By: Magdalene Paniotte, Jul 2, 2014
Roger Waters is a supremely creative musician, humanitarian and co-founding member of the legendary Pink Floyd. Since the band's inception in the 1960s, Roger has immersed himself with other group members to develop what is known as conceptual album artwork, whereby in contrast to unrelated flowing compositions songs are conceived thematically to impart deeper meaning, while conveying a visual sense of the music. The group's original style of progressive and psychedelic rock combines elements of cinematic art, opera and blues to form a purely unique sound. Several years beyond their first album release of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the all-time record breaking sales volume from Dark Side of the Moon established Pink Floyd’s historic presence, followed by Wish You Were Here and The Wall.
With the passage of time Waters has charted new territory, expanding on Pink Floyd’s tradition of spectacular theatrics and visual effects in a recent world tour of the immensely popular re-mastered album The Wall, which was also made into a motion picture in previous years. A strong believer in world peace who feels that to remain silent is never a choice, this latest edition is a collaborative effort to visually reinterpret the fantastic work, only this time with political overtones as opposed to narrative structure. A prevalent theme on the album is to overcome oppression by breaking down barriers that a wall might represent as an obstruction separating human beings from each other.
On a more artistic level, perhaps Roger’s conceptual idea of the wall is to create a psychological distance between performer and audience so as to ultimately empower people to see the big picture, to reconsider the music in the greater scheme of things. Also defined as "the fourth wall" in theatrical terms, the notion of an invisible wall forms a representational illusion permitting a performer to maintain an intellectual distance as opposed to directly engaging with audiences presentationally. A bit similar to viewing a motion picture, the intended outcome of this artistic detachment is to enable concert fans to get the deeper message in contrast to simply experiencing the thrill of being in the company of a rock superstar.
Still going strong at age 70, Waters is a politically sensitive artist who feels that people everywhere have the right to live in dignity and free of fear. An advocate of human rights who wholeheartedly believes in freedom of expression, he empathizes with families of veterans who have lost their loved ones in times of war. In fact, Roger occasionally relates to American Veterans at half-time during shows, and has actually been working with amputees at Walter Reed to musically uplift their spirits... a great musician and family man who’s been quoted as saying that he has nothing to hide but the truth, Waters has recently started writing a personal memoir.