David Gilmour reveals an imprecise definition of perfection in a new preview from his upcoming Live At Pompeii film, debuting exclusively below.
"I'm kind of into perfection in a way, but at the same time I don't consider that playing the songs perfectly as on the record is my idea of perfection," Gilmour says in the two-minute clip. "I want it to be live music. I want the people who play with me to have some autonomy. I would rather we go for something and enjoy actually playing and making music." Gilmour adds that in designing the show "you want the whole thing to start and finish and have a kind of a narrative. We're not imposing a narrative on it that has specific meaning, but you're having a narrative of moods that run you from the start to the finish."
The clip also features bits of a couple of Pink Floyd songs -- "The Great Gig In The Sky" from The Dark Side Of The Moon, which Gilmour says he "hadn't done for years and years and years, as well as "One Of These Days," the only song the guitarist and his band repeated from Pink Floyd's iconic 1972 concert film Live At Pompeii. Gilmour's Pompeii concert, directed by Gavin Elder, premieres in more than 2,000 theaters worldwide on Sept. 13, with release on CD, vinyl, DVD, Blu-ray and digital downloads to follow on Sept. 29. Additional details on both can be found at www.davidgilmour.com.
The shows at Pompeii took place July 7-8, 2016 during Gilmour's world tour to promote his latest studio album Rattle That Lock. Gilmour worked with lighting director Marc Brickman to add several effects to the already spectacular show, including pyrotechnics that rimmed the ancient Roman amphitheater which was buried in ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
"I think (the film) is more than any of us could've expected," director Elder tells Billboard. "Pompeii wasn't the last concert on the tour, but it was the highlight, that's for sure. We all traveled there on the train together and there was a real sense of excitement that something special was going to happen in Pompeii. There is a sense of history in the air there; You can feel that you're standing in the middle of one of the oldest amphitheaters in the world."
Elder was also able to consult with Adrian Maben, who directed Pink Floyd's Live in Pompeii and was coincidentally having an exhibit of photos from that era when Gilmour and company rolled into town. "I always admired his approach," Elder says, "the gentleness of the camera work and the majesty that created through the pacing of it. So we definitely wanted to reference that, which I think we have done, but also use the latest in technology." That included using a drone for aerial shots, which local authorities fought before granting permission. On the night of the first concert a second, rogue drone appeared in the sky that Gilmour's laser crew worked to bring down lest authorities shoot down the film crew's device.
After 10 years working with Gilmour, directing 2008's Live In Gdansk as well, Elder is confident that, "I know how he likes to be portrayed," and he factored that into the Pompeii presentation. "It's editing it with a musicality that enhances everyone's performance and captures the subtlety as well as the spectacle -- real subtle nuances that I think bring the personality to the performance," Elder explains. "So what I'm after is the little looks, the little smiles, the little acknowledgements between the band members that it's all happening and they're all on fire. It's a collaboration of coming together and we're really there just to capture what they're doing and capture the majesty of the moment."