Finally, some incentive to discover ways to play the glass harp.
In August 2006, when Gilmour was touring behind his then-current album, On an Island, he and his party pulled into Venice, Italy, for an outdoor show in Piazza San Marco, aka St. Mark’s Square.
The day before the concert, David Gilmour and his wife, novelist/journalist Polly Samson, had been strolling through the busy city when they came across a street performer playing wine glasses (also referred to as the glass harp). When the busker was done along with his “set,” an intrigued David Gilmour struck up a conversation with him.
“Do you wish to play it with us tomorrow evening on the stage right here in St. Mark’s Sq.?” David Gilmour requested. Though there seemed to be a slight language barrier at first, things took a positive turn as soon as David mentioned the magic words, “I will pay you.” The performer—who truly did not seem to know who Gilmour was—was in.
You’re able to watch all (well, most) of the above in the transient clip below. At the 34-second mark, the action shifts to St. Mark’s Sq., where David Gilmour warms up on acoustic guitar as locals watch from behind a barrier. At the 55-second mark, we see that it is pouring; it actually rained for hours before the gig and did not stop till the show’s intermission.
At 1:07, we briefly see The Band’s keyboardist Richard Wright (who died two years later at age 65). Finally, at 1:17, Gilmour introduces his new (temporary) bandmate: “He performs in the streets of Venice for you every day. He will play…the wine glasses.” What follows is about 20 seconds of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” featuring Strat, keyboards and glass harp.
n the clip under (which is from the same tour and likewise available on Gilmour’s Remember That Night DVD), we see David recruiting a veritable three-man glass-harp orchestra (including Phil Manzanera) for a completely different European concert, followed by one other 25 seconds of actual performance. In the bottom clip, you may watch David Gilmour give the gang a bit of instruction (“Gm, Dm, Cm, Dm … For the start, you are simply gonna keep on the Cm.”)
As any good The Band follower knows, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Roger Waters are credited with playing the glass harp on the band’s original 1975 recording of the track, one of many Wish You Were Here highlights. Take pleasure in!
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