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Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Julian Gall

Thanks so much for this. It doesn't look so difficult now! Your "scratchings" are a great start for those of us not advanced enough to be able to work it out from the video.

For anyone who comes across this blog entry and hasn't realised, the guitar is in New Standard Tuning. You can just tune the G string of a standard tuned guitar up to A - it's all on this string and the D (3rd and 4th).

Douglas Baldwin

I've been contemplating the "aliveness" of your knotwork paintings vs. the nice-but-neutral sensation I often felt when I viewed them earlier(as I commented on a couple posts back). The notation of "The Airport Exercise" provides some further insight for me.

As physical beings, we often fall in love with this physical world. When we are even just a tiny bit alive, we may swoon at its textures, tastes, sights, sounds, images... But the gift of consciousness often leads us beyond this, although not necessarily in a sense of denial so much as in a sense of acknowledgement and expansion. "Yes," consciousness says, "there is the physical world, but there is more." Depending on our disciplines, a map of consciousness may or may not provide an entry into that world beyond. Some maps are pretty dry - very little of the physical world lives in their lines. And some maps are very "juicy" - they are rich with the physical world. Your knotwork paintings are really juicy, and your notation of "the Airport Exercise" is pretty dry, and probably wrong.

My own work with konts has given me a great appreciation for the various knots you've done over the years, but the paintings - YEOW! - they BUZZ with aliveness in the physical world. They are juicy as sin, yet they retain their essence as maps of consciousness. Maybe they even become STRONGER maps by virtue of their seductive physicality. Your music notation, as I said, is pretty dry. I've printed it out (and anyone who wants to print out a somewhat more legible-sized copy can try stretching the size by about 150% in their favorite graphics program) and already it's giving me trouble. There are pitches in the standard notation that don't make sense with regard to the tablature notation. A scrawl is acceptable, and sometimes seeing the handwriting of a master musician is very insightful, but your notation is kinda sucky. I'll bet it worked for you when you wrote it down - it functioned as a valid set of directions for you to recall the music behind it. But it ain't working too hot for me.

Still, as soon as I looked at your transcription of "The Airport Exercise," something came alive for me. I remember Robert showing me something like the first pattern, and I remember quite clearly growing it a bit myself (it may have been on the "Craft Without Fripp" GC seminar). But then your transcription began to fall apart. Specifically: measure five shows a tablature pattern that should produce the pitches A-C-A-C-A, repeated, but the pitch notation reads A-C-C-C-C. This recurs throughout the transcription. And then of course there's the direction to follow the form "Verse/Bridge/Verse/Bridge/Verse/Bridge >CHORUS (next page)" when there is no next page.

So how do I deal with this? I know there's some juice here, and I know I can put a lot of juice into music notation. And of course there's the YouTube clip of this piece. So I'll practice what is here of "The Airport Exercise" over the next few weeks, come up with what I consider a fair notation of it, and send it along to you. See what it does for you.

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When I initially commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

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