July 2019

June was a not very nice month weather wise: grey skies and rain on most days. This is worrying given the fact that we also had the summer solstice. We are moving towards winter again now. Time to plan my next trip to the sun!!


A friend visited and it literally poured down every day. The ‘seaside’ at Chesil Beach in Dorset gives an idea. Look at those clouds! Nevertheless, time for an ephemeral sculpture:







Another trip to Chichester in Sussex had us running out of the rain to the glorious cathedral. An English country garden but, again, look at the sky!





While there, we visited the Pallant House Gallery which specializes in English art. This little miniature reproduction of some examples – rather nice:






The big event of the month was the King Crimson Anniversary Concert at the Albert Hall in London:







I went as a Four Quarter Maintainer, which was good work (http://www.gurdjiefflegacy.org/40articles/theredeemedbeelzebub.htm). A pre-show ‘Royal package’ had people present from across the world (see report below).





Spectacular scenes in the auditorium (including a famous face – well, famous for us!!):






Going from one extreme to another, I went to see the Puppini Sisters in a town near here.





Very much retro since the venue was an old type of cinema you get in England. Lovely ‘biz’ type stage and internal décor:








The Puppini Sisters camp it up with glamorous costumes and routine. Behind it all, however, is tight musical harmony based on the Andrew Sisters style of the 1940s +. A great show.


I also gave an Introductory lecture on Reflexivity for the H3 University. Quite something to have a Zoom link up with people from across the globe: New Zealand, Canada, Europe, Americas. Recording here:






The password is: H3Unigrenfell



I had had a new book published of some of my conversations with Pierre Bourdieu:




It is published in Australia:




An earlier version of the text can be found on this site:




Two books of the month since they are somehow linked, and both French. Firstly, Didier Eribon’s semi-sociological reflection on his life and times. Which is very much in the epistemological tradition set by Pierre Bourdieu.






Then, a more explicit fiction from Laurent Gaude (Le Soleil des Scorta). but again describing a family across the generations from the 1870s to today – what touched, moved and affected them:






My CD is by Emma Smith – The Huntress. Some cool jazz singing here with fine accompaniment. What impressed me was that these are new pieces written by Emma herself with collaborators, but certainly in the tradition of the finest jazz songs.












King Crimson: Four Quarter Maintainer Report


Wednesday 20thJune 2019, Royal Albert Hall, London


Whilst travelling to the Albert Hall, I had two thoughts:


Firstly, when did FQM duties begin for me? We know that a beginning is invisible and certainly, in the past, I have been an FQM on my own. The present round, however, was when Captain Ferni suddenly wrote to me out of the blue prior to the Bournemouth shows in the UK last year.  Here, we were organised an ‘on’. Since then, the whole FQM movement has grown with a website, exercises, AAD-ers, and a large contributing team.


My second though was about FQM itself. I wondered if it is meant FOUR Quarter Maintainers, or Four QUARTER Maintainers FOUR-QUARTER Maintainers? I knew what I role was.


Well such ruminations were theoretical since when we arrived, we quickly grouped and were away – a team of six. We learnt that the Albert Hall did not allow us to stand and in fact had given us tickets – in a row – near the stage. Which seemed a bit strange…


We first attended the Royal Package meeting. This was well attended with several rows of royal packagers. It was clear that these were real aficionados: some coming from the USA and attending every night. The warmth and interest in all things KC was very evident. Robert spoke a little, there was then opportunities for mutual photography. David then brought everyone up to date before Gavin and Pat appeared for Q&A. Some good questions from where I was sitting – and good interesting answers.


We broke up and left the magnificent arena. There was then some intermingling and social interaction. Some people I knew, and some who I did not know but who seemed to know me.


We then encircled and formally began our FQM duties confirming our commitment to the exercise. . As I say, sitting in a row was a bit odd, so I gave myself the task of picturing myself standing in the far quarter looking at the stage; not that easy since the hall  was round.


Actually, I was sat in an ideal position in the line of the three drummers. Glance to my right and it was the band; to my left the hall, which was near full.


The show began in a way I recognized from before but soon, it was very clear that some pieces had been rearranged extensively. The sound was amazing: clear, balanced and not too loud. A standing ovation greeted the band and there were others during the show for pieces such as Epitaph.


The lights lit half of the arena and the audience were a good balance of the older and the younger. Some were obviously immediately into it, with nodding heads – really grooving.


For me, being so close to the band, the music appeared both very sure and fragile-like at the same time; sort of hanging there together.


The audience seemed well behaved photography wise. Only twice did I look into the audience and catch a tiny light of a mobile.


Mostly I managed to keep my attention on my FQM duties and the exercise. At one point point I lost it – in Discipline – and sort of gave myself to the music – nodding away with the rest. I caught the eye of Ferni in the row in front of me and he was grinning at me, nodding and grooving too. This kind of woke me up sol I was able to groove and stay alert.


Quite a show!!