It was absolutely amazing to be there, James Guthrie’s surround sound presentation on the ATC rig were so far beyond awsome it’s not possible to describe to you in words what exactly you missed if you weren’t there

James himself I found to be one of the most wonderful, affable guys I have ever met in my entire life.. ridiculously modest and self-effacing (usually my strong suits as an ex-pat Brit in the States), allegedly shy and quiet, but once he starts talking about something he’s confident about he’s unstoppable. His keynote address was amazing. Entertaining, humourous, giving us some wonderful insights into his long time role with “The Floyd” without offering so much as the merest hint that any of his employers might have been even the slightest bit unreasonable in their expectations. Despite his modesty and claim that he was terrified, if sound recording and engineering were to be made illegal tomorrow he could surely make a quite respectable living over the next few years from public speaking. The fact that he was able to greet me by name on Sunday morning having only met me for the briefest of moments on Saturday , and despite my protests to the contrary, continue to insist on thanking me for coming to the event was truly, literally incredible.

The rest of the event was, I have to be honest, a mixed bunch. I’m going to be brief rather than mean. There were a couple of talks that were not up to par. I’ll be polite, not mention any names, and suggest that perhaps it;s just that i’m nowhere enough of a musical intellectual to understand what they were trying to say. There were a few musical performances that varied from the “OK” to the truly moving… more above average than the one or two not so much that weighed them down.

Sadly have to say that the whole event did have a severe lack of slickness… far too many gaps, pauses, poor unfortunate speakers left in limbo with malfunctioning media clips, and painful crash-stop edits of the example audio clips that did work at the right time.

That said, Gilad’s dissection of SOYCD and comparison of the track to the psychological analysis of the stages of grief/mourning was, to me, absolutely incredible.. microscopic in its detailed analysis of the musical science and art involved.. and enthralling for his ability to hop, sadly just a little to far for ideal continuity, from microphone to guitar to grand piano to play us samples to perfectly illustrate his ideas. His passion for his subject and attention to detail almost trump Mr Guthrie’s same traits.

I have listened to so many different recordings and performances of the track and album so many times on so many different formats, but his final “little detail” revelation about Rick Wright’s absolute last piano phrase on the track left me so stunned and surprised that I am not prepared to reveal it here publicly, and will only reply in PM if you promise you tried hard to find it for yourself first and then beg very politely.

With thanks to sysyphus (Kevin)

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