or may not be necessary, but they are inevitable. There is no mistake save one: the failure to learn from a mistake. Redemption is a process that allows for a lost moment to be recovered. How may we redeem the moment?

Meeting with Kitchen Team in the chapel.

The Kitchen Team is beginning to fray gently & its focus is becoming dispersed. The Kitchen on a GC course is exceptionally hard work and, in my view, the Team on this course is working too hard. How to address this? Perhaps, the same way as preparing for a performance.

Visualisation: holding together all the members of the Kitchen Team.
Visualise the kitchen “performance” & what is required.
Prepare & protect the space.
At the end of the meal process, meet with those on the same shift to formally acknowledge the completion of that particular task/meal.

Then, at the end of the day, recapitulate our day in backward sequence. This facilitates the digestion of experience: we take from it that which nourishes us, and what is unnecessary is eliminated.
Question: aren’t we doing this already (digesting experience) with our journalising?
Answer: this is part of the same overall process. But the reverse direction in time is strengthening a connection to that part of us which does not move in linear time & where our experiencing is not sequential.

On this course, Kitchen work is ongoing & individual members of the Team have no downtime: so ask for help. Guitar Buddies may be available to help in the Kitchen, and even be grateful for a break from student hands. Two Buddies present in the meeting both volunteered for meals, and Mariela offered to be available to the Kitchen with Alexander. Where an offer of help is made in response to an expressed need, better to accept it – gratefully!

Take time off. Not, a doing nothing time of focused presence, but time off.

When we have a “day off” in our normal weekly practice, this does not mean that nothing is happening: something is happening, but what happens is not a direct result of our intentional work.

In Guitar Craft, we are asked to consistently give 100% plus 10%. This is required of us. But not more than this, other than in emergencies & exceptional circumstances, or specific exercises. In an emergency, we give whatever it takes – if it’s 150%, even 200%, then that’s what it is. But not on an ongoing basis. Don’t be a hero! Great Nature provides us with the energy we need, at birth. That is, Nature makes an investment in us. We use this investment, generate “interest” & grow our account in the bank. But if we work at 150% for several years consistently, and spend all our original investment too soon, we have a problem: no working capital. What to do then, where to go, to get a re-investment?

A meeting with Level One at 10.00 & the impossibility to circulate on 1&4 in a bar of 5/8. I detected no listening within the inner circle, nor listening extending to include the outer circle of Guitar Buddies. Dismal in extremis. I found this lack of capacity baffling.

Then, we moved to consider the current state of Level One work to be presented to the House this evening; and extended the primary exercises towards music by using intelligence, initiative & play. There were even solos. For me, the overall state of the Level One changed within minutes.

14.59 A series of personal meetings with Level One about to begin.

20.07 Good performances at dinner including a stunning pre-performance silence from Zum. Haru & The Two Ghostriders of the Apocalpyse delivered another winner after yesterday’s Space Zombies! From Outer Space! (although that performance had more Ghostriders than this evening).

A comment after dessert, without words, on boobyism.

22.03 Staff meeting at 21.00 to catch up with each other, followed by Levels One & Two-and-a-little-bit presenting the current state of their work.

Allesandro has arrived, a welcome addition to the House.

Saturday 28th. May, 2005; 14.30

Los Molinos.

Personal meetings for most of the staff throughout most of the day.

Performances at lunch, including one by Zum that was, for me, the best I have heard from them.

Silence visited.

More personal meetings this afternoon.

20.59 Silence at dinner.

At 21.30 I am speaking from the lecture notes of Discipline & The Act Of Music in the Hall of Diligence.

Sunday 29th. May, 2005; 15.13

Los Molinos.

Meetings with Level One at 10.00 & Level Two-&-A-Quarter at 11.00 & both together at 12.00. All these meetings had the courage to play in one flat.

At lunch a task of application was set: to present our present understanding of our work here, on Monday evening in the Hall of Diligence. Conventionally, this takes the form of a performance, and of pieces written specially for the event. For tomorrow, this is an open brief. The challenge may be undertaken by full groups, small groups, mixed-level groups & individuals. The presentations need not be written pieces as such, perhaps exercises as practised and/or developed.

Heckling has become a downgraded form at GC performances. What was once a reminder to performers, that they honour the role of aspirant musician, has become an opportunity for other members of the House to throw nuts & overripe fruit at the performers, shine torches at them, set off metronomes, and provide other unfair opportunities to focus their attention.

Division of Attention with Alain is currently underway along Diligence Row.

21.08 The House is invited to a performance at 21.30 by Zum & The Big Time Trio. The invitation was offered in Spanish, French, German & Japanese then rendered into Polish, Norwegian, Darzett, New Joisey, New Yoik, Galician, Neapolitan, Texan, Irish, Westernised Japanese, Catalan, Greek, Ancient Greek, dialect German before breaking down on Latin.

An after-dinner meeting with the Team member who sees into the world of energies; and his report on what he saw in the noon meeting.

22.43 A most enjoyable performance. Fine-tuning is required for public presentation.

Monday 30th. May, 2005; 08.47

Los Molinos.

Once again, disturbed dreams before waking at 04.00 & not quite returning to sleep before the alarm went off at 06.30. This has been the pattern since I arrived. The intensity of disturbance has lessened throughout the week but, nevertheless, this is not a happy room to sleep in.

Other members of the Staff have had similar experiences. It is as if the spirit here has changed. Certainly, the new regime is not as welcoming & there is resentment in some quarters that we have been allowed to use the chapel. Formerly, this was not an issue. Perhaps we should acknowledge that our time in this facility has passed, offer thanks, and move on.

Somewhere else is waiting for us.

12.48 A morning mostly of personal meetings.

The question has come up in personal meetings: how to deal with nervousness in performance? Conventionally, this comes under the heading of stage fright.

A brief approach to nervousness in performance.

There are imaginary & genuine issues to address, both performance-personal & performance-external, in preparing for a performance. This gives us, initially, four areas to consider:

Genuine personal (internal & functional);
Genuine performance;
Imaginary personal (internal & functional);
Imaginary performance.

Although any one performance takes place within a relatively short time period, historic resonances & anticipation have powerful effect.

Genuine Personal Concerns.

I am, myself, nervous before a performance if…

I have not practised my instrument.
I have not practised the repertoire; if improvising, I have no beginning-strategies to employ as beginning points if imagination and/or inspiration fail.
I have not tuned my instrument.
I have not checked my equipment (even then, sometimes equipment fails – as in Paris with G3 in 2004).

Q: What is the sound of several hundred people booing in the Paris Congresshall?
A: Loud.

These are genuine (functional) personal concerns. Genuine (internal) personal concerns relate to our overall state & condition: emotional, psychological & physical health; and the reliability/intensity of our practice.

Positively expressed, all the above are bottom-line requirements if I am to walk onstage with confidence. Then, before I walk on, I collect myself & appeal to the Muse.

Genuine Performance Concerns:

The performance space: kind & size – open air, stadium, sports hall, concert or burlesque theatre, rock club, bar. Acoustics. Sightlines. Layout (for traffic flows). Stage (flat or with a rake/slope). Backstage – is practising/preparation possible?

Cultural traditions & conventions (eg Japan, Europe, North & South America). Performance conventions & traditions: concert, recital, entertainment, Vegas, burlesque, celebratory, hoe-down & hootenanny, rock & roll.

The audience: state – drunk, sober, drugged, passive, outgoing, smoking, expectant, trained, mature, adolescent, open – closed. Audience “rights” – photography & recording, disregard of courtesy & manners

The industry. Promotion & publicity: if the event is mediated by commerce, is the advertising honest? Does the promotion generate inappropriate expectations? Attract the “wrong” audience? Commercially mediated event or charity performance?

Overall: the suitability-match between music, musician, audience, performance space & industry.

Imaginary Personal Concerns:

Many of us have unfortunate or inappropriate experiences as children. Children are exceptionally sensitive & internalise (especially negative) events, some of which continue to have effect & to haunt us into adult life. Examples of negative messages: you can’t do anything right; you can’t make decisions; you are a failure; you have no talent; you are a show-off.

“Critical adults” may stay with us into adulthood & undermine our current activities. How to deal with this? An approach, recommended several times on this course, is this:

We externalise the internalised negative message by writing the history of the child, as if this were a child we wish to know better & to love more deeply. We offer no judgement & approach the history with impartiality. As we grow to know this child more deeply, we discover & externalise the situation that has had a traumatising effect, and put this situation outside of ourselves. Then, as adults, we have data & information to process. Reflecting upon this information, we can take adult decisions and make adult choices, and redeem the consequences of the event/s that remains powerfully present; even though the situation & context are now very different.

For example, if the child were repeatedly told between the age of 5 & 7 that they “couldn’t do anything right”, we might today decline to accept this as accurate, reliable and/or relevant information in our adult lives; and point to an established career & ongoing success in our particular field as a grown-up person.

For example, if we were told as a child that we could/should not make decisions for ourselves, we may/may not accept this as valid information for the child (depending upon the specific circumstances); but remove the injunction from our grown-up lives; and reflect upon our adult experience as a competent decision-maker, one well qualified to know what is in our own best interests, and to act accordingly.

It is necessary, to lessen the hold of the “command”, that we forgive those who gave it to us. This is a longer process.

Imaginary Performance Concerns:

Inexperienced: where the inexperienced performer has no reality-base to form reliable judgements.

Experienced: where the experienced performer lives close to/in fantasy & delusion: an increasing distance from daily life resulting from fame & celebrity; the degree to which the performer is manipulated by management and/or industry as a control strategy; believes their own press; has substance abuse issues.

Other Legitimate Concerns:

These include concerns that relate to the wider present moment of performance, which go beyond the specific single event under consideration. Legitimate & practical concerns include…

Musicians. Other players we are working with, particularly where they have substance problems, delusions of personal charisma, use the performance as a means of attracting sexual partners, deep rooted emotional & psychological problems, issues of power-play & control strategies, resentment & jealousy of other band members, the belief that the world has not fully recognised their worth & contribution, and/or the want to be rich & famous, a failure to listen.

Industry. Management, who control the band’s business interests; agents & promoters; and record company. There are often conflicts of interest & contrary aims between performer & industry.

Audience. Fan mentality & unrealistic wants, demands & expectations. Stalkers & loonies who appear & re-appear over a period of many years.

These wider factors all have resonance within the single performance-moment.

This is a very brief overview of “stage fright” & legitimate performance concerns. I have made no mention here of, for example, the effects of touring & constant travelling on performance.

20.32 At dinner I added another factor: sympathetic resonance from the audience for the demeanour of the performer. If the performer looks nervous, then the audience will probably get nervous too.

A comment from a member of the Level One at dinner: they had an insight into the working of a performance team at teatime, and felt the reality of their own contribution as a member of the audience, sending goodwill. That is, they saw how it is in the real world. In terms of the Tetrad of Musicianship, they had a taste of how a Master Musician would experience the performance.

At dinner this person sat on the top table, next to me, in such a way that their chair obtruded into the narrow space behind & blocked all movement between the head table and the coffee & tea station. Everyone else on the course, so far, has sat with their chair close to the table, to allow people to move to & fro. At this meal, every time someone moved between the table & dining room space, this person had to move their chair: a constant dance of unnecessary obstruction & motion.

The student came to see me after dinner, and asked me if I was “testing” them by making them constantly move their chair. Actually, no: they were sitting in the way, and the first person on this course not to notice on this seat that they were sitting in the way.

22.38 Most enjoyable presentation by the combined Levels. Zum & Big Time are presenting an open rehearsal at 23.00.

Tuesday 31st. May, 2005; 07.08

Los Molinos.

Another disturbed night’s sleep & up early at 06.20.

08.55 The number of those at the sitting is diminishing.

12.22 The Exercise of Qualitative Endeavour was presented at 10.00 and is underway for the Level One & Level Two and-a-little-bit-more-than-that.

A meeting with Hernan & Tom followed, regarding plans for GC’s ongoing year between April 2006 – March 2007.

17.05 The presentation of today’s exercise, in the Hall of Diligence at 16.30. Good choices of tasks to address, and well discharged.

One member of the Team has flipped & is lost in fantasy: the filtering process failed.

Zum & Big Time Trio have invited all in the House, who are available, to a performance at 17.30.

18.39 The two trios’ performance is becoming refined.

22.53 Some wonderful last-shot performances at dinner.

The final meeting at 21.30: several of those present spoke on behalf of many in the GC extended family AAD throughout the world; I spoke for Bill Rieflin. Several good & perceptive comments. An overview was presented of the likely next two years’ work in Guitar Craft.

The course was acknowledged finished for some, concluded for others, and completed for the remainder at 22.30.

A winding-up meeting with Hernan afterwards.

23.13 Someone keeps knocking on my door.

Wednesday 1st. June, 2005; 07.51

Los Molinos.

Gigster’s Instinct and long experience suggests that, in whatever strange bed & whichever distant location you may be in, have your shoes, knickers, torch & (in my case) spectacles, close to hand. If an earthquake wakes you (such as with Sister in San Francisco on the last major tremor); or the hotel fire alarm goes off (infrequent but reliable) & guests have to assemble, shivering, on the street – then you are prepared to move in a hurry. Or, as this morning, you wake at six and look up to see a loony standing motionless at the foot of the bed.

This is not the first course where a student has wandered into my room, late at night and/or early in the morning, with not all sandwiches packed for the picnic. The last time this happened (in Sicily), the student began examining the contents of my suitcase for the guitar I had hidden inside – the guitar that was to be my surprise present to them.

8.44 Hernan & Alessandro took care of our fellow, lifted him off the floor of my room where he had collapsed, and put him in the early ride to the airport, sharing with Hellboy Tom.

However careful we are in selecting students, and ours is an open & accepting approach, it is not possible to account for the mental & emotional stability of all.

Now, final packing of a suitcase.

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