Pink Floyd - A Fleeting GlimpsePosted on by Liam C
Lover’s Lane. By Chester Kamen.
Chester Kamen, Former lead guitarist with Roger Waters band and last seen playing With David Gilmour on the 2016 Rattle That Lock tour has been busy writing and working on his forthcoming album,
March see’s the release of “Lover’s Lane” which is featured on the “Take This “ album which is currently in progress.
As Chester says briefly ” “Lover’s Lane” was written by myself and Chuck Sabo, who also played drums. It is a kind of waltz and is possibly inspired by the old Fleetwood Mac sound of Peter Green and Danny Kirwan, which I grew up on. Once again the video is a montage of stuff I have filmed and various bits of found footage that I have mistreated.“
Pink Floyd - A Fleeting GlimpsePosted on by Liam C
The inside story of David Gilmour’s Martin D-35 signature models How Martin’s Fred Greene made the Pink Floyd legend’s dream guitars a reality.
CF Martin & Company’s long history of symbiotic artist relations has led to several iconic signature guitars, including collaborations with such legends Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills and John Mayer.
Ahead of January’s virtual NAMM show, the Nazareth brand announced the addition of David Gilmour to the fold and the release of six- and 12-string David Gilmour Custom Signature D-35 models. We caught up with Martin’s vice president of product, Fred Greene, to find out more.
Bringing a new signature model into being is a demanding process, especially during a pandemic. How is Martin meeting the challenges of the current climate?
“ Well it’s definitely a brave new world! That said, we recognise that this is the reality we’re in today and this is what we have to do and how we have to do it. There are a handful of iconic Martin artists who we have not had the opportunity to work with directly to create a signature model – David Gilmour was at the very top of that list. We didn’t have any expectations but Westside, our UK distributor, had been working this for a while and trying to find a way to make this happen. ”
“I think after David sold many of his guitars at auction, and we saw his D-35 go for over a million dollars, that sort of got things going. We thought that maybe he’d be up for doing this, especially if there was charity component to it. It’s not like he needs more guitars! Honestly, it was actually a bit of a shock when he agreed.” You’ve been involved with several signature models over the years, how did the creation of David Gilmour’s guitars differ from previous experiences?
“Signature models can be tricky. You can tell when a company has approached an artist with a finished guitar and just said, ‘Are you ok with this?’, and it hits the market as a full signature model. That is not what happens at Martin. I work closely with our artists and each signature model is a genuine partnership between us and people like Eric Clapton, John Mayer and now David Gilmour. It’s their name going on it and they reserve the right to say no at any point.“
“Our main goal is to try and engage the artist in a way that allows them to play a meaningful role in the creation of their instrument, and it was clear from the outset that David was determined to be very active in the process. Just like a Pink Floyd recording where he’s going to be very involved and specific about what he wants – not just handing it to a producer. We agreed to that challenge very happily because it’s how we’ve always worked with artists!
Right from the beginning we knew we wanted to do a six- and a 12-string. Our first thought was that David would want an exact replica of his guitars. His D-35 is from 1969 and he bought it outside Manny’s Music in New York in 1971. The story goes that he was just going into the store and there was a guy outside trying to sell this guitar. David played it, loved it and bought it!“
“To be honest, though, while a recreation still would have been cool, it didn’t excite me as much as the prospect of developing new models and I was very happy when David said he wanted to go in that direction. I think that says a lot about him as an artist too. He’s never sitting still, he’s always creating. I don’t think it’s in his nature to rehash things he’s already done and that’s how I looked at these instruments.
“Obviously you can’t rush this kind of thing, and we were working via intermediaries where David was sending a list of what did and didn’t work for him, which was then getting communicated back to us. So we were creating parts and indeed finished instruments, based on the feedback we were getting. When David liked something he would sign off on it officially but up until that point we were working from his notes on what we sent him.
“We always aim to be super respectful of artists of this stature, to give them what they want, to be as timely as we can. Essentially to try and help them understand that these projects demand time to get right and we are totally okay with that! It’s not like you send it back to us and then two days later we send you the next version – it doesn’t work like that – we have to make new tools, set up new measurements, it can take weeks to get something processed so the design stage alone was a year in the making. Obviously a global pandemic did not help make things any easier!”
The D-35 is a classic spruce and rosewood dreadnought design with a distinctive three-piece back. David Gilmour’s signature models take a slightly different route with some some forward-thinking features. What was the inspiration behind these choices?
“We have played around with the three-piece back motif of the 35 model quite a bit over the years, taking it away from the original rosewood. We’ve released guitars through the Custom Shop with centre wedges of different woods like Hawaiian koa, always looking to find a new little bit of magic somewhere, but in most cases it’s been aesthetic rather than tonal. This is the first time we have used something other than rosewood for the whole back and sides.
“David was very open to the use of the sinker mahogany [this is wood from logs that were salvaged from river beds having sunk decades if not centuries before, it’s particularly prized as it comes from old-growth forests and often the mineral content from the river bed can give it a unique look and sound – Ed]. No new trees were cut down to make these guitars, they were created exclusively from old, salvaged materials.“
“We also included a carbon fibre bridge plate – the same design that’s in our Modern Deluxe range. That’s a very interesting component made from two pieces of carbon fibre with a slice of maple in the middle which boosts some of the high end frequencies and makes the guitar a little bit louder. David was really interested in that approach.
“For the six-string, David chose Adirondack spruce with Adirondack bracing but for the 12-string he went for Carpathian spruce with Sitka braces. That makes total sense when you think about it; European spruce can really accentuate the overtone content of a guitar and that’s what you want in a 12-string right?
“So much of the process was really just responding to David’s feedback with the benefit of expertise and experience. Really listening to what he wanted and acting on it, because we knew it would be worth it. There are no shortcuts in this game!”
What was the most demanding part of the process?
“I think the piece that we went back and forth most about was the neck. It’s a completely new neck profile, unlike any other we offer. To start with, we sent out a bunch of different necks so David could tell us what suited him. That was important because it established a shared frame of reference and it not only made communication easier but also gave David an idea of just how varied the options were. It can be really hard for someone to tell you what they want without an actual example. You need to have held that neck to understand.
“The Gilmour six-string has the classic 1 11/16” nut width and it’s little more squared off than our standard D shape. It has the same depth as a full thickness neck, with some shoulder to it, which gives it a much more vintage feel. It’s like a V that’s been softened by decades of playing. It’s a beautiful neck, we’re very proud of it.”
How do these guitars differ sonically from a classic D-35?
“Sometimes the low-end on a 35 model can be a little overpowering, especially if you’re trying to record. The guitar does have some intrinsic characteristics that push towards the bass. I was just upstairs playing the Gilmour signature guitar, it happened to be in the room while I was doing a livestream and I was playing it to calm my nerves.The attack is a little sharper and more detailed. We have learned that a mahogany 35 cuts through better, with more immediacy to the note too.
“These new Gilmour models are also much lighter and they’re very lively and responsive. There is more to that than just the haptic response of the guitar against the body though, the sound really is unique. Mahogany just works so well on bigger instruments — we have an original 1920s …12-fret dreadnought in the Martin museum which will change your belief about everything when you touch it!”
The aesthetic details on a signature guitar are a large part of its identity but in this case they’re very subtle.
“Understated elegance is definitely our calling card. Well, we have two gears, very understated or completely over the top and full of pearl, with not much in between! David resisted the temptation to go crazy with aesthetics. All the details are really subtle and beautiful like the volute and the stamp of the back of the peghead, like the old New York-style guitars. So very classic stuff, little details that people who love Martin guitars will appreciate.
“There’s herringbone on here too, making it technically an HD-35, but the nomenclature piece can become a struggle as we’ve done pretty much every version of everything over the years here at Martin. We’ve been at it since 1833 so you’ll just have to forgive us on that one! I mean, really it can’t be a 35 without binding on the fingerboard but hey… I know it’s not an 18 either… I don’t know what to tell you!”
“David was very interested in making sure the guitars did not look too new. We played with the toner quite a bit to get the colour just right. There was a temptation to go down the relic route but we decided not to take it that far. Instead we used our vintage-style finish which is not super glossy, it has a soft brushed-on look like it’s gassed off over the years.
“Back in the 20s and 30s, before Martin was using buffing wheels to polish guitars they went through a completely different process which we re-introduced for our Authentic line. David really liked that look so we went for it and right now this is the only guitar outside of our Authentic line that gets this finish package. It looks really cool in person. When you see it you just want to touch it.”
Did the sound of any Pink Floyd songs in particular influence these guitars?
“Ha! I know everybody will be expecting me to say Wish You Were Here and there is no question that the thought of that one song was like a guiding light showing us the way. For me, though, Shine On You Crazy Diamond is the ultimate Floyd Song.
“It’s funny, David told me that his original D-35 probably appeared on more Pink Floyd records than any other instrument that he owned. It was a constant sound throughout his career. I remember hearing him being interviewed on the BBC for Desert Island Discs, where he said that if he could take any one thing to an island with him it would be his Martin D-35. He also said he saw a guitar not as a luxury but as a necessity. When I heard that it gave me a huge sense of responsibility when it came to these models.”
Pink Floyd - A Fleeting GlimpsePosted on by Liam C
Regular users of this site would be aware that since 1998 we have been completely independent.
That is, we do not receive any fundingfrom outside sources (Unlike some other sites).
The truth of the matter is that the site is run by fans for the fans, For ourentire existence we have funded site fees from our own pockets, with the occasional appeal to fans to help contribute.
Last month we launched an appeal to secure the sites running costs for the next 3 years and beyond.
We are so greatful for the outpouring of support shown from everyone involved, Within the first week we secured more than we originally anticipated and our grand total was$1055 (AUS) / £590 / $815 (USA).
A huge thak you go to all our donaters and everyone else involved (In no particular order) : Chester Kamen, Anthony Smith, Jort Maas, Roger Blake, Jon Carin, Theatrice Westbrook, Edwin Ammerlaan, Duncan Beach, M Stutzer, Hayk Matirosyan, Gina Ramirez, Jacob Krug, Thomas Eisenhardt, Richard Allen, Enrico Soldatini, Hazel Spooner.
Pink Floyd - A Fleeting GlimpsePosted on by Liam C
Professor Gilad Cohen further explores The Floydian Style
Debuting on March 3rd, educator, musician, and Pink Floyd pundit Gilad Cohen is offering a remote lecture series entitled The Floydian Style for the general public and Floyd fandom to experience. Cohen – who along with Dave Mock co-created the academic conference Pink Floyd: Sound, Sight and Structurewhich was held at Princeton University in 2014 – has been teaching Floydian curriculum for nearly a decade now as well as lecturing and publishing in the field. In light of this new endeavor I was curious to catch up with Gilad regarding the series as well as other Floydian-related inquiries. My thanks to Gilad for his time and thoughtful responses.
In the aftermath of the Pink Floyd Conference and how complex an event it was to put on, how did it affect your relationship to the music and to fandom overall, if at all?
Putting on the Pink Floyd Conference with my friend Dave Molk was indeed a huge undertaking, but having memories of moments such as the 6-hour surround listening session, and hearing from people later what the conference has meant for them, make it all worth it. One of the things I realized during the Conference is how many Pink Floyd fans are eager to dig deeper into the music, discuss it with others, and learn more about it. I don’t think this is true for many rock bands. In the case of Pink Floyd, it often happens that we listen to an album we’ve known for years, and yet we suddenly discover another cool guitar part, or production trick, or effective moment of marriage between lyrics and music that we’ve never thought about before. This is why I still enjoy writing and lecturing about it, and I also find that it informs my own compositions for the concert hall.
How did the lecture series come about, beyond your desire to further explore the music of Pink Floyd from a more technical perspective rather than merely one of cultural criticism?
I’ve been teaching an extensive 4-credit course about Pink Floyd’s music for 7 years now at Ramapo College of New Jersey, where I’m an Associate professor. My focus isn’t the history of the band; there are excellent books and videos out there about it. Rather, my students and I attempt to understand how the building blocks of lyrics, composition, arrangement, production, visuals, and their intersections make Pink Floyd’s art so powerful, and we also touch on broader issues such as originality and authenticity, expectation and perception, and art and emotion. This lecture series is an opportunity for me to discuss these things with a wider audience. For instance, a core question in this series is how the band’s style has evolved through the years. The early Barrett-led music is so different than that of Wish You Were Here, and The Wall presents yet another huge leap. Can we identify common threads from Barrett’s style through the Gilmour-led era? In what ways do Atom Heart Mother and Meddle form the style of The Dark Side of the Moon? I can’t wait to talk about these issues with fellow Pink Floyd enthusiasts.
Character design in Pink Floyd's "Goodbye Cruel World"
It must be quite a challenge for you as an educator in the pandemic era, especially given your particular field. How difficult has it been to teach music in the online realm?
Teaching performance remotely is really hard, so in my performance classes we try to meet in person at least a few times during the semester, for practicing things like bass and drum grooves, following each other’s cues, etc. When teaching composition and songwriting remotely, I am actually surprised how meaningful some of our discussions are, and how much we get to know one another through sincere sharing of one’s art and heart. The pandemic era also has its positive sides: everyone is now accustomed to using Zoom, and I find myself giving international remote lectures on a regular basis. It’s wonderful to be able to connect simultaneously with people from different places around the world.
The reissue campaign from 2011 was titled Why Pink Floyd…? and so I’d like to ask you the same question, after a fashion. In the 21st Century, what makes Floyd relevant, or as relevant as they were in the 20th Century?
Lyrically, many of Pink Floyd’s subject matters are relevant in the 21st century just as they were in the previous century. Some topics seem more relevant than ever – The Wall resonated with Donald Trump’s vision of a wall in the Mexican border (a connection made clear by Waters himself), the themes of Animals and The Dark Side of the Moon resonate with the feelings of isolation and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the pressures of modern life that are portrayed in much of Pink Floyd’s work have continued if not even increased in the past few decades.
Musically, I find that many contemporary pop and rock artists in the mainstream tend to go for the safe and familiar. It often feels like the goal has become to make your song as similar to others as possible, rather than to explore your soul and cave a personal artistic path. Likewise, instrumental sections seem rarer and shorter than ever (when was the last time you heard a 30-second intro in a new song on the radio?). Pink Floyd, however, have avoided formulas and explored inventive ways to express their ideas, making their music specific rather than generic. So, I think their music still stands out and continues to influence others.
The Floydian Style is an eight-part lecture series conducted via Zoom. The first session is free for all participants, subsequent lectures are available for $15 each ($12 for current students).
Pink Floyd - A Fleeting GlimpsePosted on by Liam C
LOST SOULS, A fictional journey through 50 years of PINK FLOYD
Meet Matt, a young, inquisitive teenager who in 1967 accidentally bumps into Roger Waters and Syd Barrett on a ferry from Ibiza to Formentera. What follows is a lifelong fascination for all things Pink Floyd and, eventually, acceptance into the band’s inner circle.
Travelling the globe, Matt joins Pink Floyd on tour, in the studio and even on the golf course, building a fragile bond of trust and friendship with the band along the way. Matt dreams of becoming an established music journalist but as he grows older and wiser, ends up writing a book. Or that’s his intention….
By introducing an imaginary protagonist in a fictional coming-of-age story based on real life events, LOST SOULS gives the reader a more personal, intimate and unique perspective on one of the most successful bands in music history.
Edwin Ammerlaan began as a music journalist for OOR magazine in 1986. Since then he has interviewed more than 300 musicians and bands and his articles have appeared in various Dutch music publications including Revolver, Lust For Life, Aloha and iO Pages. He is also the author of ‘SAGA, The Biography’ (2010). Edwin Ammerlaan lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Background information LOST SOULS:
” A few years ago, I was asked by a local publisher if I would be interested in writing a biography about Pink Floyd for Dutch readers. I’ve been a freelance music journalist since 1987 and have written many features about Pink Floyd in that time. I rejected it because I felt that most things about Pink Floyd had already been thoroughly documented. To add a new perspective to the Floyd history would be virtually impossible.
The offer did get me thinking though. I decided to come up with a new concept. A concept, now aiming at an international audience, which would allow me to look at Pink Floyd from a more personal, subjective perspective. I started to write a book on real-life events from the band’s history but also to add some ‘made-up’ stories along the way. I also introduced a fictional main character, Matt, so I could (re)visit events and comment on the band’s history as it unfolded. By placing the events in chronological order and having Matt present at them all, I realised my book was also becoming a kind of coming-of-age story. At this point I started to incorporate some of my own personal experiences of working and growing up in the music industry as well.
Because I now had fictional characters meeting real people, my next challenge was to make sure the dialogue between them were not too far-fetched. For that I needed to come up with quotes that were as close to the ‘imaginary truth’ as possible. Enter many months of research. I collected hundreds of quotes from multiple sources including interviews – some of which I’d done myself –, books, dvd’s, and YouTube-clips. When it came to writing the book, I transformed many of the quotes I’d amassed into conversational exchanges that fitted the time, place and people involved. Other quotes I completely rewrote and, inevitably, some of the dialogue I just had to make up on the spot.
Even though my book is largely based on real events and interviews, the main storyline is a work of fiction: a novel written from a journalist’s perspective with information accumulated through some serious research but with which I have taken huge liberties as I made it fictional (which is made clear through the book’s sub-title, an explicit disclaimer and in the foreword). But above of all, it is a book written with love and passion for the music of Pink Floyd and with the deepest respect and admiration for the band members, their crew, families, and all the people involved.” – Edwin Ammerlaan