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April 7th - SONY STUDIO Z, NEW YORK, USA Print E-mail

Sony Studio Z
Studio Z, Sony, New York
In front of tiny, invited audience

XM Radio recording session

Address of venue: 460 W 54th Street, New York, New York 10019. MAP

Website: NONE

This event was a hush-hush, invitation-only occasion to record some songs and an interview for later broadcast on US satellite radio station XM.

 Thankfully, a Brain Damage regular - Adam Grossberg - was there, and reported back to us!

EVENT REVIEW

By Adam Grossberg

I was among no more than 30 people -- fans, XM Radio and Columbia execs, VIPs (including David's wife Polly) -- in Sony Music Studios' tiny "Studio Z" for the "David Gilmour XM Artist Confidential" event last week. You can read about the series here at XM's website: xmradio.com/exclusivemusic/artist_confidential.jsp.

The evening was essentially an intimate interview/performance hosted by George Taylor Morris. It felt somewhat like a fireside chat. It was recorded in its entirety for broadcast about one month from now (air date TBD).

I've attached a photo of the actual studio here – during the performance there were no couches – just 4 rows of chairs that faced the mixing board with the front row ending at the lip of the carpet.

The black box in the middle of the floor with the processors, equalizers and effects was removed because that's where two microphones - one for David and one for Phil Manzanera were placed.

Each man had an acoustic guitar, but David also had an acoustic Hawaiian lap style slide guitar on a stand. I was sitting front row dead center roughly 3 feet from the guys.

The evening started with a few questions, and then they performed "Smile", which sounded so beautiful. David's voice was in wonderful form, and his playing...well, it goes without saying that it was flawless.

I was one of five lucky audience members to ask a question during the evening - and I asked him how he went about choosing the songs he's playing on his current tour given that his catalog is so amazing and vast. I told him that I was particularly pleased that he chose to include songs like "Echoes" and "Fat Old Sun" in the set.

He described his process of coming up with a great big list, whittling it down, trying them in rehearsal, etc. - that was a treat. Someone else asked him if he had plans to play "Green is the Colour", and he said that while they rehearsed it, he didn't like the sound of it so that song was taken off the list.

David was very funny and gracious - and was in very good spirits throughout the evening. To see what I mean, you'll need to tune in to the show when it's broadcast. The only other song they played was "Where We Start", which also sounded wonderful in such an intimate setting.

While David fielded questions about a whole host of topics, there were a few things he said that were new to me, for example: on the top of his "to do" list is to complete a Dolby 5.1 mix of "Wish You Were Here" when he gets a chance; Gilmour ripped off a lick from the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" in one of the key sections of Echoes (the 2nd half of the song where he plays those muted notes on the guitar over Richard's slowly-building organ solo); and that he chose to play Radio City Music Hall personally because he played a midnight show there with Pink Floyd in 1973 during the "Dark Side of the Moon" tour, and he had very fond memories of the performance. He recounted how the smoke machine filled the stage with a thick cloud and that the band started to play as they came up on a lift from under the stage – something he wanted to re-create for this tour.

Like all good things in life, it had to come to an end (around 60 minutes later), and David and Phil left the room smiling broadly while the small group of transfixed and blissfully happy fans whooped and hollered and clapped. It was a truly wonderful evening, and one that I will not soon forget!!

Thanks for the great report, Adam!


 
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