Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Saturday, November 24, 2012

King Crimson Proofs

I'm reading Realist Magic proofs and listening to King Crimson.

A little known fact about "Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part I" is that it's my father playing the violin solo. He was brought in because Cross couldn't quite nail it. He got a "string arrangement" fee in exchange for not being credited on the album. I think he enjoyed himself doing it.

It's easy to tell it's my dad, for me—the Vaughan Williams like quality, and the way he riffs on the fifth chords about half way through: I used to hear that stuff around breakfast time when I was on holiday or on a weekend, about five years old, which was when he was recording it...


cameron.keys said...

Wow! What a brilliant piece of Art Rock history, that your father played the violin solo on that first Larks Tongues in Aspic record!

A friend introduced me to the Young Person's Guide to King Crimson in 2000, when I was a high school junior. I heard Larks Tongues in Aspic a few months later.

I was intrigued at that time by Robert Fripp's endorsement of the Alexander Technique, which alerted me to the materiality in physical postures of Fripp's sound.

From listening to bebop records I had a sense of the connection between physical technique and sonic style, but with Fripp there is a deeper connection among the elements of physical comfort, efficient technique, sonic ambience, and the Ur-Postures of creativity.

It is difficult to understand the progression of King Crimson's albums and line-ups apart from Fripp's commitment to the Alexander Technique and sonic ambience. Their latest music (Level Five, Happy with what you have to be happy with) is almost like subtle energy work, Tai Chi or Ba Gua martial arts. The power and intensity of the ensemble seems rooted in the physical Ur-postures of the musicians themselves.

DGA said...

That's an interesting take, Cameron. I think it's more likely to do with Fripp's commitment to the Gurdjieff Work; that's the context in which the alexander technique was adapted, rather than the reverse.

I admire your father's work on that recording, Tim.

DGA said...

Hi Tim, I admire your father's work on that recording.

Cameron, I think it more likely that the unifying theme of it all is Fripp's commitment to the Gurdjieff Work. That is the context in which he deployed the Alexander Technique, chi gung, and other diverse tactics, rather than the reverse.