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Richard Wright - The Legend Remains

The world of Rock suffered a dispiriting loss with the death of Richard Wright. Wright was 65 when he breathed his last on 15 September, 2008, after fighting cancer for a long time.

Wright's claim to fame was as the founder member as well as the pianist and keyboardist of the renouned Rock Band PINK FLOYD. Amazingly this legend who rocked the whole world with his power chords happens to be a self taught pianist and keyboardist. For all those who have followed his career must know that Richard William Wright actually studied architecture before dedicating his life to music. In the infant stage of Pink Floyd, Wright was actually seen as a strong musical force in the band and he wrote and sang several songs of his own during 1967–1968. 

While not credited as a singer on The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, he sang lead on Barrett-penned songs like "Astronomy Domine" and "Matilda Mother", as well as notable harmonies on "Scarecrow" and "Chapter 24. As Pink floyd began to emerge and evolve, he lost his interest in song writing and concentrated mainly on composing and creating his discreet style to extended instrumental. Wright developed his own unique blend of music inspired by Jaaz and neo classical compositions. These enriched the simple harmonic structures of the more blues and folk-based songs of Roger Waters and David Gilmour. As a keyboardist, he was more interested in complementing each piece with organ or synthesizer layers and tasteful piano or electric piano passages. Unlike his contemporaries Rick Wakeman, Tony Banks or Keith Emerson, he opted for solo erformances only on rare ocassions.

Wright prefered to have the lowest profile of any member of a band known for their disinclination to seek individual attention. Wright was very rarely seen in the live footage from the Live 8 reunion performance; with a few exceptions he was shown only in wide shots.

Wright was not just a music lover. He made conscious efforts to innonvate and evolve music to take it to the next level. Richard William Wright raised the bar for himself and kept on doing so. His death is a terrible loss to the world of music, but he will continue to live in our hearts through his soulful voice, the vital playing and the magical components of his music.

In Elton John's words, "the candle's burned out long before...... the legend ever did"...

-by Parmita Borah


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