Friday, January 7, 2011

Richard Wright: Piano God

I love the piano, that's no secret if you've read any of my past posts. Richard Wright, the piano and organ genius behind Pink Floyd, perhaps summarizes exactly what I love about the instrument. Its simplicity. Its ability to sound as though it takes little effort to play, yet it takes every muscle in your brain and hands to agree with each other and move separately yet simultaneously. Wright was perfect. 1 listen through "Dark Side of the Moon" and you can't help but notice how beautiful his piano playing was.

Check out "The Great Gig in the Sky" on "Dark Side," or especially "Us and Them." Richard actually wrote the piano part in "Us and Them" for a violence sequence in the 1970's film "Zabriskie Point" by Michelangelo Antonioni. Ironic huh? It's odd how something so beautiful was written specifically for a scene showing killing, blood, and war. The music is stunning. However, Antonioni felt as though the piece was "beautiful, but too sad." Interesting. Isn't violence sad?

So, thank you Antonioni. Because it didn't make the film, the song was then used on "Dark Side" and it became "Us and Them;" one of my favorite tunes on probably my favorite record of all time.

Below is the actual audio of Richard Wright recording the track in the studio in 1970 for the film, along w/ some stills. Wright passed away in 2008 unfortunately. He is a true legend.


  1. i agree with u man.
    he was the reason i took up piano in my life!.Legend.

  2. Killer, thanks for reading. You must be an awesome piano player if you're into him!