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Roger Waters 2005 News


The following are the Roger Waters 2005 News Headlines -
by date -
from our REG Newsletter/Magazine

NewsFlash January 2005 Roger at Tsunami Benefit

NewsFlash May 2005 CA IRA Due In Fall
Solo Album Political

NewsFlash May 2005 CA IRA Release in September

News Spring 2005 REG Winter Sweepstakes Winners

News Spring/Summer 2005 Deep Waters - Related News

News Spring/Summer 2005 Floydian News

NewsFlash June 2005 Roger with Floyd Again for Benefit

NewsFlash JuLy 2005 Pink Floyd Reunion Tour?

NewsFlash JuLy 2005 Solo Album and Tour Delayed

NewsFlash JuLy 2005 Roger at CA IRA Event In New York

NewsFlash November 2005 CA IRA Debuts at #1 - Premiers in Rome





NewsFlash January 2005

Roger Waters Performs at Televised Tsunami Aid Benefit

Tsunami Aid - A Concert of Hope A benefit Special to aid victims of the Tsunami tragedy.

LIVE & COMMERCIAL FREE
8/7PM SATURDAY, JANUARY 15th
At 7/8 PM on NBC, USA, Bravo, Trio, SCI FI, PAX, Telemundo, MSNBC and CNBC.
Accompanied by Eric Clapton, Roger Waters performed at an NBC televised charity event to raise funds for the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which is heavily involved in supporting the relief efforts for victims of the Indian Ocean Tsunami catastrophe.

Roger performed an accoustic guitar duet of 'Wish You Were Here' with Eric Clapton. Singing the lead vocals, Roger was backed by vocalists, Katie Kissoon, Carol Kenyon and PP Arnold.

The "Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope" was a two-hour, music and celebrity driven benefit event which took place on Saturday January 15th 2005. It began at 8 PM, and was broadcast live on the US East Coast, and tape delayed on the US West Coast. The broadcast was carried on NBC, USA, Bravo, Trio, SCI FI, PAX, Telemundo, MSNBC and CNBC networks as well as on other NBC affiliat stations, with phone lines remaining open throughout the evening for phoned in donations.

Other performers included Madonna, Sheryl Crow, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Maroon 5, Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan, Mary J. Blige, Lenny Kravitz, John Mayer, Kenny Chesney, India Arie, Tom Jones, Eric Clapton, Brian Wilson, Elton John, Nelly, and Gloria Estefan.

In addition to the musical performances, there were scheduled appearances by Halle Berry, Kevin Spacey, Usher, George Clooney, Uma Thurman, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas, Bruce Willis, Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Tim Robbins, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes, Jay Leno, Drew Barrymore and a special message from Former US Presidents George Bush & Bill Clinton.

Viewers were encouraged to donate to the American Red Cross International Response Fund in support of tsunami relief through its web site and donation hotline. ALL funds raised through this special event went to support the American Red Cross' two-phased assistance plan which includes specialized relief immediately, and over the long term in the following areas: Food and safe water; healthcare and disease prevention; immediate family supplies; mental health counseling; disaster preparedness and prevention measures.

In between running documentary and commentary about the tsunami disaster, each performer played one song. Performances were not before any audience and were done both in New York and LA. The telephone number and Red Cross website was displayed at the bottom of the viewing screen during much of each performance. Only in the first few seconds was the performer's name ever displayed and if you didn't catch that and weren't familiar with the artist, you didn't know who the hell it was. I think only two performers were ever introduced. Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, and Roger Waters with Eric Clapton.

Because very few performers and artists were introduced, and not being an avid media fan, at first I thought Roger had been introduced by Prime Minister Tony Blair, (shows you how aware many Americans are about world leaders and personalities). I was corrected however, and it was in fact actor Hugh Grant who introduced Eric and Roger saying: "I am always just slightly uneasy when showbiz people standup and appear to be telling people what they should be thinking or feeling or doing with their money... but all I can say is I have written a check and I am famously stingy..." Then he introduced Roger Waters and Eric Clapton "...playing and old Pink Floyd song... Wish You Were Here."

Roger and Eric both sat on stools playing acoustic guitars, Roger singing and playing rhythm and Eric (in spectacles) played lead, with Katie Kissoon, Carol Kenyon and PP Arnold doing backing vocals. Then, before you knew it, the song was over, and the telethon style documentary, commentary and performances carried on.

I enjoyed some of the other performances as well, for instance Brian Wilson is always great, Elton John was really good, Stevie Wonder was good, and there were several performances by artists I didn't know that were really really excellent. Of course there were performances I thought really sucked too.

The only really gross, disgusting, and as an American, extremely embarrassing thing about the event was having comedian and TV talk show host Jay Lenno do his horrible Gawd awful schtick like some hokey carnival scam artist asking people for money and trying to be funny at the same time. He failed miserably at both and just succeeded at making an ass of himself! Of course he is, so what do you expect? How could they have put this guy up there as some kind of master of ceremonies... what the hell were they thinking!

Well, the REG fan club contributed to the Red Cross to help the tsunami victims. Unfortunately, it was a very small contribution as our club couldn't afford much on it's own. Which was why we posted a webpage asking for help in getting a larger REG donation. But no REG member or website fan sent anything to be added to the REG donation total. Though I do hope everyone who is able can contribute something on their own! If you can and want to help, please go to the Internet web link below.

DONATE NOW
VISIT REDCROSS.ORG
OR CALL 1-800-HELP NOW

Click here for details about the charity event or visit Roger Waters' official website for more information.

http://www.columbiarecords.com/

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NewsFlash May 2005

CA IRA Due This Fall
New Solo Album to be Political

REG The International Roger Waters Fan Club has received exclusive "Reliable information" from our contacts which indicates that "Roger Waters long awaited Opera Ca Ira, may well be released in the Fall"

There is no set release date however, and no further information is available for the time being.

This comes on top of other recent Roger Waters interviews and reports stating that Ca Ira is finally complete and sent to Sony Classical for manufacture and release.

Roger has been working on the Ca Ira opera for near 20 years, and now it looks like we all will finally be able to hear this wonderful classical piece.

Ca Ira was written for an 84 piece orchestra, three soloists (tenor, baritone and soprano) and an adult and children's choir. The libretto was originally written by Frenchman Etienne Roda Gil, but has since been re-written in English by Roger. And as REG contacts previously stated "...because of its length, it is likely to be a double album or two single albums. I am currently investigating a prestigious venue for a world premiere performance."

As many fans know, Ca Ira has been scheduled for release and then postponed several times in the past several years.

There have however been debuts of parts and pieces of the work. The first live performance of (part of) Ca Ira - was at the Royal Albert Hall on 16th October 2002.

Then on Saturday May 1st, 2004 a 15 minute premier of CA IRA was played in Malta, the minute of Malta's ascension into the European Union. This was not a live rendering of the piece by an orchestra, but was a recording played through a massive sound system. Three parts of the overall opera were played, sequenced together by Gert Hoff. Starting with the Overture, (as previously performed at the Royal Albert Hall in October 2002), and then a short two minute piece called "The Taking Of Bastille", after which was heard a wonderful eight minute piece entitled "Silver, Sugar, and Indigo" (These items were key trading commodities at the time of the French Revolution, and were commonly used in exchange for slaves. Indigo was used as a dye, and was much in demand.) Though Roger did not attend the event, it was a fantastic premier.

More recently, on August 7th 2004, 'The Letter' and 'The Taking Of Bastille,' were performed live, with orchestra and singers, for a benefit at The Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival in Bridgehampton New York. Roger was in attendance and spoke at the podium about his work.

This year, in a small article/interview with Roger Waters entitled 'Breaking Waters,' published in the February issue of Mojo Magazine, Roger confirms that Ca Ira has been completed and delivered to Sony Classical. He states that the operatic piece is 100 minutes in length, and consists of three acts, which feature five solo parts and children's and adult choruses. Roger further describes the opera as being, "About revolution in general and the potential for human beings to evolve." The article also confirms that the opera will be available in both French and English languages.

Roger Waters also confirms in the article that he is about half way through completing a new rock album. Roger is also quoted as saying, "I've recorded a lot of songs," and "The record will be very political."

In an even more recent interview in the May 2005 edition of Rolling Stone Magazine Roger again confirms 'Ca Ira is complete and that he may conduct a planned performance in Rome later this year.

As for his new solo rock album, Roger says that he is still working on it, although, he could, "cobble something together and put it out tomorrow," and that he "Keep's smashing paint up against the canvas and waiting for it to make sense."

Here's the text of the article:
Roger Waters Wraps Opera

Pink Floyd vet still tinkering with rock album

Former Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters has completed Ca Ira, his long-awaited opera. After a decade of work on the project, Waters reports that "it's done and delivered" and should be available as a double-CD through Sony Classical this fall.

Ca Ira - loosely translated as "So It Will Be" - was inspired by the French Revolution and is the latest conceptual work from the mastermind of The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) and The Wall (1979).

Waters is considering staging Ca Ira as a concert performance in Rome this November with a full symphony, as well as adult and children's choruses. "I might conduct it," he says. "Wouldn't that be a buzz? Of course, I might need a few beta blockers before going on."

Waters has also long been at work on a rock album to follow 1992's Amused to Death, his examination of capitalism and mindless entertainment. Although he's recorded enough songs to "cobble something together and put it out tomorrow," Waters is aiming for a more coherent collection of songs. "I just keep smashing paint up against the canvas and waiting for it to make sense," he says.

While initially a meditation on love, the album has evolved to incorporate current world events. "Living in America now, I'm struggling with all those questions -- about the law, the Constitution, what's next for mankind and whether there's any moral high-ground to be had," Waters says. "Actually, it's all the same stuff I've been obsessed with since I was a teenager [laughs], so nothing new, really."

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NewsFlash May 2005

CA IRA Release in September

It's Official
Roger Waters Opera CA IRA Due in Stores Sept. 27 2005

Though in Mid-May 2005, REG was given an exclusive heads up regarding the long awaited release of Roger Waters Opera Ca Ira, on May 26th the official Sony press release for Ca Ira appeared on Roger Waters official web site (www.ca-ira.com and www.roger-waters.com) regarding it's release in the USA and Canada.

This all comes on top of other recent Roger Waters interviews and reports stating that Ca Ira is finally complete and sent to Sony Classical for manufacture and release.

Roger has been working on the Ca Ira opera for near 20 years, and now it looks like we all will finally be able to hear this wonderful classical piece.

Ca Ira was written for an 84 piece orchestra, three soloists (tenor, baritone and soprano) and an adult and children's choir. The libretto was originally written by Frenchman Etienne Roda Gil, but has since been re-written in English by Roger. And as REG contacts previously stated "...because of its length, it is likely to be a double album or two single albums. I am currently investigating a prestigious venue for a world premiere performance."

As many fans know, Ca Ira has been scheduled for release and then postponed several times in the past several years. There have however been debuts of parts and pieces of the work. The first live performance of (part of) Ca Ira - was at the Royal Albert Hall on October 16th 2002.

On Saturday May 1st, 2004 a 15 minute premier of CA IRA was played in Malta, the minute of Malta's ascension into the European Union. This was not a live rendering of the piece by an orchestra, but was a recording played through a massive sound system. Three parts of the overall opera were played, sequenced together by Gert Hoff. Starting with the Overture, (as previously performed at the Royal Albert Hall in October 2002), and then a short two minute piece called "The Taking Of Bastille", after which was heard a wonderful eight minute piece entitled "Silver, Sugar, and Indigo" (These items were key trading commodities at the time of the French Revolution, and were commonly used in exchange for slaves. Indigo was used as a dye, and was much in demand.) Though Roger did not attend the event, it was a fantastic premier.

More recently, on August 7th 2004, 'The Letter' and 'The Taking Of Bastille,' were performed live, with orchestra and singers, for a benefit at The Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival in Bridgehampton New York. Roger was in attendance and spoke at the podium about his work.

This year, in a small article/interview with Roger Waters entitled 'Breaking Waters,' published in the February issue of Mojo Magazine, Roger confirms that Ca Ira has been completed and delivered to Sony Classical. He states that the operatic piece is 100 minutes in length, and consists of three acts, which feature five solo parts and children's and adult choruses. Roger further describes the opera as being, "About revolution in general and the potential for human beings to evolve." The article also confirms that the opera will be available in both French and English languages.

Roger Waters also confirms in the article that he is about half way through completing a new rock album. Roger is also quoted as saying, "I've recorded a lot of songs," and "The record will be very political."

In an even more recent interview in the May 2005 edition of Rolling Stone Magazine Roger again confirms 'Ca Ira is complete and that he may conduct a planned performance in Rome later this year.

As for his new solo rock album, Roger says that he is still working on it, although, he could, "cobble something together and put it out tomorrow," and that he "Keep's smashing paint up against the canvas and waiting for it to make sense."

Roger Waters Wraps Opera
Pink Floyd Vet Still Tinkering With Rock Album

Former Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters has completed Ca Ira, his long-awaited opera. After a decade of work on the project, Waters reports that "it's done and delivered" and should be available as a double-CD through Sony Classical this fall.

Ca Ira - loosely translated as "So It Will Be" - was inspired by the French Revolution and is the latest conceptual work from the mastermind of The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) and The Wall (1979).

Waters is considering staging Ca Ira as a concert performance in Rome this November with a full symphony, as well as adult and children's choruses. "I might conduct it," he says. "Wouldn't that be a buzz? Of course, I might need a few beta blockers before going on."

Waters has also long been at work on a rock album to follow 1992's Amused to Death, his examination of capitalism and mindless entertainment. Although he's recorded enough songs to "cobble something together and put it out tomorrow," Waters is aiming for a more coherent collection of songs. "I just keep smashing paint up against the canvas and waiting for it to make sense," he says.

While initially a meditation on love, the album has evolved to incorporate current world events. "Living in America now, I'm struggling with all those questions — about the law, the Constitution, what's next for mankind and whether there's any moral high-ground to be had," Waters says. "Actually, it's all the same stuff I've been obsessed with since I was a teenager [laughs], so nothing new, really."



Here's the May 26th 2005 Columbia Records press release:

Sony BMG Masterworks/Columbia Records Readies the Release Of Roger Waters' Long-Awaited Opera, 'Ca Ira'

Lavish First Edition DigiPack Includes Full Opera on Two Hybrid SACDs, Bonus "Making Of 'Ca Ira'" DVD, & 60-Page Four-Color Booklet Containing Libretto, Cast

Credits, & Original Illustrations

"Ca Ira" In Stores Tuesday, September 27

NEW YORK, May 26 -- Sony BMG Masterworks/Columbia Records is proud to announce the release of "Ca Ira," Roger Waters long-awaited "operatic history of the French Revolution," on Tuesday, September 27.

The lavish first edition of "Ca Ira," an opera in three acts for full orchestra, soloists and choirs, will include a double SACD DigiPack and a deluxe 60 page four-color booklet including Roger Waters' lyrics based on Etienne Roda-Gil's original French libretto, the original illustrations created by Nadine Roda-Gil, biographies of Waters and the opera's cast, background and production notes on the opera.

As a bonus for Roger Waters fans, "Ca Ira" includes a special DVD documentary chronicling the "making of" the opera. The "Ca Ira" DVD traces the history of the project, from conception to completion, and includes revelatory interviews with Waters and the musicians and cast of "Ca Ira" as well as exclusive in-the-studio footage of the recording of the opera.

"Ca Ira" is being released in the hybrid SACD (Super Audio CD) format in Dolby Digital 5.1 SurroundSound. The hybrid SACD disks are compatible with standard CD players.

Waters, who co-founded the groundbreaking rock group Pink Floyd in 1966, began to bridge the worlds of rock and classical music in such pioneering major works as "The Dark Side Of The Moon" (1973) and "The Wall" (1979) in which he incorporated elements of operatic form -- theatricality, coherent narrative, dramatic arcs, thematic music and song cycles -- in a pop context.

Waters' work on "Ca Ira," his first opera for full orchestra and voice, began in 1989, during the Bicentennial of the French Revolution. The well-respected and successful songwriter Etienne Roda-Gil and his wife, Nadine, had created an original libretto for an opera, written in French, as part of the Bicentennial. Entitled "Ca Ira," after a revolutionary song of the period, the Roda-Gil's original manuscript, copiously and beautifully illustrated by Nadine, portrayed the events and the spirit of the French Revolution through a multitude of perspectives--ranging from Marie Antoinette to the eyes and ears of the period's revolutionaries and common people--using a circus as a central theatrical framing device and metaphor.

Introduced to Etienne Roda-Gil by a mutual friend, Waters was immediately and deeply impressed by the passion and the power of Etienne's manuscript and began work on creating a full orchestral score for "Ca Ira." Work on the project was suspended when Nadine died tragically of leukemia. Several years passed before Roger and Etienne returned to "Ca Ira."

In 1997, Roger began writing an English version of the text. "It's not just a translation," he says. "I've stuck very much to the spirit of Etienne's original, adding to it somewhat. Although it's rooted in the history of the revolution, its philosophical slant is, I suppose, contemporary as well. It's more than just a history of the French Revolution, it's a piece about the human potential for change."

The finished version of "Ca Ira" features orchestration and choral arrangements by Rick Wentworth and Roger Waters, also the album's producers. Principal characters in the opera are brought to life by the Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel (the Ringmaster, the Troublemaker, Louis Capet - the King of France); internationally acclaimed soprano Ying Huang (Marie Marianne - the Voice of Liberty, Reason and the Republic, Marie Antoinette - the Queen of France); American tenor Paul Groves (A Revolutionary Priest, A Military Officer); and Nigerian "one man orchestra" Ismael Lo (a Revolutionary Slave).

Other parts are sung by Jamie Bower (Honest Bird - the young Revolutionary Priest) and Helen Russill (Madame Antoine - the young Marie Antoinette).

Before the rise and fall of the guillotine, before the terror took hold, the People of France fought for a better world based on the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity rather than one ruled by a callous and outmoded nobility. It is this story of hope and promise that inspired "Ca Ira." Set during the optimistic early days of the French Revolution, "Ca Ira is a work of stunning power and beauty, invoking the passion, madness, and triumph of faith in a time that forever changed the nature of the world.

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The Wall Winter Sweepstakes Give Away Contest
We Have Winners!!

In our last REG issue we ran a DVD Sweep stakes Give Away contest to win the new release DVD of Roger Waters The Wall Live In Berlin "Special Edition" or the combo "Sound and Vision" original DVD release/CD re-release package!

REG The International Roger Waters fan club is giving away several DVD's to winners of our "The Wall Winter Sweepstakes Contest Give Away." We are giving away several copies of the new release of Roger Waters The Wall Live in Berlin Special Edition DVD's as well as the Roger Waters The Wall Live in Berlin Sound and Vision Deluxe package which includes the 2003 release of the DVD and the double CD album with color booklet with photo's.

The Contest Rules were simple:
1. ONLY REG members were eligible to win the DVD's.
2. And you had TWO chances to WIN! Depending upon how well you know Roger Waters history or trivia and whether or not you were lucky enough to attend any of Roger Waters tours. So, you could win once or even twice!!

To enter the REG The Wall Winter Sweepstakes Contest Give Away, and win a free Live in Berlin DVD, REG members answered the questions below And/OR sent in a story describing in their own words their personal adventures or experiences at, or traveling to and from a Roger Waters 99/00/02 concert.

Here were the Contest Questions:

  1. What is the name of the guitarist that replaced Eric Clapton for the 1985 leg of Roger Waters Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking tour?
  2. What is the name of the song that appeared as a 'B' side on the Radio KAOS single of "Radio Waves"? (hint it has to do with LA)
  3. What is the name of Roger Waters' first solo album and who was other performer with whom it was made? (could be a trick question)
  4. What is the name of the charity that The Wall Live in Berlin supported?
  5. What song or songs had to be re-recorded for The Wall Live in Berlin album, video and DVD because the sound went out during the actual show?

And the correct answer's to the questions are:

  1. In 1985 Eric Clapton was replaced by guitarist Jay Stapley.
    (Many members answering this question gave Andy Fairweather-Low as the Answer. However, though in 1985, Andy Fairweather-Low did become a member of the Bleeding Hearts Band, he was the rhythm guitarist who actually replaced rhythm guitarist Tim Renwick who had toured during the 1984 tour. It was actually lead guitarist Jay Stapley, who replaced lead guitarist Eric Clapton for the 1985 tour.)
  2. The b-side of the "Radio Waves" single was "Going To Live In LA".
    (The "Radio Waves" single was released in 1987, just prior to the release of the Radio K.A.O.S album. The b-side, "Going To Live In LA", is actually a really great song, and many think it should have been included on the album. It furthers and somewhat better explains the story of Billy, and why he was in LA telephoning the DJ of the Radio KAOS radio station.)
  3. Rogers first solo album was recorded in collaboration with "Ron Geesin" The title of the album was called "Music From The Body".
    (The album was actually released in 1970 while Roger was still a member of Pink Floyd. It was written and released as a movie soundtrack for the film "The Body".)
  4. The name of the charity that the 1990 The Wall Live in Berlin concert was in support of was: "The Memorial Fund For Disaster Relief".
    ("The Memorial Fund For Disaster Relief" was founded by Word War Two veteran, Group Captain Leonard Cheshire, as a memorial to the 100 million people who lost their lives in the 2 world wars. The fund's purpose and goal was to acquire 500 Million pounds which would never be touched, but the interest earned to be donated to help the peoples of the world during any war or natural disaster, and represent the largest single source for disaster relief in the world.)
  5. The songs which had to be re-recorded and re-filmed for The Wall Live in Berlin album, video and DVD were "Mother" and "The Thin Ice"
    (Soon after the beginning of The Wall Live in Berlin, the monitor speaker system on the stage apparently went out, and none of the band members, singers or musicians could hear what they were playing or singing. Therefore all music came to an abrupt halt. These technical problems began during the song "Mother" and were not resolved for many minutes. Therefore the song "The Thin Ice" was not performed at all. Both "Mother" and "The Thin Ice" had to be re-recorded and re-filmed during a late night after the show performance, and were remixed in the studio and added to the live recording to complete the show.

    Many members answered only "The Thin Ice," as this was the main song that was never performed. However, you who were there... or watched it live on TV... will remember... Sinead O'Connor had to stop singing several times during "Mother," and in fact was never able to complete the song.)

AND THE WINNERS ARE:

Michael Hoicowitz from Mayfield Heights, Ohio USA (Won the Special Edition DVD) Hans-Juergen Mueller from Kaiserslautern, Germany (Won the Special Edition DVD) Tore Bjornstad from Bybrua, Norway (Won the Special Edition DVD) Joe (Bear) Carlile from North Jackson, Ohio, USA (Won the Sound and Vision DVD/CD Delux Package.)

Unfortunately, there were VERY few contest entries. I'm not sure if the questions were just too damn hard for the average REG member, or if most of our members are just completely apathetic. I was quite disappointed. And of those who did enter the contest, not one had ALL the correct answers. However, of the winners, most answered all but one question correctly or completely.

I figured that most REG members were pretty devout fans... I mean, it takes a really big fan to become a member of a fanclub for any artist... so I figured most members would be knowledgeable enough about Roger Waters history to answer the questions. But in the last several years, I've noticed a growing percentage of apathy among REG members, not just in their interest towards Roger, but in politics and most anything that doesn't directly impact their own lives.

I was also disappointed the nobody sent in ANY stories about the Waters shows they had attended. I would have thought that since some members may not be Waters trivia or history buff's that there would be ample opportunity to win the contest by entering a story about a show. But no one sent in a story. Well, my many thanks to those who did participate, and my hearty congratulations to our winning contestants!

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Waters News Spring/Summer 2005

Deeper Waters
More Roger Waters Related News


Waters Albums Released in mini-Album Format

Three Roger Waters solo albums 'The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking,' 'Radio KAOS' and 'Amused to Death' were released on May 18th (in Japan only) as limited edition mini album sleeve CD's. The mini albums recreate the look of the original 12" vinyl release's with great attention to detail.

The cost of these mini album CD's are about $30.00 or 16£, and can be ordered from Hip Cat Records, http://www.hipcatrecords.com, or from www.floydstuff.com. The post Roger Waters Pink Floyd albums, 'A Momentary Lapse Of Reason,' 'Delicate Sound Of Thunder', 'The Division Bell' and 'Pulse' are also being released as mini CD albums.

Last year the newly remastered release of 'The Final Cut' was released in mini-album CD album format.

Each Roger Waters mini album CD has been limited to 5000 copies. Although not numbered, the original Pink Floyd mini album CD's are now highly collectable.


Roger Waters contributes 'Abbey Road' Poem

The recent Abbey Road Film Festival which took place in the UK, included the Pink Floyd films 'The Wall' and 'Live at Pompeii.' However also mentioned at the event was a specially penned Roger Waters poem, which was prominent in the Film Festival program.

The poem titled "Abbey Road - A Memory" describes the striking of an old piano in studio 1 at Abbey Road, and captures the moment perfectly. The Film Festival staff and organizers were extremely pleased with Roger's input.

Abbey Road - A Memory

Knocking back the heavy latch
How cool to take a peak
Into the vault cathedral still
Of studio 1.
Tiptoe across the parquet then
Strip back the canvas from
The grand black lacquer
Steinway standing there
And raise the lid
With hiss and thud
Of felt response
And touch the keys
Which raised a thousand chills
Then strike one note
One asdic ping
Reverberating through the air
Where Menuhin and Miller once held sway
How cool to mingle with them there
In dancing motes that never fade away


Nick Griffiths dies after transplant complications

Roger Waters long time co-producer and friend, Nick Griffiths, has sadly passed away at age 53. Nick has been an integral part of Roger's musical work for many years and was very much seen as 'part of the team.' Nick first worked with Pink Floyd in the early 80's and his credits with Roger Waters include work on, 'When The Wind Blows,' 'Radio KAOS,' 'The Wall Live In Berlin,' 'Amused To Death' and most recently he co-produced the version of 'Flickering Flame' that appears on the album 'Flickering Flame The Solo Years Vol. 1.' Nick will be very sadly missed.


The Wall on Broadway Update

As reported previously in REG, Miramax Films and Thomas D. Motola have acquired the rights to develop and produce a Broadway musical of Pink Floyd's "The Wall". Roger Waters who's vision created the original work, will be actively involved in the production. He will write the score, arrange and orchestrate his music to bring the show to life. Below are articles that appeared in London's Daily newpapers.

All in all, it's a new Wall
by Baz Bamigboye

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters is about to bring together a top team to present the fantasy album The Wall on the stage. Waters has been adapting the album he created, for a theatrical presentation, and I understand that once the writer Lee Hall has finshed working with Stephen Daldry on Billy Elliot (which, by the way, is looking terrific!), he will join Waters on "The Wall."

Another major name who could join the project is Adrian Noble. But Noble has several shows and a film on the go this year, so he couldn't possibly work full-time on The Wall until next year.

The show is about a rock star who has become fed up with the world of rock 'n' roll. He bemoans the misfortunes of his life, detailing each slight and setback as 'another brick in the wall'.

The Wall has been staged as a concert by Pink Floyd in 1980 and 1981, and also by Roger Waters in Berlin (which I attended), just after the Wall there came down. It was also made into a movie with Bob Geldof and Bob Hoskins. But Waters wants to add several new aspects to the story, and also include songs from other Pink Floyd albums - such as Money, from the phenomenally bestselling Dark Side Of The Moon.

When Hall and Noble officially climb up the Wall, the various producers, who include the movie chief Harvey Weinstein and music executive Tommy Mottola, may decide to open the show in London.

However, there's a possibility that it could go to Broadway first. One idea (since rejected, I gather) was to open The Wall in a non-West End location such as the London Dome, for example.

Anyway, not a lot will happen before the middle of next year, so we'll all scale the Wall then.
Reprinted from the Daily Mail - March 11th 2005

Adrian Noble, director of The Wall on Broadway

The UK's Telegraph newspaper last week reported on the transfer of Roger Waters' The Wall to the Broadway stage, which has been ongoing for some time and is expected to come to fruition within the next twelve months.

In a look behind the scenes of the production, they note: It's still a long way off but Adrian Noble is "hugely excited" about the new musical he is going to direct based on Pink Floyd's album The Wall. Speaking at the opening of Brian Friel's new play, The Home Place - in which Noble directs a breathtaking performance from Tom Courtenay - Noble said he is ready to go as soon as the story is ready.

"The basic material is all in place," he says. "Roger Waters has written that. But the book is not complete yet. Lee Hall is writing it at the moment." The combination of Hall, who wrote the book and lyrics for the Billy Elliot stage musical, and Noble, director of West End hit Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, is an enticing one.

The story that Roger has written for the musical takes the familiar story of The Wall into a new direction, bringing some humour to the tale. He is also expected to bring some old Pink Floyd classic songs from other albums to the piece, along with new pieces written for the project. Reprinted from London's Daily Telegraph


Harry Plays With Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull and Hal (AKA Harry) Waters, son of former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, has been keeping himself busy recently.

Waters fan, Thomas Haaning Christiansen, reported to BrainDamage.uk.co on seeing the Marianne Faithfull concert last November 13th: "I went to see in concert, live in Vega, Copenhagen, Denmark. I was surprised to say the least, to see a familiar face walk on stage to accompany her on the keyboards - none other than Hal Waters. What a treat!!

"And it only got better. Halfway through the show the lights focused on Harry, and he and the band started playing 'Incarceration Of A Flower Child' - written by Roger Waters... of course a cover version from Marianne's 'Vagabond Ways'. Absolutely amazing - Waters Jr. playing great keyboards on "The old man's" old song.

"Anyway, I had a small chat with Harry just after the show (forgot to ask him why he turned into Hal - the computer?). He is touring with Faithfull for about four weeks - 20 shows or so around Europe, and the Copenhagen show was only the second on the tour. According to Hal they had a terrible premiere (in fact, the worst live show any of them had ever done) in Iceland two nights ago. Much more satisfying last night. He claimed that playing "Incarceration..." was Marianne's choice.

"Basically, he confirmed what we already knew about 'The old man' - as he constantly referred to him. Too much work on the opera, but hoped that Roger would tour in 2005 - and hoped that he (Harry) would be included. He did think so!

"I asked him how Roger was coping now - after the November 2nd US Presidential election. They had not spoken since... so he did not know! "He was certainly in a great mood and was kind enough to provide me with a signature on the ticket. Enough for now, catch the show if it comes anywhere close to you ..."

Thanks to www.Brain-Damage.co.uk - for this news


Ron Geesin At One-Off Concert

Ron Geesin, the musician and composer who collaborated with Roger Waters on the album "Music From The Body" (the soundtrack to the film of the same name), and then co-wrote Pink Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother", played a rare, one-off concert on Sunday, December 12th 2004.

The show, held at Friends Meeting House in Brighton, was played to a packed venue - with all seats quickly taken, a search was undertaken for extra chairs to accommodate the masses! For anyone unable to attend, the good news is that the video cameras dotted around the hall captured the show, for release on DVD sometime in 2005.

The show itself was fantastic, with Ron's unique style and musicianship stunning and amusing throughout. Certainly an experience that many in the audience won't be able to forget - and the standing ovation at the end (forcing Ron into an encore, when he doesn't usually do them) bore this out!

Mr. Geesin stated before the concert, that the show was "a tapping of subconscious and nervous energy. It is largely improvised around grand piano, banjos, marimba, percussion, voice and the audience itself. It is quite separate from the more-considered studio work...". After the show, he said: "That was hard work - after 6 years! - but apparently my timing has even improved!!"

Ron's son, Joe Geesin, said that he in fact is the baby heard at the start of the Music From The Body album!. You can find out more about Ron and his career, past and present, at his website - http://www.RonGeesin.com.

Thanks to www.Brain-Damage.co.uk -for this report


Roger on Hendrix and Cream

In a recent interview published in Rolling Stone magazine, when reminiscing on his youth, Roger Waters discusses a 'Cream' concert he witnessed. (For those of you who don't know, or are too young to remember, Cream was made up of Eric Clapton: Guitar, Jack Bruce: Bass, and Ginger Baker: Drums.)

And apparently Cream is going to reform for some concerts!!! What fantastic news!!! I can only hope they'll come to the states, It would be wonderful to be able to see them, I never did see them in my youth, and it would take another Floyd or Waters show to get me to London again.

Roger describes his attendance at one of their gigs in 1965; "Two thirds of the way through their set, one of them (a member of Cream) said, 'We'd like to invite a friend of ours from America out onstage.' It was Jimi Hendrix, and that was the first night he had ever played in England. "He came on and did all that now-famous stuff, like playing with his teeth. That ticket cost me about a pound or so. It might have been the best purchase I ever made." Roger also stated he will also be attending at least one of the Cream reunion shows in London later this year.

(Thanks go to the many REG members who sent in information for the Deep Waters News, and to the following websites: rogerwatersonline.com, brain-damage.co.uk, and bleedingheartsandartist.com)

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FLOYDIAN NEWS


Articles


Taken By Storm
The Art of Storm Thorgerson

Media Contemporary Arts and wine.com are delighted to announce the travelling exhibition of "Taken by Storm: Art of Storm Thorgerson". Storm Thorgerson, first with Hipgnosis and then later in his own right, is the artist behind the images synonymous with identifying the pop culture of the 70's throughout and into the Millennium. Creating visually beautiful and thought-provoking art, Storm's work has featured on a variety of single and album covers and collected in books including "Eye of the Storm", "Mind over Matter" and "Walk Away Renee". Storm's distinctive style has made his artwork one of the most recognisable in the music industry. He is responsible for the iconic images we associate with bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Ian Dury and The Blockheads; and more recently bands such as Audioslave, Mars Volta and Anthrax.

The distinctive and edgy style of Storm Thorgerson's work has an element of "performance" to it. Storm takes joy in engaging the audience to provoke a reaction through 'temporary installations' captured by the camera - is it reality or is it fantasy? I like photography because it is a reality medium, unlike drawing which is unreal.

"I like to mess with reality. Bend reality. Some of my works beg the question of is it real or not? I use real elements in unreal ways. Is the man really on fire? Why would he just be standing there? Who put the beds on the beach? Why? Why is there a cow on the cover? It doesn't have anything to do with the album, or does it? A boxer dog in designer boxer shorts on a beach? Incongruity. I like to create things that are unlikely (dog in designer shorts), unbelievable (beds on a beach) and unacceptable (setting a man on fire). Make people doubt what they see. How real is real? My work triggers sufficient interest in what it 'is' and makes people ask what it 'means'."

Following the successful 2004 London debut, this travelling exhibition will be the first international exhibition of Storm's artwork since his stroke during the opening night of his Paris exhibition and the first ever US exhibition dedicated to his work.

The US tour of "Taken by Storm: Art of Storm Thorgerson" will be in Chicago May 6th - June 5th at Inspire Fine Art (www.inspirefineart.com) and will then be part of the 'Art in Music' exhibition at Forest Lawn Museum (www.forestlawn.com) July 31st to October 9th before continuing to other USA cities in 2005/2006. Wine.com will be providing a tasting of premier wines from some of the world's greatest wine regions at gallery events. Please refer to www.takenbystorm.us for the most up to date information on the tour including cities the exhibition will visit and special events throughout the tour.

6th May - 5th June
Chicago
Inspire Fine Art
435 E. Illinois, Suite 131
Chicago, IL 60611

30th July - 9th October
Los Angeles
Forest Lawn Museum
1712 South Glendale Avenue
Glendale California 91205
(Part of a larger exhibition: "Revolutions: Artists Who Rocked the World of Music Industry Art"}

November3rd - 27th
Miami
Fache Arts Gallery

Artwork by Storm Thorgerson

Dark side of the Moon - 1973

We simply couldn't bring ourselves to hold an exhibition of Storm's work without including this famous image. Arguably, The Dark Side of the Moon cover is Storm Thorgerson's most recognisable album artwork. The graphics capture the imagery Roger Waters explores in the lyrics. Creating a unique design on each occasion, Storm captures the creativity and the identity of the band reflecting the music, the lyrics and the personalities of the members combined. With "Dark Side of the Moon", which contains the constellation of 3 elements of the album; madness, lost opportunity and megalomania!

As an album, Dark Side of the Moon spent the longest time in the charts by far, fourteen years in Billboard's Top 200, and selling over thirty million copies. This icon was the predecessor of much of Storm's work depicting or incorporating the prism, the triangle and the pyramids.

"The idea itself was cobbled from a standard physics textbook, which illustrated light passing through a prism…Of significance was the art direction, or rather the fortuitous decision to listen to Rick Wright, who suggested we do something clean, elegant and graphic, not photographic - not a figurative picture. And then to connect this idea to their live show, which was famous for its lighting, and subsequently to connect it to ambition and madness, themes Roger was exploring in the lyrics … hence the prism, the triangle and the pyramids. It all connects, somehow, somewhere."

Animals - 1977

"This wonderful building, the Battersea Power Station, is in sorry decline, literally crumbling away through neglect. So hopefully our cover will serve as a great memorial, if not a fitting epitaph."

This photographic artwork involved tying a 30ft long and 20ft high inflatable pig between the two towers of the Battersea Power Station in London. The installation (which we have termed 'exstallation') was riddled with difficulties. On the first day, atmospheric conditions were perfect - big dramatic clouds with just a hint of the blue sky shining through.

Unfortunately, the pig would not inflate (except one leg, of course). On the second day, Storm and his team successfully launched the inflatable pig, only to find that a gust of wind blew it free of its ropes and the pig literally flew into the air lanes used by incoming airplane traffic to Heathrow Airport. As you can imagine, the next day's headlines joked about flying pigs and pilots reporting unidentified flying pigs. The crew rescued the pig that evening from a farmer in Kent (who was obviously a bit in shocked!) and successfully photographed the pig 'flying' between the two towers of the power station the following day. This photograph is actually comprised of bits from all three days with the photograph of the pig from the third day and the background of the first day.

"We had suggested previously that the whole thing could be 'stripped' together. There was no need to photograph the pig actually on site, we said smugly. We were wrong. The great virtue was in staging the event, and the beautiful and dramatic qualities were best achieved by doing it for real."

A Momentary Lapse of Reason - 1987

The inspiration for this photograph was from the song 'Yet Another Movie' which had as part of its lyrics 'A vision of an empty bed'. Inspired, Storm had the idea of arranging seven-hundred Victorian hospital beds in a slight curve stretching away from the camera like a 'river bed'. These were envisaged as beds that mad people, ill people or even dreamers may occupy. After setting up the installation (or 'exstallation' as we like to term it), it began to rain, turning grey and producing limited visibility. Storm and his team had to pull the photo-shoot, pack up shop and return two weeks later (after carefully assessing the weather) to take the photograph you see now.

'What you get is what you see: 700 wrought iron beds all individually made up and each weighing several tons, or so it seemed by the end of the day. The photograph …is a 35mm colour transparency taken when the tide was on the turn and came rushing back, flooding all the beds in the blink of an eye. Wet dream, or what."

The Division Bell - 1994

The Division Bell was the first new Pink Floyd album since Momentary Lapse in 1987. A major theme of the album was of contradiction in communication - the distinct presence of it and lack of it. Storm's aim was to create an image that expressed these directly conflicting views. After thrashing around a number of ideas, the Division Bell was born. One will see two heads looking at each other while another will see a single head face-on. This clever illusion is contradictory. Both visualisations are rarely seen simultaneously. The beauty of this image is that everything you see in the photograph is real - the metal heads, cathedral, skyline and landscape... all are real, especially the sculptures made as high as a house.

"Contradictory communication. For example, there are bells to alarm as in clock, and bells to celebrate, as in church. There are bells to summon, as in school meals, and bells to warn, as in bicycle. The Division Bell itself is rung to bring Members of Parliament together so that they can be not together, ie divide when voting. More contradictions."

Wish You Were There (Single)1995

The inspiration for the artwork for this US single stemmed directly from the words of the lyrics, which referred to two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl. The photograph is of a couple looking through two separate fish bowls. Although they are side by side they are apart, swimming alone in their individual bowls. Their faces are distorted to expose grim and severe dispositions. This image is a man-made creation (without any use of computer effects). The best description of this piece comes directly from Storm.

"A dour couple, their faces trapped in a world of their own, confined within the fish bowls, intense and distorted in their separateness. No retouching here, no clever tricks, not pretence. Like the words of the song."

Dark Side of the Moon - 30th Anniversary 2003

We simply couldn't bring ourselves to hold an exhibition of Storm's work without including a version of the famous prism from Dark Side of the Moon. Arguably, The Dark Side of the Moon cover is Storm Thorgerson's most recognisable album artwork. The 30th Anniversary edition (shown here) captures the constellation of the 3 elements that the original cover in 1973 contained - madness, lost opportunity and megalomania. As an album, Dark Side of the Moon spent the longest time in the charts by far, fourteen years in Billboard's Top 200, and selling over thirty million copies.

"When the super audio CD (SACD) of Dark Side of the Moon was made, we felt it was appropriate to redo the original cover in a sympathetic fashion in as much as the sound was remixed in 5.1 surround sound in exquisite quality and definition. As pure a rendition as you could get so we wished to re-express the design its purist fashion. What better than the medium of glass to express an idea about glass and light via a prism. So we made a stain glass window specifically constructed to the proportions of the original design in 1973 and photographed it, backlit by the autumn sun. The imperfections inherent in stain glass were brought out as well as the suspended colours that stain glass provides. A thing of beauty … or so I thought."

For more information about the Taken By Storm tour .. go to http://www.takenbystorm.us/


FILM


The Committee Released on DVD

Basho Records is pleased to announce the DVD release of the 1960s film THE COMMITTEE. On July 4, 2005, The film "The Committee" was re-released for the very first time since its original cinema release in 1968, and now available on DVD

The Committee

  • Starring: Paul Jones, with: Tom Kempinski, Robert Lloyd, Pauline Munroe and Jimmy Gardner
  • Directed by Peter Sykes
  • Director of Photography: Ian Wilson
  • Written and Produced by Max Steuer
  • Featured Interlude: The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
  • Musical Score composed and performed by: Pink Floyd
  • Extras, include an interview by Oscar winning director Jon Blair with Max Steuer and Peter Sykes (50 min). Also included with the DVD is a CD of the song "The Committee" (Jones/Steuer) arranged by Tim Whitehead for the Homemade Orchestra, plus two tracks from earlier Homemade Orchestra CDs.

"The Committee is directed by Peter Sykes and based on a chilling fable by Max Steuer. Although discernibly influenced by Harold Pinter, R.D.Laing and recent Czech movies, the film has a savage narrative life of its own."

The Committee, starring Paul Jones of Manfred Mann fame, is a unique document of Britain in the 1960s. After a very successful run in London's West End in 1968, viewings of this controversial movie have been few and far between. At last, a DVD release makes available a film that was strongly praised by the distinguished critic Kenneth Tynan. Stunning black and white camera work by Ian Wilson brings to life this "chilling fable" by Max Steuer, a lecturer (now Reader Emeritus) at the London School of Economics.

Avoiding easy answers, The Committee uses a surreal murder to explore the tension and conflict between bureaucracy on one side, and individual freedom on the other. Many films, such as Total Recall, Fahrenheit 451 and Camus' The Stranger, see the state as ignorant and repressive, and pass over the inevitable weaknesses lying deep in individuals. Drawing on the ideas of R.D. Laing, a psychologically hip state faces an all too human protagonist. Both the style and the content of this film capture the feel of the sixties, yet it has potentially greater relevance now than when it was made. More than in the past, hidden committees, be they in democracies or otherwise, determine much of life today.

The acting of Paul Jones and National Theatre actors Tom Kempinski and Robert Lloyd ably supports intelligent and imaginative directing by Peter Sykes. This is visual artistry of a high level. Peter Brook, the famous theatre director, applauded the technical achievement of combining diverse acting traditions to tell a dark and challenging tale.

The musical score, written and performed by the Pink Floyd, is some of the most intellectual music the Pink Floyd have produced, according to music writer David King. This is music that has never been released before. Along with the Pink Floyd, and also enhancing the mood of the film, Arthur Brown performs his worldwide hit Fire. Few will note that his flaming headdress echoes the homey fireside of the Fabians Beatrice and Sidney Webb. But the touch of evil in the performance is unmistakable.

It is not easy to absorb this dense story, inspired by lines from the economist Joseph Schumpeter. The DVD contains a lengthy interview with Max Steuer and Peter Sykes which provides a helpful exposition. The interviewer, Jon Blair, a distinguished, Oscar-winning documentary maker and founder of Spitting Image, takes the viewer behind the scenes both in terms of the ideas that motivate the film, and the practical, and often hilarious problems of independent filmmaking.

The DVD includes a CD of a re-recording of the Steuer/Jones song The Committee, arranged for the jazz-classical fusion group the Homemade Orchestra by the outstanding saxophonist Tim Whitehead especially for this re-release. The CD also includes two tracks from earlier Whitehead/Riley Homemade Orchestra CDs. (Kenneth Tynan, The Observer, 9 June 1968)

For more information and how to purchase the Committee DVD, contact Basho Records: http://www.bashorecords.com/


BOOKS


The Dark Side of the Moon
A Book by John Harris

Da Capo Press Release: Pink Floyd's 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon has sold a staggering 30 million copies. It stayed in the Billboard top 200 for a record fourteen years, and still sells, worldwide, nearly 250,000 copies annually. One of the most technically advanced LPs of its day, and mysterious in its dark themes of death and madness, the album still sounds cutting edge more than thirty years later.

Da Capo Press, the publisher who brought you Kind of Blue and Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison is proud to publish The Dark Side of the Moon (November 15, 2005; $24.00,) the very first in-depth look at Pink Floyd's masterpiece, one of the greatest albums of all time.

On the heels of their reunion concert to benefit Live 8, acclaimed music writer John Harris brings to life the true behind-the-scenes story of the making of the album in a book that will become just as much of a collector's item as the album itself. Some of the exclusive material:

  • Harris draws from original, new interviews with every member of the band-bassist and chief songwriter Roger Waters, guitarist David Gilmour, keyboardist Rick Wright, and drummer Nick Mason.
  • The book is full of never before published photos-including several from Nick Mason's personal collection.
  • Cover art is an original design by Storm Thorgerson, who designed the original album sleve.

The Dark Side of the Moon marked a turning point for Pink Floyd. After stumbling over several disjointed experimental albums and art film soundtracks, this album celebrated the cosumate combination of their unique sound and unusual lyrical preoccupations; with this album the studio wizardry and tenacious innovation reached its full potential.

In The Dark Side of the Moon, Harris explores the band's history, takes readers into the Abbey Road studios to watch Pink Floyd cobble together songs such as "Time," "Money," "Brain Damage," and "Eclipse," and reveals the album's massive influence on bands like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails.

The book The Dark Side of the Moon is a must-have for the millions of devoted fans who want to know more about one of the most timeless, compelling and mysterious albums ever made.

Inside Out - A personal History of Pink Floyd
by Nick Mason
Booklist Editorial Reviews

The landmark British psychedelic band Pink Floyd's founding drummer limns the group, named after two early bluesmen, in a profusely illustrated coffee-table tome. The band's spacey arrangements, instrumentation, and light shows made it famous; the drug-burnout fate of original leader Syd Barrett, who was later institutionalized, helped, too.

As Barrett's legend grew, his former colleagues moved the band closer to the rock mainstream and scored massive hits with such albums as Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. Mason tracks the outfit's progress from the members' meeting in art school a la the Who, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, and other revered British rockers. He details the band's journey from jazzy R & B to the psychedelic explorations that eventually dominated its output. Given Pink Floyd's erstwhile association with mood-altering substances, the more recent story of band members' children's covert strategy to score at a concert is particularly piquant. Incisive, and freighted with pictures, this is a lush treat for the band's considerable fandom.

Here, for the first time, is the story of Pink Floyd—from the inside out. With 116 million albums sold worldwide and 25 years on the pop charts to their credit, Pink Floyd is one of the most successful rock groups in history, yet their story—until now—is one of the least known. The only continuous member of the band through its entire 40-year history, Nick Mason has witnessed every twist, turn, and sommersault from behind his drum kit.

The journey begins with the band's origins as the darlings of London's late 1960s underground and the creation of the classic Pink Floyd sound, all the way through to The Wall and those legendary stadium shows. Here are the players who shaped the band's history and the story behind the story—the inside perspective on, for example, the deterioration and departure of Syd Barrett; the overwhelming success of The Dark Side of the Moon and the resulting pressures and conflicts within the band, including the rift with Roger Waters; and Nick and David Gilmour's decision to put their reputations on the line and continue as Pink Floyd.

Packed with rare photographs and vintage Floyd graphics from Nick Mason's extensive private archive, Inside Out is an eye-opener for both veteran fans and those just discovering the group. And, in keeping with the classic Floyd style, the book's cover was designed by Storm Thorgerson, creator of such iconic images as the Dark Side pyramid. Always candid, by turns poignant and funny, Nick's own memories are augmented with extensive research and interviews, making Inside Out a comprehensive history of one of the most brilliant and imaginative bands the world has known—and a masterly memoir of rock and roll.


STAGE


The Wall In Germany

There is another wall in Germany, but this time not in Berlin. The wall was erected in Springe Germany, a small German town. But this wall was erected upon a stage.

In a small town German High School of nearly 800 students, 100 of the students got together to build this wall. They took Roger Waters epic masterpiece "The Wall," translated the lyrics and created a stage play together with a fantastic rock band, a choir and some really great solo singers and performers.

The performance was so popular the show ran continuously for 7 nights with more than 300 or 400 people in attendance each night. The audience gave the play rave reviews, especially enthusiastic about the musicians and the music.

For more information about The Wall in Springe Germany or a DVD of the show, contact Wolfgang Salomaon at: white.house@arcor.de


MISC.


DJ John Peel Dies On Holiday Aged 65

Radio 1 legend John Peel died of a heart attack while on holiday in South America The 65 year old dad of four, who enjoyed a career with the BBC spanning almost 40 years, died in the ancient Inca city of Cuzco in Peru. The veteran broadcaster was half-way through his two week holiday. He had always dreamed of visiting Peru and was hoping to visit the fortress city of Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca.

As the music world was plunged into mourning, friends, colleagues and some of the biggest names in show business queued up to honor one of Britain's national treasures.

Tony Blair led the emotional tributes: "John Peel was a genuine one-off. He was a unique voice in broadcasting. He will be missed by everyone." After announcing his death on Radio 1, the BBC played Teenage Kicks by The Undertones, Peels favorite song.

John Peel was a revolutionary with a microphone. He brought a whole new style to the art of the DJ and thanks to that, brought a raft of talent to the public's attention.

He let listeners actually listen to the music he was playing. The bands were the stars, not him. His Peel Sessions let new talent make a name for themselves.

For over 40 years, the sleepy voiced Scouser championed everyone from David Bowie, Mark Bolan, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, to the Sex Pistols, The Smiths, The Fall and The Strokes.

Peel never cared what was cool, he just played what he liked. And unlike the "Jocks" who ruled Radio One, he didn't talk over the music.

From the start, Peel went where his colleagues feared to tread. It was Peels Radio show who helped catapult psychedelic cult band Pink Floyd into the limelight of the British music scene. Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant recalled: "He gave us airplay in the early days, when we were considered taboo by the BBC identikit disc jockey."

Peel, who was awarded the OBE in 1998, loved his annual stints hosting BBC's TV coverage of the Glastonbury Festival and was a fan of new bands such as The Stokes and White Stripes.

His dry sense of humor came through when in an interview on his 60th birthday, he joked: "I would quite like to die on the air, but not in a kind of melodramatic way. I would prefer to go during a long track. Then a continuity announcer would come on trying to stay calm saying, 'John seems to have been taken ill. We will take you over to Radio Two.' Then you would hear the sound of my heels being dragged down the steps and that will be that."

(Thanks go to the many REG members who sent in information for the Floydian News, and to the following websites: rogerwatersonline.com, brain-damage.co.uk, and bleedingheartsandartist.com)

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NewsFlash June 2005

Roger Waters to Reunite with Pink Floyd for Benefit Concert

Mark Fenwick, Roger Waters' Manager, has confirmed to REG that Roger Waters will join Pink Floyd to perform at the "Live 8" concert in London's Hyde Park on July 2nd 2005. Roger Waters will join band members Dave Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright for the Hyde Park benefit concert.

Pink Floyd's classic line-up will be reunited on stage for the first time in 24 years. Roger Waters last performed on stage with Pink Floyd at London's Earls Court in 1981.

The Live 8 concert, is a sequel to the massively successful 1985 Live Aid benefit concert, and again was organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to help fight African poverty.

Pink Floyd will be the main headlining band to perform at the London Hyde park show, joining other rock icons which include Madonna, REM, U2, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Coldplay and Robbie Williams.

The Hyde Park concert is one of six to be performed around the world. Also on July 2, Live 8 shows are being staged in Philadelphia with Dave Matthews Band, Bon Jovi, Stevie Wonder, Will Smith, Sarah McLachlan, Jay-Z and P. Diddy; in Paris with Jamiroquai, Placebo and Andrea Bocelli; in Berlin with Lauryn Hill, Brian Wilson and Crosby, Stills & Nash; and in Rome with Duran Duran, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. A sixth concert featuring Annie Lennox, Dido and Travis is slated for Edinburgh on July 6, the day the G8 summit kicks off. It is hoped that the concerts will put pressure on leaders of the G8 and Russia to do more to fight poverty and AIDS in developing nations.

When asked about the show, Roger Waters said: "It's great to be asked to help Bob raise public awareness on the issues of third world debt and poverty. The cynics will scoff, screw 'em! Also, to be given the opportunity to put the band back together, even if it's only for a few numbers is a big bonus."

Likewise, David Gilmour was quoted as saying: "Like most people I want to do everything I can to persuade the G8 leaders to make huge commitments to the relief of poverty and increased aid to the third world. It's crazy that America gives such a paltry percentage of its GNP to the starving nations. Any squabbles Roger and the band have had in the past are so petty in this context, and if reforming for this concert will help focus attention then it's got to be worthwhile."

For more information regarding the concert go to http://www.live8live.com/

The news about this Floyd reunion concert happened on Sunday June 12th. REG received numerous emails regarding why we took so long to post the news on our website. As you all know each year there has been so much rumor and gossip about Pink Floyd reuniting spread on the Internet as well as published in major newspapers and magazines. And heretofore, everyone one of those rumors proved untrue, as Roger has always stated he had no desire to play with his old band mates ever again.

And it is because REG does not report information unless or until it is confirmed by our very reputable sources that REG has earned a great reputation of being one of the few fan organizations that is always very credible and trustworthy. Therefore, because Roger's Manager could not be reached on the weekend, we had to wait until Monday when we received his confirmation before reporting this story. To me, it's not as important to be first to announce the story. I rather wanted to be absolutely sure about it's authenticity before reporting it.

After so much rumor and gossip about a Floyd reunion for so many many years, it is almost unbelievable that this is actually going to happen. The excitement and wonder is hard to put into words. See the full story on the REG website: http://www.rogerwaters.org/live8/live8_main.html

Michael Simone
President of REG
The International Roger Waters Fan Club

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NewsFlash July 2005

Will there be a Pink Floyd Reunion?

We asked REG sources that question, and the answer we got was that; "A reunification of the group is entirely down to the individuals." This answer is better than a no, absolutely not. However, one fan wrote our fanclub who purportedly read an interview that said that when asked this question, Roger had commented that "differences run too deep" for that to happen. However, it may be that this fan was reading an interview pre-Live 8.

When back stage after the Live 8 concert, I met with each member of Pink Floyd, and it seemed to me that all of the Floyd MORE than enjoyed playing together again.

Will it ever happen again? I defer to REG sources... "it's entirely down to the individuals" in the group. But judging from the atmosphere back stage and the conviviality I witnessed between Roger and Dave, and Roger and Nick and Rick, I wouldn't be surprised to at least see a proper full reunion concert perhaps for some needy charity sometime again in the future. A tour... well that's rather wishful thinking. But I never imagined Roger reuniting with Pink Floyd ever again, so it seems that hell has frozen over and Pigs do indeed fly, therefore anything could happen!

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NewsFlash July 2005

Roger Waters Solo Album and Tour Delayed Until 2007!

The release of Roger Waters new solo album and the tour planned to follow will likely be delayed until 2007! It's sad but true. When asked about the release of Roger's new solo album and tour, REG sources stated: "...it is unlikely that Roger's solo album will be released next year and therefore a tour is more likely in 2007."

We Roger Waters fans should be pretty used to schedule changes and posponments when it comes to Roger releasing any music at all, as well as going on any tour. We all remember the extremely long wait between 1987 and 1999 for Roger to tour. We remember the extremely long wait from 1992 until 2000 and 2002 for any new Roger Waters music release. We remember the postponement of the In The Flesh world tour from 2001 to 2002. And how can we forget the years of continual release postponements of Ca Ira?

So as fans, although we do in fact get really really frustrated by the continual anticipation, and then having dates postponed years later, it's definitely business as usual as Roger Waters' music releases and planned tours go.

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NewsFlash July 2005

A Special Evening With Roger Waters
Roger unviels his opera Ca Ira in New York July 25th 2005

On September 27th, 2005, after 16 years, Ca Ira, Roger's opera will finally be released. However on July 25, 2005, Roger Waters hosted a CA IRA Pre-Release event in New York City REG was contacted by Mark Feldman, Columbia Records Vice President of Marketing, who informed me of a "very special" and "very exclusive" Roger Waters event that Columbia Records had put together to help launch the release of "Ca Ira". The event featured Roger speaking about Ca Ira and debuting selections from his long awaited classical opera.

Mr. Feldman asked if REG members in the surrounding area would want to attend and offered me tickets to any who could. So I contacted many REG members in the New York area, and thanks to Sony Music, Sony Classic and Columbia Records, ensured that those who could attend got free tickets to the event.

Being the president of the fanclub, I was asked if I could attend. But when I said that there was no way I could not afford to go, Sony Music offered to pay for my round trip ticket and fly me out to New York from California for the event. Although I was extremely excited about the oportunity, and extremely flattered by the generous offer, in the end it turned out that at such short notice it would be all but impossible for me to arrange my work schedule as well as transportation and hotel accomodations. However I sent REG member Steve Weiler who lived nearby in Pennsylvania, to act in my stead.

The event was held on Monday July 25th at the Florance Gould Hall, an east side Manhattan 400 seat auditorium and began at 6:30 PM. As the lights were dimmed, sound effects of dogs and birds played through a dolby 5.1 sound system, which segue'd into the "Overture," a rousing beautiful piece from Ca Ira that was first performed at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival last year. Afterwards, the lights came back on and lecture host David Silver gave a brief synopsis of what was to take place. Basically it was to be somewhat of a live interview, with the lecture host asking questions of Roger, and Roger responding. In between the question and answer period, 6 pieces from the completed Ca Ira recording would be played with Roger giving a brief explanation of each piece. At the end, Roger would take a few questions from the audience.

Mr. Silver introduced Roger Waters who was greeted with a standing ovation. Sitting in a leather padded chair, Roger was congratulated on the historic performance at the Live 8 concert a few weeks earlier in Hyde Park London, which drew more applause.

In answer to various questions, Roger first spoke about the history of how the opera came about, when in the late 1980's he was approached by Etienne Roda-Gil, who had written the Ca Ira libretto, and Etiennes wife Nadine, who had done the illustrations for the story, based on the French Revolution. Etienne had wanted Roger to adapt some of his previous music and integrate it with themes from his libretto. But instead, because he had always been attracted to the power and magnificence of live symphony orchestra, Roger decided to write new music for the opera, and within a few weeks presented a demo for Etienne's consideration.

During the discussions about how Ca Ira came to be, a film was shown of Roger working on the opera throughout the years, which included working with an orchestra and behind the scenes clips with the vocalsists. The film was likely a part of the Adrian Mabel "The Making of Ca Ira" documentary DVD that will be included in the September CD release.

Asked why opera is not very widely accepted or popular, Roger answered that its because opera is viewed as being mostly for the rich and upper class, and is traditionally overblown with a large and long production. He added that because it's usually in another language, it's difficult for an unfamiliar audience to understand or relate to the storyline. "It doesn't reach out to the masses who assume that opera is only for the rich, with stories that take place in another time and country so people can't relate it to their lives."

Roger said that Ca Ira will be available in both French and English. He stated that at first he didn't want to do an English version, but at one point, when he decided to completely rewrite the libretto and somewhat change the story, he realized that an English version would allow a wider audience to appreciate and relate to the work.

As the recording of 6 Ca Ira excerpts were played, video montages of the original illustrations that inspired the piece, drawn by Etienne's wife Nadine were shown, as well as other famous French period art.

Before each song, Roger related his thoughts of what each piece was about. The first piece played was, Honest Bird, Simple Bird. Roger stated that Ca Ira was mostly an opera about change, "we each have within us the potential for change, and we need to be empathetic to others in order to have others be empathetic in return."

Roger admitted that though he didn't use music from his Pink Floyd days or from his solo career as a basis for his writing, he did use those experiences and those concepts to guide him, and in particularly from his experiences working on "The Wall." He said in creating Ca Ira, "The Wall" had influenced him because of the concepts of war, loss, alienation and the need for empathy and also because he was always ever mindful that this would be a live production. He explained that the idea for "The Wall" grew out of a drawing (that he still has) of a stage with a wall across it. The concept and the music, grew from that visual idea. Interestingly, Ca Ira grew out of Ettienes's wife's visuals and the idea that these characters would come alive in a live performance at some point.

Roger did note that the Ca Ira piece; "My Dear Cousin Bourbon of Spain," was derived from the song; "Moment of Clarity 5:11 am," from the album The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking. He said many people don't notice the melody at first, but it is vaguely familiar to the trained ear of a Roger Waters fan.

Roger talked a lot about about the concept of the album and the history of the story. He often referred to the parallels in current history, and stated that he refuses to allow himself to become cynical to the fact that things might change. He said that things (referring to the War today in Iraq, and those in the 20th century) really haven't changed that much since war in the 1700's. "Its still about loss of loved ones, loss of innocence and the loss of empathy..." but he said he thinks that there is still hope to make things change, hence the concept of Ca Ira "There Is Hope.

Roger spoke about poverty and how that relates to wars, and the themes of Live 8. How many people throughout Africa live on less then a dollar a day, and until the world gains true empathy to make that change, it is clear that war, destruction, illness and senseless death will continue. He said that Ca Ira attempts to put a spotlight on the fact that one person can make a change, and that change can snowball into a revolution. Each persons actions and empathy can go far to make things better for the future.

While speaking about the French Revolution, Roger often referred to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and at one time snidely commented that it is a wonderful concept and would be even better if people upheld it and its truest meanings.

Although Roger had stated at the begining of the event, that he would try not to get too political, it was difficult since Ca Ira is rooted in history which often parallels current world events. "It's hard not to mention the Tube bombings, or the famine in Africa, because its clear to my fans at least, that my art is propelled by the tragedies of the world, then and now."

He explained that originally he had wanted parts of Ca Ira to have an African influence, since part of the story has to do with the slave trade and the impact of exports from the colonies during that time - referring to the chorus on the Ca Ira piece "Silver, Sugar and Indigo." He said he wanted to have drummers from Senegal and other African musical influences. But in the end he realized that it might be best to stay true to the medium, and to use orchestra to give it the feel that he was looking for, without straying from pure classical opera.

At the end, Roger left the stage to another standing ovation. Originally I was told that fans would have an opportunity to ask Roger some questions. But apparently the production ran over time, and that did not happen. Therefore, some fans were a bit disappointed because they had prepared questions to ask him. However, after a majority of the audience had left, Roger came back and sat at the edge of the stage for a brief meet and greet with his fans, including many REG members, signing autographs and taking pictures. He also made an announcement in answer to one fans question, that he would be debuting Ca Ira in Rome on November 17th.

As everyone left the auditorium, they were presented with a CD of 9 excerpts from Ca Ira, 6 of which had been played that night. The tracks on the CD are: Honest Bird Simple Bird, I Want To Be King, To Freeze In The Dead Of Night, So To The Streets In The Pouring Rain, My Dear Cousin Bourbon Of Spain, To The Windward Isles, The Last Night On Earth, Liberty. Although the "Oveture" was played as a prelude to the event, it was not on the CD sampler.

This is definitely a work of classical music, though anyone familiar with Roger Waters work on movie sound-tracks such as "When The Wind Blows" will be able to recognise the instumental sections as Waters' compositions. They are symphonic creations of Roger's genius. The vocal sections are clearly operetic interpretations of his story about the French Revolution. I love classical music, but I'm not much of an opera fan. However, although opera in English might allow the audience to understand the story, it also makes the experience sound less exotic.

It is fantastic that Ca Ira has been completed and will finally be released this September. Unfortunately since 1989 both Etienne Roda-Gil and his wife Nadine have passed away. Although it has taken 16 years, Roger Waters has been dedicated to the inspirations of his friends and to completing their visions. And it is obvious to many that Roger has masterminded a classical piece of art that those original creators would be proud of.

(Thanks to reports and revues from: Kristin of the Bleeding Heart Aritst Website, Steve Weiler, and other REG Members.)

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NewsFlash November 2005

CA IRA DEBUTS AT NUMBER 1 - PREMIERS IN ROME!

Roger Waters who led the legendary band Pink Floyd has just released his first epic piece of classical music. After 3 albums as a solo artist and a extremely successful 3 year World Tour, he had not performed with, nor rarely ever even talked to, his former Pink Floyd band mates in 24 years. But, at the behest of friend Bob Geldof, he relented and a reunited Pink Floyd performed in London on July 2nd 2005 at the Live 8 benefit concert.

"It was a great weight off my back to have a rapprochement with the three guys after all the enmity. Constantly, in my work, I am exhorting people to let go of entrenched positions, and that could be seen as hypocritical in view of the fact that, for all those years, I held an entrenched position in terms of the history and the internal politics of Pink Floyd. "So to be able to relinquish that enmity was very important to me.

If that's the only time we play together for the rest of our lives, I will reap the benefits of those few days for the rest of my life."

The recording of Waters long-awaited "operatic history of the French Revolution" was released on Tuesday, September 27, in a lavish first-edition Digipak that includes a complete recording of the work on two hybrid Super Audio CDs in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, which are compatible with standard CD players. The package includes a deluxe 60 page four-color booklet including Roger Waters' lyrics based on Etienne Roda-Gil's original French libretto, the original illustrations created by Nadine Roda-Gil, biographies of Waters and the opera's cast, background and production notes on the opera.

As a bonus for Roger Waters fans, "Ca Ira" includes a special DVD documentary chronicling the "making of" the opera. The "Ca Ira" DVD traces the history of the project, from conception to completion, and includes revelatory interviews with Waters and the cast of "Ca Ira" as well as exclusive in-the-studio footage of the recording of the opera.

After it's release in stores on Sept. 27th, Roger Waters' new classical opera "Ca Ira," rocketed to the top of the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart to #1.

"Ca Ira" had its world premiere in a semi-staged concert performance on November 17th and 18th in Rome at the Santa Cecilia Hall of the Auditorium Parco Della Musica. The concert reunites tenor Paul Groves and soprano Ying Huang with conductor Rick Wentworth, all of whom appear on the recording, and introduces to the work bass-baritone John Relyea. The 100 piece Rome Sinfonietta performed the production, along with an 80 voice chorus which included a children's choir. When the November 17 concert quickly sold out, a second performance was added for November 18 at the same venue.

Waters, who co-founded the groundbreaking rock group Pink Floyd in 1966, fused the worlds of rock and classical music in such pioneering major works as "The Dark Side Of The Moon" (1973) and "The Wall" (1979) in which he incorporated elements of operatic form - theatricality, coherent narrative, dramatic arcs, thematic music and song cycles - in a pop context.

While the leader of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters took on the big issues of life in high-concept projects like "The Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wall." He grappled with such challenging topics as social oppression, the long shadows of war, the interplay of money and power, and the abuse of authority.

Since 1989, Waters has wrestled with many of these same concerns in a genre new to him: a classical opera. The result, "Ca Ira," an opera set during the French Revolution, was released in stores September 27 on Columbia/Sony BMG Masterworks.

Waters' work on "Ca Ira," his first opera for full orchestra and voice, began in 1989, during the Bicentennial of the French Revolution. The well- respected and successful songwriter Etienne Roda-Gil and his wife, Nadine, had created an original libretto for an opera, written in French, as part of the Bicentennial. Entitled "Ca Ira," after a revolutionary song of the period, the Roda-Gil's original manuscript, copiously and beautifully illustrated by Nadine, portrayed the events and the spirit of the French Revolution through a multitude of perspectives - ranging from Marie Antoinette to the eyes and ears of the period's revolutionaries and common people - using a circus as a central theatrical framing device and metaphor.

Introduced to the couple by a mutual friend, Waters took on the task of writing the music for the opera

"Eventually, though," Waters recalls, "Sony urged me to use English instead of French, so I wrote an English version of Etienne and Nadine's work, and then I felt compelled to expand on their original text. Their work was really a series of gorgeous tableaux, and I added more personal narrative and history for some of the characters."

Waters' music recalls the lush, hyper-Romantic sound of opera composers like Puccini. "(He is) definitely an inspiration," concurs Waters, who also sees common ground between his rock compositions and some of Puccini's work: "After all, his opera ‘Tosca' takes place in a police state."

It will not come as much surprise to Pink Floyd fans that "Ca Ira" contains a number of non-musical elements. Waters' concept involves sound effects, a number of non-singing roles and staging inspired by the theatrical concept of a three-ring circus. "All of this," he concedes, "would be hugely expensive to mount." As a result, the opera took a while to stage, but eventually the premier concert performance took place last November in Rome.

Waters sees strong parallels between the turbulence of the French Revolution and contemporary geopolitics. "All my life," muses Waters, whose father died in World War II, "I have been preoccupied with the great tragedy of losing family in wars. The pain of losing a parent or a child in (an act of) violence that is purposefully and directly generated by political forces is in a certain way harder to bear than if someone dies in, say, an accident. The death feels more preventable."

The finished version of "Ca Ira" features orchestration and choral arrangements by Roger Waters with Rick Wentworth. Waters and Wentworth are also the album's producers. Principal characters in the opera are brought to life by the Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel (the Ringmaster, the Troublemaker, Louis Capet - the King of France); internationally acclaimed soprano Ying Huang (Marie Marianne - the Voice of Liberty, Reason and the Republic, Marie Antoinette - the Queen of France); American tenor Paul Groves (A Revolutionary Priest, A Military Officer); and Nigerian "one man orchestra" Ismael Lo (a Revolutionary Slave). Other parts are sung by Jamie Bower (Honest Bird - the young Revolutionary Priest) and Helen Russill (Madame Antoine - the young Marie Antoinette).

Combined excerpt texts from Reuter/Billboard and Rubber Magazine


ABOUT CA IRA


An Opera in Three Acts
by Roger Waters

From the original libretto by Etienne & Nadine Roda-Gil

It is perhaps surprising, given the cataclysmic nature of an event which the historian A.J.P. Taylor referred to as "the end of a world", that the French Revolution has served so rarely, except as deep and obscure background, as a source of inspiration to the great librettists and composers of C19th and C20th Opera. With some little prompting most opera lovers would no doubt be able to cite Giordano's Andrea Chenier as a notable exception to this lapse, but it would surely require an especially devoted aficionado to call up von Einem's Danton's Death and Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites without considerable and prolonged delving. None of these works is universally celebrated by frequent performance, nor do any of them maintain places in one's general awareness of the world of music which correspond to those held, for example, by Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, Carlyle's History of the French Revolution, and Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel in one's general awareness of the world of literature. Perhaps the terror of 1793, with its spies and informants, its executions and imprisonment's, subsequently offered so many dramatic possibilities to the creative imagination, particularly in the deaths of rich and aristocratic, and therefore famous people, that it smothered any impulse to depict the ideals and aspirations which initiated the revolution, all too quickly became its only story, and grew overly familiar and exhausted of genuine interest in the process. Whatever the case, one is left wondering at the fact that the epic events of the early revolutionary years, of which the fall of the Bastille and the march of 7,000 bedraggled women on Versailles are merely the best known, as well as the spirit of hope and the will for beneficial change which transformed them, have so seldom and so perfunctorily engaged the foremost talents of an art form which through its combination of voice, orchestra, and theater is arguably the one best equipped to present them.

Of course, as we were buffeted towards the close of the last and most turbulent of centuries, our course marked out by relentless catastrophe on a scale previously unimaginable, and beset by political, social, and scientific ‘revolutions' so frequent that our capacity for shock, incredulity, and awe was almost entirely dulled, it required some substantial and public reminder of the French Revolution to suggest its distant gestures of dissent as a subject worthy of art, and to concentrate our minds once again on their connection and continuing relevance to us. The celebrations commemorating the Revolution's Bicentennial in Paris throughout 1989 neatly fitted that bill, and in one instance at least acted as a potent and fruitful catalyst for an intense creative effort. The project upon which the respected and successful songwriter Etienne Roda-Gil was working, and which w as intended to have been included amongst the commemorative events, turned out to be a full operatic libretto. Entitled Ca Ira, after the revolutionary song, the manuscript, copiously and beautifully illustrated by Roda-Gil's wife, Nadine, attempted to portray the events and spirit of the revolution's early stage and brief period of accomplishment as they were perhaps witnessed and felt by the many and various participants whose voices struggled to be heard above the tumult of that prolonged and shattering upheaval.

Such topics and themes inevitably attracted Roda-Gil anyway. Born to a working class Catalan family that escaped Franco's tyranny in Spain by fleeing to France, Roda-Gil inherited his father's communist ideals as well as his rebellious instincts. Powerful elements of both naturally feature in his work, hi fact, his first major success as a ‘parolier' was with La Cavallerie, a lyric he wrote for the young Julien Clerc which employed one of the catch phrases of the 1968 student uprising. "Et j'abolirai 1'ennui" (And I'll abolish boredom) was also a rallying cry for the (French) Situationists in whose intellectual and political circles Roda-Gil then moved. The song was a big hit, and began a long though not exclusive collaboration between Roda-Gil and Clerc. Other artists with whom he enjoyed successful partnerships include names as diverse as Juliette Greco and Johnny Hallyday. The most recent of these, however, and the one which continued until his death in May 2004 was with Roger Waters who wrote the rail orchestral score for £a Ira, as well as an entirely new set of English lyrics.

Introduced to the songwriter by a mutual friend, Waters was instantly impressed by Roda-Gil's manuscript. Especially drawn to the subject matter and taken by Nadine's illustrations that provoked a few early ideas for future staging, Waters enthusiastically embraced the challenge of writing the musical score. This interest and determination were not, perhaps, as surprising as one might at first have thought them to be. Waters' internationally acclaimed work with Pink Floyd, one of whose founder members he was, and whose major creative force he'd been for more than two decades prior to embarking on a successful solo career, has a good deal of the epic about it, and in pieces such as Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall engages similar themes of individual struggle, change, and the need for honesty, truth, and fairness in both our social and political arrangements. Always concerned to increase the impact of his art on his vast audience, as well as to enhance its capacity to entertain, his performances incorporated liberal and imaginative use of theater. The Wall, for example, brought together narrative drama, music and song - precisely those elements which opera buffs would recognize as their own - in a full scale and spectacular ‘coup de theater'.

Working alone in his own studio, and using a string synthesizer to simulate percussion, strings, and brass, Waters quickly produced a rough demo of music in the C19th orchestral tradition on which he also sang the various vocal leads. The tape soon came to the attention of the authorities at the Opera Bastille, the new opera house in Paris, and for some weeks there was talk that £a Ira might very well provide one of its inaugural shows. Despite a personal recommendation from the then French President, Franfois Mitterrand, who had privately heard the demo and publicly expressed his admiration for it, this didn't happen: personnel changes high up in the Opera Bastille's administration scuppered a good deal of its early programming. Soon afterwards the illness and subsequent death of Roda-Gil's wife, Nadine, put the project on hold for several years.

A substantial loose end amongst his creative projects, and one whose further development represented an enormous challenge in terms of (for him) new compositional techniques, Waters was bound to return to it. Re-establishing contact with Roda-Gil in the early ‘90s, as well as enlisting the help of film score composer and Royal Academy of Music faculty member, Rick Wentworth, he set about refining and extending the early "draft" score of his demo into an authentically monumental and polished work for full orchestra and voices.

At its most optimistic and triumphant, the French Revolution appeared to herald a new age which was to be characterized by a new morality and a new ethical system based on justice, kindness and generosity. In £a Ira Waters and Roda-Gil concentrate on this spirit and use the revolution as a metaphor for the strength and power of human change and growth. As the last line of the English libretto has it: "The promise of the Republic lies within". With thrilling operatic grandeur Ca Ira reminds us all of that promise, and of that hope.




Look to REG for authentic, credible and factual information concerning Roger Waters.


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