acroyear: (fof earplug)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Friday, 5th August 2011:
In the inbox, from an artist-pal, the tale of their difficulties getting paid when UMG took over the record company which released their albums.

It seems UMG do not do takeovers very well. We have had problems with BGM/UMG, Island/UMG and Sanctuary/UMG. What is the common factor here? The sharp-eyed among visiting DGM innocents may already have detected this. Even with my short-sightedness, it’s not hard to find.


Jul. 2nd, 2011 08:54 am
acroyear: (space 2 ring)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Friday, 10th June 2011:
But why bother to be negative? Move beneath the surface and a world of the imagination is waiting. The child in me entered the magical space held open and available.


Jun. 13th, 2011 02:45 pm
acroyear: (perspective)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Friday, 27th May 2011:
The House Where Music Lives.

In the house where Music lives, Music was sitting in Silence, when there was a knock upon the door. A musician had come to visit.

Who’s there? asked Music.
It’s me! replied the musician.
Go away! said Music.

The musician returned to the world of noise and soundings. After years of journeying to many musical cultures, and as an older and wiser player, the musician returned to the house where Music lives; and knocked once more upon the door, where Music was sitting in Silence.

Who’s there? asked Music.
It is you! replied the Musician.
Then why are you knocking? asked Music. You already live here!


Jan. 6th, 2011 09:55 am
acroyear: (ponder this)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Thursday, 16th December 2010:
Gentility is not something that can be claimed for oneself but, if lived & exemplified, it may be recognized; it is not acquired by social posturing & positioning, reinforced by income streams.
acroyear: (perspective)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Saturday, 4th December 2010:
Personally & subjectively, this was strong & deeply moving for the player. Difficult to put into words the various rising-feelings, which, after all, is why a player picks up their instrument. A sense at times, and I type this lightly, of speaking for some without the voice to do so. Music speaks more directly to us than words, and at Ground Zero there is a wide spectrum of feeling present: witness, anger, reconciliation, healing, acceptance, peace. At times, I was close to tears. This former secular-cathedral to American financial power is now sacred ground.
acroyear: (food of love)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Sunday, 7th November 2010:
I agree, to the extent that it’s good to be paid for your work while noting that receiving payment is not an inevitable nor necessary outcome in my own field of professional endeavour (this also on the basis of experience). I attempted to convey the notion that, if you remove enthusiasm from the aspirant artist, work is only a professional activity. When this happens, the aspirant artist begins to die on the inside.

Number-crunchers don’t give a hoot for this line of thought, particularly for an accountant who has moved into “artist management”. Well-meaning number crunchers pay lip service to the notion, but don’t factor it into their computations. Well-meaning business-representatives, who are also fans & enthusiasts, even those wholly committed to a particular artist and/or venture, nevertheless tend to cook their Golden Goose. And later, wonder why the well-basted artist seems to be doing less than they used to in the way of promotion, interviews, in-stores with fan autography–photography, touring & recording. Surely the artist can’t have as rich, creative & satisfying a life outside the public domain? Don’t they want to be the centre of attention for uniformed commentary & consumer demands?

It comes down to this: you do shitty things for as long as you do shitty things. 

Reasonably & rationally arguing for a balanced life, holding the overview of qualitative & quantitative elements, has signally failed for me. I have only stopped doing shitty things when I have said no. Regrettably, often a yes has been possible, even a preferred option. But, you only stop doing shitty things when you stop doing them. How to express this positively? Perhaps: you do good things when you accept nothing less than good things. I prefer this form…

You do what is Right when you accept nothing less than what is Right.

more fripp

Jul. 14th, 2010 01:25 pm
acroyear: (perspective)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Thursday, 1st July 2010:
...our 11.00 meeting with three UMG persons. They seemed quite decent. None of them has a sufficient paygrade to agree to any agreement, but one has enough clout that their recommendations are likely to be accepted. This is a company person, seemingly a straightforward company person, beginning their contribution with an apology for the delay. This did not translate into an immediate readiness to pay interest on the late period.

Even basically decent people, they do not see, and/or choose not to see, the music that is not composed, the students whose concerns are not addressed, the filing & organizing that is not, the time the Wife does not see her husband, the sheer distress & distraction caused, once again, through seeking to be paid for work discharged years ago.

The concern of the musician is music. The first aim: to be available when Music flies by, to clothe it in sound, bring this Impulse within auditory range & place an ongoing creative moment within the time stream. The second aim: to be Silent. The first is doing something; the second is Doing Nothing.
acroyear: (fof earplug)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Friday, 25th June 2010:
Upstairs, David & Mr. Stormy are mastering the original 21CSM (1969) for i-Tunes availability. Conventionally, audio quality is squashed out of downloaded music. How to honour the quality of sound while entering a marketplace that does not?
acroyear: (do you mind)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Tuesday, 22nd June 2010:
One of the dopiest approaches to smoking control in my own experience: I was in a left aisle-seat in the no smoking section, and the man on my right across the aisle lit up. I brought this up with the stewardess. The 6-seat configuration with central aisle had the left 3-row seating designated no smoking; the right 3-row seating designated smoking; and the aisle designated as smoke-barrier.
acroyear: (fof earplug)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Friday, 2nd October 2009:
We are looking at a royalty statement for an album I produced some years ago that now includes download income. The record company receives 67 US cents per track; I receive 2 cents per track as producer.

In the days of vinyl, the company used to receive c. 24% of the wholesale, and perhaps the artist received 40-50% of that 24% (this varied considerably & even where the rate seemed higher, such as 16-18%, the artist royalty was subject to all manner of deductions to lower it). So, the ratio of record company: artist earnings was nominally a proportion of perhaps 1:1 (ish),and post-deductions maybe 2:1. For downloads, the ratio is now 67:12; or around 5- or 6:1. This is the new model of digital music provision?
And that's for those companies that are actually (sorta) tracking downloads sales. Fripp has had an impressive round of battles just trying to get an accurate figure for the Crimson tracks illegally posted on iTunes so far.
We have received correspondence from the US accountant. This has now become complex and involves me in the loop. One radical solution to this not happening again is to abandon touring in the US. This is an effective solution to many of my unhappinesses regarding the professional life. The musical portion of the work is such a small percentage of the total effort involved that I have to ask: why am I doing this? The primary answer: because this is what I have always done. But, that is not a sufficient reason.

North American readers may not know that recent legislation & greater application of existing laws, in respect of policing monetary flows & foreign workers, have made tours by artists visiting the US increasingly complex. A growing response from touring artists is to avoid the US.
For these very crazy reasons, Marillion will not tour the U.S., and probably never will again. Various prog festivals are constantly getting the dreaded phone call from a headliner, saying their visas never came in so they can't perform.

Again the question is easily asked - was Chicago bumped from consideration because of how much of a pain the state department has made it for workers and tourists to enter the country now?
acroyear: (waitaminute)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Wednesday, 1st July 2009:

my difficulty is this: i have been bullied, even threatened, made the subject of undue influence, lied to, and generally had my interests ignored, where not actually trodden on. common decency, fairness & distributive justice are not notions of much consequence in my professional life. the only reason, it seems, that my rights are being taken more seriously nowadays is, that i have put my creative life on hold to deal with infringements & unpaid income; where necessary, through litigation. that is, to be paid for my work as a musician, i have essentially stopped being a musician.
acroyear: (perspective)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Thursday, 4th June 2009:
Blessed are the poor. The interpretation of this that rings my bell is blessed are those that see the poverty of their being; alternatively blessed are those that see the poverty of their inner life / spiritual nature. If this is so, I am blessed indeed.
acroyear: (ponder this)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Tuesday, 21st April 2009:
Everyday, do something that redeems the past, addresses what is necessary for today, and prepares for tomorrow.
acroyear: (ponder this)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Thursday, 26th February 2009:
A principle is universal, a rule is inflexible, a law is invariable.

Six Principles of the Performance Event

Music so wishes to be heard that sometimes it calls on unlikely characters to give it voice, and ears. This wishing-to-be heard calls into existence the Performance Event; where music, musician & audience may come together as one, in communion.

This communion has six different forms of being & experiencing itself (plus an invisible seventh); and these forms, or principles, are simultaneously present within the Performance.

    When people get together with music, something happens.

When people get together, something happens.
When people get together with music, something remarkable happens.

When musician, audience & music come together in a performance, this something remarkable has a quality of its own.
The something remarkable is Music taking on a life of its own.

The Creation continues being created.

    In a performance, things come together, mysteriously; and go better than we might anticipate; and better than we deserve.

In a performance event, the Benevolence that gives rise to Music brings together musicians & audience.

Things come together, mysteriously; and go better than we deserve, or might expect them to.

    A performance can take on a life & character of its own.

Any particular performance event  - with these people, in this place, at this time - defines the conditions of the performance: the where, when & what of the event.
This is on the outside.

The conditions of time, place & persons do not govern the quality of our experiencing of this performance.
Our experiencing is on the inside.

That the event happens is a given.
How we participate, listen, respond, is open & available.

What happens within the performance, that is, whether the performance comes to life or not, is to be created & discovered.

If this is so, the performance can take on a life & character of its own.

    Any one performance is a multiplicity of performances.

The degree to which we act as one, as a whole person, is a measure of our integration; that is, a measure of our Being.

The degree to which the performance is a whole event, depends upon the extent to which Musician & Audience & Music are able to enter into Communion as One.

Until this point, the performance event is as many performances as participants.
Beyond this point, the Whole Performance is every Performance: it is eternal.

The distinction between both is less than we might believe it to be.

So, any one performance is a multiplicity of performances.

    The possible is possible.

We are able to be with others only to the degree that we are able to be ourselves.
This being so, we can only be in the performance to the degree that we can be ourselves: to be who we are.

It is possible to be who we are.
So, the possible is possible.

We begin with the possible, and move gradually towards the impossible.

    The impossible is possible.

Normality is what we might achieve, given who we are, what we are, the conditions & limitations of the world we work within.

Our “norm” is what we “ought” to be.
This is what is asked of us: to be who we were born to be, and to do what we were born to do.
This is already asking too much: it is impossible

Nevertheless, we begin with the possible & move gradually towards the impossible; trusting that the Benevolence which gives rise to Music is never far away.

So, the impossible is possible.

    The Seventh Principle resides within Silence.

The Six Principles assume a common aim, good will & a willingness to participate in good spirit within the event, and the capacity to do so.

In a sense the Six Principles are available when the highest in us comes together; in the knowledge that, essentially, we are the same person.

When the lowest takes charge, the performance event downgrades; and the possible becomes increasingly restricted.
The impossible becomes impossible.
The best is then, that the possible remains possible.

The worst is, that the possible becomes impossible.
This is the Null Event: nothing happens.

A Null Event has no life span, no persistence, no present moment of its own.
The event disappears, as if it never was; and, really, it wasn’t.
The Null Event is a complete waste of time &energy.
Something is lost.

But, it doesn’t have to be like that.

May we trust the inexpressible Benevolence of the Creative Impulse.
acroyear: (Default)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Wednesday, 11th February 2009:
[...] on the Human Condition & the denying power inherent within functionality & operational matters that seemingly thwart the vaunting life of the Spirit. There comes a point when we see the world is mad. What to do? Can we be the only sane person in the asylum? And, were this to be so, what then?
acroyear: (yeah whatever)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Tuesday, 3rd February 2009:
One of the topics addressed with Mr. Boss was a telephone comment to David made by the STL: why wouldn’t you want us to download your material? David had mentioned this to me in our kitchen-discussion upon my today afternoon-arrival. The answer/s flew back…

1. It damages our business & business model.
2. S/UMG have used unapproved masters.
3. You may sell it, but we don’t get paid! We have received no accounting for any of the downloads.

All of which constitutes, I suggest, constructive negligence.

This is the short version, quick guide to a large & systemic structural flaw within the current music-industry-download model.

and the next day...(along with some nice pictures of the rarity that is snow in southern England...)

Robert Fripp's Diary for Wednesday, 4th February 2009:
The challenge is not to be become cynical: for the artist, cynicism is death. Cynicism is where we allow what is lowest in all of us to triumph over what is highest. The role of the artist in popular culture, after all, is to call on what is highest in all of us, to remind us of what is Real & Good & True in humanity, but which we forget. When we forget our realities & qualities, this is expressed in behaviour: we live lesser lives than we might. This, in turn, reinforces, in our culture & media & business lives, less than the creative, conscious & sensitive living that is properly human behaviour.
I agree with the downloads assessment. There way an album contract works is that the label/distributor pays an up-front "advance" on the idea that the album sales will make up that amount. When the album has sold past that point of profit, all additional royalties (in the movie industry, they're called residuals, but the effect is the same) go to the artists at a percentage cut (usually 12, from which the producer and engineer may also take a cut, as do ASCAP fees which may not go back to the artist, depending on how the contract with them was written).

The problem: all of those contractual obligations are almost entirely based on physical album sales. Hard, concrete product.  The physical CD is the unit of commerce, per typical manufacturing ("old school") mindset. 

[side problem: just like the movie industry, the music industry has some very clever accounting tricks they can pull such that a million selling album doesn't actually make a profit.  These same tricks were used, according to Pete Jackson in a now dropped lawsuit, by Newline in claiming RotK hadn't made the profit Jackson was sure it had from following the sales reports in the press.  And even here, it's not that Newline was directly picking on Jackson: they simply were a studio operating as they always do in this case, because they really have no other way to operate.  Bureaucrats are what they are, and companies like that hire bureaucrats.  Honest dealings are simply inconceivable, and I DO mean what I think it means.  Above, "STL" == Second-Tier Lawyer, whom DGM had been dealing with for 15 months before finally getting in touch with someone in the authority to do anything other than stall.]

So where does a download fit into this?  How does the download of a single song fit into the business contract model where an entire album is the unit of commerce in the contract.  Where does an online sale even of a whole album fit in, when the unit of commerce was a physical cd (or lp or tape, depending on how old the contract was)?

Where does the artist actually get his due when, as in the case of Canada, the labels are given a cut of all blank media on the assumption that the media will be used for piracy, even when it isn't?

These are the reasons why I can not trust the industry, in its current form, to properly handle any "download for free, and pay in one-time tax/fee" model, which they think is their only solution given that DMCA really has not done what it set out to do (and rightfully so - you screw with my fair use rights and damned if i'm going to call your bogus law legitimate).  The only model the labels have for such an arrangement is one they've already cloned (thanks to the DMCA) with online radio: pay us, and trust us.

This they learned from ASCAP and how they handle broadcast and venue site licenses.  And how do they handle it?  Pick some arbitrary standard, like "radio air play", and divvy up the money based on that.  Thus, it doesn't matter if you're an online radio station that only plays rennie-music - all the money you pay Live365 goes to "I Kissed A Girl" - the songwriter(s) and the label - even the performer doesn't get that money, 'cause the label has, as pointed out above, no reason to connect that revenue with the artists.

You wonder why some rennies don't want their music on online radio stations like ren-radio?  that's why: unles it really increases cd sales later (it won't, only live performance does since that's where the most cds are sold in that market) or increases live gigs (it won't, 'cause that audience already gets them at the festivals), there is nothing financially to gain.  the money goes elsewhere.

So too, anything else where the label gets all of the money without any specific accounting of actual usage: they have to make it up from the only standard they know, and because it is a standard they have so distorted beyond anybody's real listening habits, it then distorts the distribution, forcing a handful of hitmakers to get all of the money.

Until the industry can show me proof that they have come up with a new and accurate accounting system that actually gets the money of online sales to the artists (and they have no interest in doing so, since they can claim for eternity to be bound by existing contracts that ignore this market, so the money is all theirs), I refuse to consider any alternative mechanism for giving the labels money.

Naxos's solution to this (we pay a generous one-time fee, but we keep all residuals beyond what ASCAP takes) may utterly suck, but at least it's honest.
acroyear: (ponder this)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Monday, 5th January 2009:
What I find most astonishing is that people act as if there were no consequences from their behaviour, no repercussions from their actions. Like, being nasty to someone & then expressing surprise that the subject of their nastiness is offended, upset, disturbed. Why be upset that a critic, reviewer, commentator, poster, fan or audient have stuck a metaphorical knife in the heart of a player?

If we assume our postings have no effect, better not to post them. If we believe that our postings & online commentary have effect, better to accept responsibility for generating those effects.
Robert Fripp's Diary for Wednesday, 7th January 2009:
David: A few thought-provoking figures. In the last ten years, the legal obligation for our small business to file accounts with Companies House has cost us exactly £213,763.62 in bookkeeping and accountancy fees. And yet, having paid all that money preparing accounts for the taxman, how much tax have we actually paid during that same ten year period? Exactly £670. Those figures bear repeating. £213,763.62 on the completely pointless and non-productive task of preparing figures, in order to pay a tax bill of just £670.
acroyear: (Default)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Friday, 21st November 2008:
We are only ready to undertake a piece of work when we have completed that piece of work. Doing the task prepares us to do the task: we are learning on the job. So, clearly, we don’t understand how to do the job until we’ve already done it.
acroyear: (good grief pertree)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Thursday, 23rd October 2008:
The second-tier lawyer we are dealing with at EMI is the same man who came to DGM HQ in 2003, when we were considering re-licensing the KC/RF catalogue to EMI for a further term of years: this was our preferred option. However, EMI’s second-tier lawyer explained to us although downloads weren’t important, it was EMI standard policy to have download rights - even though download rights were not importantI Our reply, that as download rights are not important, we’ll keep them, had a logic that did not seem to persuade him. And as the terms for payment on downloads were not then established in the industry, it was a question of – give us the download rights that are not important and we’ll figure out what we pay you for them later!

This was not a proposition that convinced us, so we declined to grant the unimportant downloading rights & all other releasing rights in the KC catalogue 1969-2000, which reverted to DGM. This did not, however, prevent EMI from continuing to release the catalogue nor from putting up material for download. A little rich, perhaps, given how the majors prosecute little guys that fileshare?
acroyear: (ponder this)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Thursday, 14th August 2008:
Because you can do it, clearly doesn’t imply it’s the right thing to do. There is no way around this principle: intentionally non-consensual action constitutes a form of violence & is without conscience. Action without conscience carries its own consequences, although these may not become apparent for decades. When they are clearly seen, it may be too late to address their effect. But, if my head is placed where sunshine never falls, what concern is this?


acroyear: (Default)
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