The guitarist Robert Fripp was born on this day in 1946 in Wimbourne Minster, a small town in Dorset, England.
Starting out as a young guitarist in the Bournemouth area, Fripp since went on to be the sole consistent member of King Crimson, taking them through countess iterations of music. The only constant of these fifty-one years of music is its constant motion. The first lineup alone is said to have influenced Black Sabbath and Deep Purple to take heavier directions in their music, in part thanks to Fripp’s percussive, unsettling guitar work.
When not serving as a titan of the progressive rock genre, Fripp also worked with such eccentrics as Brian Eno and David Bowie; he ended up contributing guitar portions to one of Bowie’s most enduring songs.
Fripp has also undertaken various side projects over the years, all some shade of “eccentric”. Perhaps one of the most unusual places in which Fripp’s work has popped up–as well as one of the most widely known–is as the startup sound on the Windows Vista operating system. My middle school ran entirely on Windows Vista, so this is probably his most familiar work to me!
Fripp’s most recent project is “Music for Quiet Moments“, a weekly release of an ambient tracks ranging in length from about three minutes to over fifteen. These tracks come from various performances in the early twenty-first century and all are intended to have a calming effect on listeners.
Here’s wishing Mr. Fripp a happy birthday, and hoping he’s spent a good day with his nearest and dearest!
- Edit on 2021-01-10: Optimized for new site. Added information on “Music for Quiet Moments”