Spring/ Autumn Odyssey:
I say ‘Spring/ Autumn’ since I leave UK in the Spring and arrive in Argentina in the Autumn. Ostensibly to play guitar but – hmmm – quite a lot of eating and socialising as well, it seems!
Gurdjieff’s philosophy argues that there are three types of ‘spirit’ food : the food we eat, air, and impressions. It is only the last that deprives us of life. So, this is what (some of) my stay looked like::
Arrival – home and eating:
To the course:
Camp Chascomus: we are on to play.
The company I keep!!!:
My partner in crime – Luciano:
Luciano is a Master of the guitar – and Paella:
Post tour party:
Moved by the music:
Across the generation gap – me and Santino:
Transfiguration – or transubstantiation!!??
Honouring the monument to the founding of the Argentinian flag:
My home in Chacras, Mendoza:
The Panama Club!!
Celebratory dinner with my friend Andres from Mendoza – a Master of the guitar – and food and drink!!
Then, a beautiful evening with the Master (mistress??!) dancer Valentina Fusari and her fine partner Jean-Pablo:
Ugos beautiful garden and I play with fire – literally.
I fall in love with Ugo’s dog – Bambina:
Back to Buenos Aires and work with my Pomera Press partner:
But, yes, eating and drinking as well.
We launch the Guitar Craft Introduction I wrote:
Catching up with friends – ‘real’ musicians – in their studio – Kimono Studios, Buenos Aires.
In this context, they are working with their Genesis tribute band Genetics. It sounded amazing to me – like this is complicated music and they have nailed it. They are hospitable and let us play their instruments. Claudio also explains some of the intricate tunings necessary to render this music – like Open F sharp which seem to have three top strings all tuned to F sharp. But, then it is played and a well known Genesis classic emerges.
Finally, leaving and back to the Business lounge:
While all of this was going on, there was not much time to actually ‘listen’ to music. However, you know how it is how a particular piece sticks in your mine: this time one of my favourites by Ralph Mctell:
sadly, I could not find a Live version of this. This version is recorded and so has (unnecessary) backing music and singers. But, that is the problem with people like Ralph: they are best just on their own, but it is a brave musician who record nothing but therm and their guitar for 40 years!! Interesting, the various records are kind of time capsules on style of the day.
Anyway, in this song Ralph captures what it is to be apart and connected: with all that we know and love but more – the distant indigenous spirits. One!
‘Coincidentally’ (my fiend Ken Lawton used to say that coincidence was when God wished to remain anonymous!!) I picked up and was reading another ‘travel book’, Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Mechanics. I first read this in the 1970s when my Lecturer Rae Beaver recommended it. Rae was amongst the most influential teachers I have been lucky to have – he set me on a course I have traveled ever since. The book has two important themes for me: travel – leaving and arriving, the velocity of moving, our relationship to mechanical apparatus that propelled us, indeed all material objects; and a philosophical treatise on Quality. The latter is bewitching and beguiling and Pirsig brings the themes together in a brilliant fashion: the protagonist ‘sees’ the fundamental flaw in philosophy and asks THE question to his philosophy lecturer – an effort that results in the former having a complete breakdown. In this sense the book, a bit like Hesse’s Steppenwolf, is th account of someone’s recovery – but what is lost in that recovery.
Pirsig only wrote two books: the second one – Lila – is all very good and essential reading.