Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
"Echoes" is a song by Pink Floyd including lengthy instrumental passages.
Echoes was written by all four members of the group (Roger Waters, Richard Wright, David Gilmour, and Nick Mason) and closes the album Meddle, having a running time of 23:31. It also appears in shortened form on disk 1 (track 5) of the compilation album which took its name, Echoes. It is Pink Floyd's third longest song, beaten out by Atom Heart Mother Suite (23:35) and the combined segments of Shine on You Crazy Diamond (25:40).
The song has a marine theme and starts with a sonar-like sound created by Wright, who sent his grand piano through a Leslie rotating speaker (this sound was created by Wright accidentally, and started the whole Meddle project). It continues with a soft guitar solo by Gilmour, then the first verse. The lyrics place listener at a beach where the sea is 'green and submarine'.
A fast riff and solo progresses to the 4 minute "jam session" at the seven minute mark. This is a continuous bass and guitar riff with keyboards throughout. The guitar features extreme distortion, feedback and delay effects. Although the solo sounds like slide guitar, it is not.
After 4 minutes, the riff fades to echoing winds. High pitched guitar "screams" occur during the first half of this part. The screaming sound, which represents a group of whales, is created by a customized effect peddle of which only four exist—three are owned by Gilmour, and the fourth was given as a gift from Gilmour to the lead singer of the Australian Pink Floyd Show when they played at Gilmour's 50th birthday. In the second half, they die down to become background noises under the sound of gulls, also an interesting effect by guitar created when Gilmour reversed the cables to his Wah pedal.
The echo fades out eventually into a long keyboard solo. This part can be said to represent the clearing of the air, and the fading of the winds. The keyboards gain tempo and multiple guitars join in throughout, with 5 playing simultaneously before the lyrics -- the rhythm guitar comes in first, then two lead guitars playing a simular riff, then two slide guitars (one using drop D tuning). These segue into the final verse. After they end, another guitar solo is played and the song falls back into the echoes of the wind, and a soft solo alongside keyboards is played for a minute, before the echoing winds take over to end the song.
Echoes was originally a collection of musical doodles called "Nothing, parts 1-24". Subsequent tapes of work in progress were labelled "The Son of Nothing" and "The Return of the Son of Nothing"; the latter title having been used by bootleggers.
Before its release, live performances began the lyrics with "Planets meeting face to face...". Waters rewrote the lyrics to use underwater imagery, and the opening lines became "Overhead the albatross...".
Echoes, if synchronized properly, goes well with the final segment of the 1968 Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey, titled "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite." Though Roger Waters is said to have "regretted" not contributing music to the film, no member of the band has ever declared the synchronization intentional. Most movements of the song line up nicely with the movie. The synchronization is enhanced by the fact that most of "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite" is silent, and the song has certain cinematic qualities. See Possible film and music synchronizations.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details