Jim Lange Published

The Power of Silence


Consistently, the concept of music coming from another time or another place, far different from our own, is an idea you will encounter again and again in artistic circles. It’s as if music is imported, allows itself into or gently descends upon the practitioners of this noble art. 

Then there’s silence. What’s so special about that? How does it relate to music?

Silence of the nature that Robert Fripp and Sandra Bain Cushman talk about occurring on Guitar Craft or now as it is known, Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists courses, is a keenly felt presence.

From the Fripp diary:

“Breakfast, with everyone present, at 08.00.

Brother Frank stood to announce that he will be leaving us this afternoon, returning on Friday.
Shortly afterwards, quietly enjoying breakfast with my chums, I noticed I was wondering whether Silence would put in an appearance. And then: a shift. Not a glide, not a whoosh, but immediately: what we recognize, and refer to, as the presence of Silence.

Nothing I report in this Diary is of greater profundity than this: when the qualitative world enters that of the quantitative; when the (non-existent) barrier between perception and actuality falls away – in an instant – and there we are: where we are. Occupying a moment in time, while out of time. Sitting with a Presence which is not constrained by time, but which enters the time-stream to visit, reminding those of us who live mostly-here that we are ourselves only visiting.”

To experience something real: is this why we continue to play music?


Credit Robert Fripp
RF’s room at a Crafty Guitar Orchestra seminar.

“We have a public performance on Saturday. Technically, this is referred to as a manifestation of our work.

Firstly, this is a flag for those young people who are looking for something more valuable in their lives. Also for old people, even as old as Hernan and Dr. Mike and Martin, looking for something more real than a glass of wine and dessert at the end of their day.

Secondly, the act of music is primarily social. Something remarkable acts through Music, moving from outside the time stream into the flow of events. This provides an energy, a certain something, that is available within the performance and becomes available to the audience.

Thirdly, the performance is for us. We are not ourselves from the timestream: we are only visiting. This is an opportunity for us to more fully experience who we are, what we are, while playing music.”