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Robert Fripp: From King Crimson to Guitar Craft Paperback – April 1, 1991
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|Paperback, April 1, 1991||
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Eric Tamm's book on the work of Robert Fripp is precisely the sort of cure music needs. The book actually manages to combine a musician whose work and music strives to change both the business and the audience with a writer whose own musical credentials are up to the task specifically because the author's perspective on the work and on the man is one that remains open, receptive and critical. This is not a book about being a fan. This is not a book for fans. This is a book about how music can shape and guide us to a more profound view of the lives we live by giving the practice of music the importance and attention it actually deserves.
Mr. Tamm is eloquent on both the music and the meanings which Fripp seems to intend. The author never lapses into a false certainty about what he hears and what he understands, giving the book the right sense of investigation and learning. He manages to tell us things that matter about the music in musical terms. Fripp's propensity for odd meters are made intelligible. Some fundamentals on scales are also very helpful. The writing does not descend into a parochial tone accessible only to those who have studied music theory. The facts of the music are made quite clear and are readily graspable by anyone interested in getting at the content of what he or she happens to be listening to. Besides, it's never a bad idea to read a little over your head.
But beyond the recorded catalog of Fripp's work, Mr. Tamm is eloquent in his presentation of time spent in Fripp's Guitar Craft classes. These pages provide a glimpse of how music might function among artists and audience, free of the preoccupations of the industry. And, as we can at least assume Fripp inteads, Guitar Craft goes further, to connect principals of music with principals of life. Reading it lets us ask a question about what the practice of music can really be about, and how the pursuit of music can ultimately affect our lives and our thinking about the world. If you care about music it's worth the effort to find this book.
The personal interpretation of the Guitar Craft process described by Mr. Tamm is a much more interesting and enjoyable read than the cold discussion of theory that precedes it.
If you're interested in Robert Fripp, King Crimson, or Guitar Craft, then your time will not be wasted.
At any rate, the book is out of print, and hard to find (even harder to pay for, or so it would seem). For those who'd like a chance to read this book, may I suggest going to Eric Tamm's personal web site, where you can download the text of the book for free.
This book is a fascinating read, and the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is that it does get pretty heavy at times, but for the reader who perseveres comes the reward of some greater insight into a complex musical genius.