Delta Optimist article Feb 20, "Pink Floyd inspires student art, writing"

February 23, 2015

Delta Optimist article, "Pink Floyd inspires student art, writing" published Feb. 20, 2015

For the fifth consecutive year, creative writing and visual art students from South Delta Secondary are presenting their skills at the South Delta Artists Guild's Gallery 1710.

Coordinated by English teacher Trevor Spilchen and arts teacher Julie Lymburner, Mashed Poetics opens Feb. 23 and runs through March 1. Searching for a theme to challenge talent, original thinking, personal relationships and historical knowledge, they collectively chose to explore the story and work of Pink Floyd, the iconic English rock band formed in 1965 by Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Syd Barrett, the brilliant but unstable leader.

Barrett was born in Cambridge in January 1946 and Waters was an elementary

school friend whose mother taught Barrett music. The boys formed and played in student bands, then very early in adulthood made it their livelihood, becoming Pink Floyd when Barrett put the first names of two blues-band members together.

Barrett sang, played lead guitar, composed and set up spectacular live shows. He wrote most of the songs on Pink Floyd's first album, the evocatively-named The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, produced in 1967.

Sadly, Barrett's whirlwind life began to disintegrate in the late 1960s. His behaviour became erratic on and off stage and in 1968, at the age of 22, he had to quit Pink Floyd. He continued to work intermittently as his problems allowed, and in 1973 Pink Floyd paid him a wonderful, heartfelt tribute in Dark Side of the Moon, a deep-searching compilation of songs recognizing life's difficulties and hardships, which became a top album and provides the SDSS Mashed Poetics theme.

Pink Floyd went on to become one of the most admired and respected rock bands in history, and by 2013 had sold more than 250 million records worldwide.

After about 10 years on the international music scene, Barrett withdrew to an increasingly reclusive life with his mother in Cambridge, painting, gardening and exploring the countryside. He died in 2006 at 60.

Music played by an SDSS student band and the SD staff "house band" will complement Mashed Poetics. For band times and further information, visit www.southdeltaartistsguild. com.

Mashed Poetics will be on view at Gallery 1710, 1710-56th St., Tsawwassen, daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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