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David Gilmour Teams Up with a Glass Harp Street Performer in Venice’s St Mark’s Square

David Gilmour, the legendary Pink Floyd guitarist, doesn’t need an elaborate introduction, so let’s focus on the context behind the featured videos. Gilmour stepped into Pink Floyd as the dynamic Syd Barrett, one of the founding members, began to withdraw due to escalating drug issues and mental health concerns. Initially added as an additional guitarist and Barrett’s schoolmate, Gilmour eventually became a permanent fixture as Barrett’s participation waned.

By 1968, Barrett had effectively exited Pink Floyd, leaving the band to navigate without his visionary input. Despite this, the band paid homage to Barrett with the song “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” from their 1975 album “Wish You Were Here”, a sprawling nine-part epic divided across the album. An interesting element of the song is a wine glass sequence recorded in 1971 that was later integrated into the track. This brings us to a remarkable incident in Venice in 2006.

The video above is brief, but it sets the stage for a fascinating encounter. On 11 August 2006, while exploring Venice with his wife, Polly Samson, on the eve of his final performance in St Mark’s Square, Gilmour stumbled upon Igor Sklyarov, a street musician expertly playing a glass harp. Impressed by Sklyarov’s talent, and with a little encouragement from Samson, Gilmour extended an invitation to Sklyarov to join him on stage for the upcoming concert. Sklyarov, seemingly unaware of Gilmour’s fame, accepted and was quickly briefed on his part for “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”.

The second video, while lacking Sklyarov’s presence, underscores the unique blend of music and serendipity that characterized this event. Imagine Sklyarov’s exhilaration performing alongside Gilmour, a stark contrast to the rainy backdrop that failed to deter the audience’s enthusiasm on 12 August 2006. This unexpected collaboration in Venice highlights the timeless appeal of music and the magical encounters it can foster.

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