• DAVID WITH AMADOU & MARIAM

    • Our Audio expert Damon Iddins was at the Amadou & Mariam concert (featuring David on guitar) with a small recording setup, so please find on the iPlayer some mixes of song extracts. They are designed to accompany video clips shot by Crisis for promotional use, which we hope to bring you in the future.

      Please see the News and Blog pages for more details of the one-off show, held in London on Monday 25th May, which helped raise money for the Crisis 'hidden' campaign to help the homeless. We hope you enjoy the clips.

      – Stuff & Nonsense Ed.



  • CARBON NEUTRAL DVD

    • David's live DVD, Remember That Night – Live At The Royal Albert Hall, is carbon neutral. That is to say, carbon neutral from the production process, right down to how it is distributed.

      This means that attempts will have been made to restore the natural carbon dioxide balance in the atmosphere by using environmentally-friendly manufacturing, minimising carbon emissions, and offsetting any 'unavoidable' residue.

      As many of you will have seen by now, the DVD is packaged in card, with only one plastic tray used to carry the discs.

      In our attempts to cut back on the use of plastics, we have broken with industry tradition with both the Blu-ray and the HD-DVD packaging, by being the first not to use the standard, all-plastic Amaray box. Card and paper versions have been used instead.

      In conjunction with Future Forests, the founding agency behind CarbonNeutral, and now The CarbonNeutral Company, this is an ecological initiative designed to combat global warming.

      They measure and reduce excessive carbon dioxide in the environment, compensating for the amount of CO2 produced through 'unavoidable emissions', such as driving, flying, manufacture, and electrical production. They are also involved through forestry sponsorship and 'technology switch' projects.

      In short, the amount of carbon dioxide produced in the manufacture of the DVD is neutralised through re-forestation and the implementation of energy saving technologies.

      All the carbon dioxide created from producing and distributing, the DVD will be replaced by oxygen from newly-planted trees.

      On An Island was also carbon neutral – the first CD released by Columbia Records to be manufactured under environmentally-responsible CarbonNeutral guidelines, in fact.

      David was also insistent that Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd be carbon neutral, helping to create new forests in India, Mexico, Scotland, and the USA.

      Just as it's very easy – if not somewhat fashionable right now – to be blasé about the issue of global warming, it would be just as easy to overlook how crucial it is that musicians, such as David, consider more sensible, ecologically-sound ways of presenting and distributing their art.

      A standard CD's jewel case contains an awful lot of plastic, hence the album's cardboard case and lack of the traditional spindle hub to engage the disc. Environmentally-friendly inks were also used throughout, and the package was finished with a water-based lacquer.

      Cardboard also weighs a lot less than plastic: a typical plastic case, with insert, weighs about 80g without the CD, whereas a typical cardboard wallet weighs just 25g (minus disc).

      Cynics may scoff that this will not change the world overnight and, indeed, it is very difficult to offset the plastic used in the manufacturing of CDs and DVDs, hence the additional financial donations made by David and his record companies to help offset their emissions.

      However, with current levels of greenhouse gases higher than at any time in the past 650,000 years, and eminent scientists agreeing that something clearly has to be done to try and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that we are all putting into the atmosphere, this is certainly something.

      Just thought you might like to know, as we certainly consider it amongst The Important Stuff.

      – Features Editor



  • ISLAND LOOPS

    • Ever since the looped versions of mystery tunes appeared at random on DavidGilmour.com, aficionados have been asking for more information and the chance to replay them.

      David wanted some random tracks, based on the songs from On An Island, to appear on the site in a random manner, so Damon Iddins and Devin Workman – two of the engineers based at David's Astoria studio – worked on the creation of 65 standalone pieces, derived from the backing tracks of the 'OAI' sessions.

      If you listen closely to most of the music loops, you can tell which track was the inspiration – although some of them are fairly far-out (the titles, too, may give the game away!).

      We hope you enjoy the player!

      – Stuff & Nonsense Ed.



  • DAVID'S UK MUSIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTION SPEECH

    • David inducts Brian Wilson into the UK Music Hall of Fame. Click to enlarge.David was proud to be at the third UK Music Hall of Fame Awards on Tuesday 14th November 2006, and honoured to be able to induct one of his musical heroes: legendary Beach Boy, Brian Wilson.

      The UK Music Hall of Fame recognises the most important artists of the past 50 years from all over the world. Other inductees were Sir George Martin, Led Zeppelin, Prince, James Brown, Rod Stewart, Dusty Springfield, and Bon Jovi. They were selected by a panel of 60 artists, music industry executives, broadcasters, and journalists. David was himself inducted, with Pink Floyd, in 2005.

      Here's David's induction speech in full.

      Good evening.

      The first band I actually formed when I was a young lad was with some like-minded souls from my home town. We wanted to sing harmony, the harmony we wanted to sing was Beach Boys' harmony and that love of singing harmony remains with me today. The man who was the main inspiration for that love is the man we're honouring here tonight, Mr. Brian Wilson.

      Even in those very early days of the Beach Boys, songs like In My Room and Don't Worry Baby were giving indications that Brian Wilson wanted to paint with a much more colourful palette than was offered by the surf music that he was so adept at.

      His brilliance leapt from strength to strength over a very short period. In little over four years, he mastered the arts of songwriting, record production, orchestral arrangements, and every form of studio trickery to culminate with the wonderful songs on Pet Sounds, like Good Vibrations, Heroes and Villains, and the sublime Surf's Up. These last three were, of course, intended for his legendary Smile project that was finally completed and released in 2004, nearly 40 years after its inception.

      Shall we watch a little film?

      [Film plays]

      Ladies and gentlemen, a true genius...Brian Wilson.



  • A SHOW FOR SOLIDARITY

    • Gdańsk Concert Poster. Click to enlarge.Performing for 100,000 people – with a 38-piece orchestra, no less – in a country you have never played before is already quite special. But the Gdańsk concert on August 26th is really special, as President Lech Walesa and Pawel Adamowicz, Major of Gdańsk, have invited David and his band to perform a special show marking the 26th anniversary of the founding of Solidarity.

      The Solidarity trade union began the revolution which would topple communism in Europe. Led by Lech Walesa, the movement started by the Gdańsk shipyard workers brought the end of communism in Europe, the fall of the Berlin Wall and hence the end of the Cold War.

      A trade union with some 10 million members, representing almost 40% of the adult population, it undeniably set off a chain reaction across Eastern Europe, which led eventually to a peaceful revolution and a victory for democracy and human rights.

      Lech Walesa went on to become the first president of post-communist Poland.

      The Polish workers rebelled against oppression and injustice – even after martial law was declared, Solidarity was suspended and most of its leaders imprisoned.

      Their courage and determination has inspired many, as this revolution was a non-violent example of regime change by way of negotiation, proving that the old establishment could be brought down without the use of force.

      Solidarity continues to act as a deep source of hope for workers worldwide in the struggle for workers' rights, a just society and, ultimately, a better world.

      David is extremely proud, honoured and excited at the prospect of performing in Gdańsk for such a very special occasion.

      In thanking Solidarity and the Major of Gdańsk for the invite, David said: "Myself and millions of others will forever associate Solidarity with the dramatic events of 1989 and remember the courage and determination of its members to bring democracy to Poland. It will be the first time that I've played a concert in Poland and I'm looking forward to it very much".

      We hope you are, too.

      – Features Editor



  • STEVE KNEE: DESIGNING 'ON AN ISLAND'

    • David Gilmour will always be associated with Pink Floyd and rightly so, but On An Island is a solo album and so, with regards to the artwork, I didn't want to make any reference to Floyd, if at all possible. The album imagery throughout the CD package reflects not only the music, but also the soul behind it. The music is light of touch, soulful and reflective, and this is what I tried to convey throughout the artwork.

      The brief was to create a visual landscape that would accompany the music – not to design something separate, but integrate the packaging with the music, for a complete experience. I used uncoated paper throughout, cloth spine and a hardback book format for a more tactile feel, as opposed to a standard 'plastic' jewel case CD.

      A number of covers were submitted for David's consideration, but ultimately the final cover was probably the simplest, from a visual standpoint – the lone silhouetted figure of David on an island...on a sea of blue, with the moon behind him. I wanted to convey a feeling of isolation and reflection with maybe a hint of hope, and so a blue and black colour palate was used with the off white of the paper coming through as the moon. With the birds, I wanted to play with our perceptions; depending on your point of view, the birds are either flying toward the island (bringing hope) or away from it (adding to the isolation). I guess it depends on your own psyche – is the glass half empty or half full – as to what you see in the cover.

      When you hear David's music, the space between the notes is just as important as the notes themselves, and so I wanted to strip down the graphics as much as possible. This is a personal album and I have tried to reflect that in the artwork, with many of the images coming from David's own photo albums. By combining photography with hand-drawn elements on textured backgrounds with a hint of colour, I wanted everything to look rough and sketchy, but with a sense of space...



  • WHY CROSBY, STILLS & NASH ARE STILL IMPORTANT

    • David Gilmour didn't just pick David Crosby and Graham Nash out of a lineup when he invited them to contribute to On An Island. They had already set a standard for three-part harmony in pop music with their debut Crosby Stills & Nash in 1969. Each was a pivotal force in their previous groups – Crosby with folk-rock pioneers The Byrds, Stills in West Coast soundscapers Buffalo Springfield, and Nash as leader of Manchester hitmakers The Hollies.

      Crosby and Nash had both left their bands to pursue a more radical musical direction, while Buffalo Springfield imploded under commercial pressures and the conflict of having two leaders. (The other leader, Neil Young, would ironically join and rejoin CSN to create various Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young entities over the years.) At first sight the Crosby Stills & Nash album was a natural consequence of three singers getting together in the Californian sun, but at the time it wasn't obvious at all, no matter how inured we became later to the stream of Asylum-signed troubadours promoting the mellower side of West Coast rock. FM Radio's success over the preceding years had provided a platform for agit-prop bands like the MC5, and long hair was still very much a badge of iconoclastic individualism quite likely to lead to abuse and confrontation, even in the most liberal towns. The Vietnam War was very much an issue, while the corruption of the Nixon administration had yet to be exposed.

      In short, it wasn't the optimum time to be long-haired and outspoken. Stephen Stills had already penned a snapshot of the 1966 LA Sunset Strip showdown between strip denizens and the LAPD – For What It's Worth – but each of CSN would author material showing which way up their flag was flying. Graham Nash's Marrakesh Express, Our House and Teach Your Children are extremely well-known and very melodic, but he is also the author of Military Madness (on his debut solo album), while Crosby contributed to CSN's Long Time Gone, referring to the assassination of RFK, and Almost Cut My Hair to CSN&Y. Neil Young wrote Ohio, released within weeks of the US National Guard's shooting of four students at a Kent State, Ohio, University anti-war protest in May 1970. Stephen Stills of course penned Find The Cost Of Freedom, most recently performed by Crosby and Nash with David Gilmour on David's North American tour.

      So the licence to wear whatever you like, get drunk in public, and indulge in an opinion (such as this one, for instance) on a public forum isn't something handed out at will – it was won by a generation of activists with slightly loftier ideals struggling to break the hegemony and secrecy of repressive governments.

      Notwithstanding the foregoing, the legacy of CSN (&Y) is musical, not political. There is a strong tradition of harmony in pop music, its more prominent exponents usually being related, such as The Everly Brothers, The Beach Boys, and Neil & Tim Finn. However it's still very difficult to put together a band in which disparate elements are greater than the sum of the parts, and to perform material in three-part harmony, throughout the verses as well as the choruses, is a challenge that is mostly resisted. The sound of CSN in full voice is a glorious exposition of melodic possibilities: emotional, uplifting – alchemy, in fact. Perhaps it's not surprising that there seem to be so few following in their footsteps, although every other band that includes any kind of harmony, from The Storys to Turin Brakes, is hailed as 'the new Crosby, Stills & Nash'.

      If you feel like rediscovering the work of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, with or without Neil Young, their classic first album has just been re-issued, and there is a Best Of that also serves as an introduction to their catalogue. You'll see that the opportunity for David Gilmour to create a 'Crosby, Gils & Nash' vocal trio isn't just the chance to harmonise with two masters of their craft, it's also a homage to a tradition in which they are yet to be surpassed.

      – Stuff & Nonsense Ed.



  • THE BLOG! WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? UH...
            ABSOLUTELY SOMETHING!


    • Prompted by a curmudgeonly comment on The Blog, it seemed appropriate to jot down a few words about the gestation of the site. DavidGilmour.com is a musical artist's Web site, and as such it fulfils a few reasonable expectations: it has a discography; a list of live appearances; a biography; and a few items related to the current album release. No-one really expects the artist himself to put mouse to pad and reveal his daily thoughts 'twixt Weetabix and Horlicks (though some of course do, mostly Horlicks).

      However, there has been a real desire on David's part to make this a multi-dimensional site, with timely surprises and interesting visuals. The hard-working team of editors do strive to make this happen, but are so often let down by the rigid Web technology which has to take into account PCs as well as Macs, personal screen resolutions, and at least four different Web browsers.

      The addition of The Blog was a last-minute fix to enable the Features Editor to post new Polly Samson photographs each day over Christmas. There was some discussion about not enabling the 'Comments' button, in case the site degenerated into the illiterate mud-slinging that forced the closure of the Pink Floyd forum.

      In our view, that hasn't happened, and solely due to the Herculean (actually more Sisyphean) efforts of the Features Editor, the 'Comments' area is now a positive place for feedback, quips, competitions and, yes, criticism. Nobody likes to be criticised, but if there is injustice the Gilmourauders are keen to sort it out. So far we've been able to help the Mermaid Two, Bran from Croatia when TicketOne sent his ticket astray, and just as importantly, Sony and EMI in focussing their marketing efforts with local feedback.

      One thing is clear, just as with publishing a daily newspaper – you can't please everyone. Some people think the tone is too shallow; some think allowing criticism of fellow concertgoers is gratuitous; everyone wants to speak directly and personally to David and Polly.

      Well, in a way they do speak directly to the artist, and the feedback we get has a much wider audience than just regular bloggers. What's remarkable is the openness of expression regarding David Gilmour's art, which plainly moves people in a way that is rare in the modern world. The simplicity of language in which comments are phrased doesn't diminish the intensity of feeling. Personally, I never miss the daily utterings, no matter how cringe worthy, and I think the world would be a much duller place without Rudders, Nickster, Angelo Ortiz, Clemens, Lucia, Frank Par, Ian Pearson, and the many other Blog irregulars.

      This isn't an unmoderated fan's free for all, it's a site that first and foremost (and unashamedly) promotes David Gilmour. But it is open to the honest expression of reactions to David and Polly's music, and as such I think it does a good job. Long may it flourish.

      – Stuff & Nonsense Ed.

      P.S. Yes, I know a Blog is strictly speaking a single person's Web log or diary, but you know what we mean.



  • ON THE NATURE OF POPULARITY

    • We all know that there are lies, damned lies, and the answer you give to: 'does this make me look fat?' But we all look in the mirror, and maybe it's no bad thing to take the odd snapshot to find whether you're in the slow lane or just about to be pulled over by the highway patrol for speeding ahead of the pack.

      Our Webmaster (from the extremely reasonable JABEYE.com) has pulled up a few statistics re: DavidGilmour.com for us to ponder. Don't ask where he got them – probably out of his hat, and if so, he's to be commended on his wardrobe.

      At any rate, let's have a look at the Web world, given that we're talking only English language sites, and there's bound to be a skewing towards youth-oriented sites, as early adopters of technology tend to be younger. Okayyyyy.... Number 1 – Yahoo.com – fair enough. PinkFloyd.com is at 111,225 in the English-speaking Web world, and PinkFloyd.co.uk at 91,788, which is pretty good, considering the plethora of local sites, sales sites and entertainment options. Then we've got long-standing fan site Brain-Damage.co.uk (which of course covers all the PF musicians) at 89,997, so where's DavidGilmour.com? Wow! It's at 49,892, up by a massive 137,000 in its world ranking over the last four weeks.

      That puts us ahead of Mary J. Blige (100,868), Kanye West (109,034), Natasha Bedingfield (257,415) and Roger-Waters.com (313,582). To be fair, some of those will be record company sites, which tend not to change much, and we have our daily blog to pull in the eyeballs. Talking of which, the blog is actually hosted by a different site, (musicblog.co.uk), which ranks at 148,506. Doesn't sound great, until you realise that it's jumped by 430,000 places in the last three months, entirely due to DavidGilmour.com, which constitutes 78% of their blog traffic. The site also hosts artist blogs like those of Doves and The Magic Numbers, so we're in good company.

      Before we start resting on any laurels, however, let's have a quick look at who we're trailing.

      James Blunt, the successful balladeer de nos jours, is at 24,342, followed by (chosen at random) Green Day (26,117), Eminem (29,331) and Britney (40,328). Even 'googlee.com' (sic) is at 36,000. Presumably this reflects the number of bad typists there are operating on the Web at any time. We�re only just pipped by Kelly Clarkson, though, who is at 48,325, so I figure that if we bump up the controversy quotient of the site and link to a few tabloids like The UK Sun (704), and the US National Enquirer (17,799), we should be at 48,000th in the world in no time at all. We might even beat www.googlee.com...

      – Stuff & Nonsense Ed.



  • NEW 'STUFF' ANYWAY – 'NONSENSE' TO FOLLOW...
    • Welcome to a new part of DavidGilmour.com, which has been a while in the planning, but hopefully will be long-running. The idea is to have an area where we can mention opportunities to check out various things, and highlight related or non-related items or issues.

      If you live in North America, and are eagerly anticipating David's visit to a town within 1,000 miles of you, then you will want to know what merchandise is available at the shows.

      Supplies of David Gilmour merchandise are now available, courtesy of official merchandisers Anthill Trading. Please click the Fan Fare link on the main site's navigation, and you will be led into the world of Anthill Trading, and thence to a selection of items with an On An Island theme.

      There are two supply centres, one for North America and one for the UK & Europe.

      If you have a ticket for any of David's shows, you will also see other items on sale there, including the excellent Tour Programme which features band profiles by your very own Features Editor.

      There have been some comments about the price of the merchandise. The T-shirts in particular are priced higher than other artists' merchandise, and this is because they are sourced from 'Fair Trade' sources or the local equivalent. In Europe, the idea is to source from Fair Trade suppliers, and in North America from suppliers that adhere to a strict code of 'compliance' with fair trade ideals. The effect is that more of your money is channelled to the actual local producers of the cotton, and more money is spent on environmentally-friendly inks and processes, including the use of organic, unbleached fabrics. The lovely Tour Programme, for instance, is printed on paper from sustainable sources and printed with vegetable inks.

      We will be adding to this section with more items, thoughts, photos, and comments in the inimitable DavidGilmour.com style, so please look out for more thought-provoking elements, and perhaps the odd tongue-in-cheek hoax...

      Happy reading!

      – Stuff & Nonsense Ed.

 

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