Tuesday, September 16, 2008

RIP Richard Wright

Rick Wright, keyboards and founding member of Pink Floyd, died yesterday. His playing, singing and composing skills were a huge part of the Floyd sound, particularly from my favorite era 1968-1972. Just listen to his solo album from 1979, Wet Dream, which sounds more like Pink Floyd than any of Dave or Roger's.

From my vantage point Rick is a major influencer and mover for electronic and ambient music, although this was never his intention. His floaty and echoed Farfisa organ from the late 60s is a direct antecedent to the groundbreaking early works of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. Just listen to Rick's organ work on More, particularly the piece Quicksilver.

It's easy for ambient musicians to point to Brian Eno (obviously) but Rick's keyboard work throughout the Floyd is a study in atmospherics. As a synthesist he was one of my hugest influence. I remember listening to Atom Heart Mother as a kid and hearing his floaty solos and wishing there were entire albums that captured that same type of atmosphere.

I'm glad he got his due again touring with Dave and that there's so much coverage of his passing.

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