Saturday, February 25, 2012

Spoken Word: Keep Talking

Pink Floyd: Keep Talking


For millions of years mankind lived just like the animals.
Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination: We learned to talk.

Let's count the ways this song fits our theme by starting out with its (1) title, which exhorts us to Keep Talking, even though the lyrics declare the singer's inability to communicate (Why won't you talk to me?"). In fact, the theme of the entire album is (2) communication or the lack of it. The album title, The Division Bell, refers to the bell that's rung before a vote to summon members of the British Parliament, a place where (3) speechmaking is the major form of communication and where a vote solidifies into law by a verbal yes or no. Considering that Pink Floyd had undergone a very public fracture due to the (4) breakdown in communication between members David Gilmour and Roger Waters, who had left the band by 1994, there was much speculation that this song was heavily biographical.

One of the key features of this song is the (5) sampled electronic voice of physicist Stephen Hawking, who has relied on a speech synthesizer since the 80's. Gilmour, for his part, relies on a guitar talk box that merges vocal effects with his electric guitar notes, mimicking the sound of (6) human speech.
It doesn't have to be like this,
All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.

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