Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rick Wright, Pink Floyd, Synthesis and Just Saying No

It may perhaps seem odd that a devout Catholic would be so involved in experimental music/synthesizers and all things electronic. Truth is that I see electronics as neutral, able to be used for good and bad. It is in much the same way that I see music. I grew up with Pink Floyd. I always loved the sound of a synthesizer, processed guitars and arffully used electronics. So Pinik Floyd was a natural attraction. On the other hand, I am also strongly opposed to the use of drugs and abuse of alchhol not simply because of religious beliefs but because of what I have seen them do to people. I have seen the sad parade of people who have been destroyed by drugs and alchohol. I also lament the artists of the past who could have made a lot more music were it to for lives being cut short by drugs and alchohol. Syd Barrett is a very sad case of this. A man with a unique talent and sound who was foundational to Pink Floyd and yet took a voluntary walk into the darkness of drugs and ultimately, ending up not only out of the band but also living in osscurity and lamented by his friends in Pink Floyd who fondly but sadly lament the "black holes in the sky" in "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" which they saw when they looked into Barretts eyes.

I realize the drug culture that surrounds bands like Pink Floyd and it is this culture that I firmly condemn. However, I also realize good music and Floyd blending of instruments and often thoughtful commentary on life (such as the loss of their friend in the album "Wish you Were Here" and thoughful social commentary in Albums like "Animals" makes them musical artists worthy of note. It is the art I celebrate in this post which I wanted to make clear before saying anything more.

With that in mind I found Thanasis Tsilderikis article on Richard Wrights equipement most fascinating. Another brief caveat to this is that I do realize that there are certain errors contained in his article such as refering to the Prophet 5 as a Prophet V and calling it an additive synthesizer that are problematic but it is is equipment list that fascinates me and that is what I am writing about. Here is the article for reference:

If I had to look at the broad scope of Pink Floyds music I would break it up into period. The first is the period from "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" to "Atom Heart Mother". Then from "Meddle" to "Obscured by Clouds", then from "Dark Side of the Moon" to "The Wall" and "The Wall" to current.

Let me explain why at least in terms of Wrights use of synthesizers and keyboards that I have made this division (but also for other reasons).

End of Part I - to be continued - interupted again, I keep getting interupted.

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