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Home arrow Older News Archive arrow Preisner interview re: Gilmour album and possible DVD!
Preisner interview re: Gilmour album and possible DVD! Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Wednesday, 04 January 2006

Polish musician Zbigniew Preisner, who has taken care of orchestrations on Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour's new album "On An Island", gave an interesting interview yesterday to one of the biggest newspapers in Poland, "Rzeczpospolita".

In the interview he talks of how the collaboration came about, what the album sounds like, and also mentions filming of the recording sessions!

Zbigniew Preisner
Zbigniew Preisner
With thanks to our friend Marek Grzesiak, we bring you a translation of the whole interview:

Zbigniew Preisner: David came to Poland in 2004 to my own studio in Niepolomice. Last year, after the break for Live 8, and the summer holidays, he called me and said that he has finished the work. I went to England, where he gave me the demo. It was the basis for my orchestration.

David gave me a free hand; I could change harmonies, extend compositions, write in new introductions. We recorded orchestration for 9 songs.

I invited a musician, who played the glass harmonica (i.e. glasses filled with water), soloists played the harp and the cello. [Fellow Pole] Leszek Mozdzer played the piano on a few songs. The work in Abbey Road Studios and on "Astoria" was filmed, probably for DVD purposes.

What are the distinctive features of the new songs?

Preisner: The climate of the songs is like on "The Division Bell". There are some great, monumental parts, but most of the songs are ballads similiar to "On The Turning Away".

The nostalgic lyrics written by David and his wife Polly are very beautiful. The songs are the sort of diary, the lyrics comprise their reflection on real value and family.

For example, there's a story about a man, who was going to drown, because he couldn't bear his life. And there's a description of David's wonderful, 120-hectare farm with its 500 year old house, where he lives with Polly, his four children and his horses.

What's he like in private?

Preisner: When I stayed at his house, and when I recorded with him, I felt free, as though I was with an old mate. When the recording was finished, he was very happy. He didn't expect that the orchestration would change his album so much.

He mentioned that he didn't feel like doing anything [such as concerts], but now he's got an appetite for playing.

Once again it demonstrates that it doesn't matter where you live, or what kind of school you graduate from. All that really matters is if you've got something to say or not. For me personally it was an incredible experience, though I'm too old now to be excited.

When did you met for the first time?

Preisner: I received an award from The Royal Television Society Craft & Design Awards for the "People's Century" series produced by the BBC. The director Charles Sturridge told me that the Gilmour's had invited me for supper. He knew that I liked Pink Floyd. Then, for a long time, nothing happened.

Then suddenly David called me.

I think the album could be the beginning of a great acquaintance. David wants to play a gig in Poland in some unusual place to promote his album.

There are still echoes of Live 8, where Pink Floyd played together for the first time since so long. But Gilmour and Waters's meeting is still shrouded in mystery. Did you talk with him about it?

Preisner: It was a few months ago and there's no point in mixing those two things up. David told me, when I was in London just after the Live 8, that he gave emotion to the band, and Waters was a mastermind, so it produced an extraordinary musical effect.

I've encouraged them to play together again, but they've made no attempt to hide the differences between them. David even mentioned something about one, big, last, farewell show. I suggested that they play it in Poland, in Nowa Huta near Krakow. But that was a few months ago. Now the most important thing for David is his solo album and his tour.

The article in the original Polish, can be read through this link. Our thanks to Marek for the translation!

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