In memory of Syd Barrett

Teatro Cavallerizza  Reggio Emilia, Italy March 2013

Quintet (piano, viola, cello, bass clarinet, flutes) + live electronics, Mobile Sound theater (32 loudspeakers), visuals (back and frontal screens), crowd music ensemble



"...Recognised as a guiding light of prog and psychedelia, the reclusive artist - who was a member of Floyd from 1965 until 1968, and died in 2006 - is remembered in Yuval Avital's creation Noise For Syd. It's described as a work in which "the Wagnerian concept of 'total opera' meets psychedelia in a poetic study". Composer, guitarist and multimedia artist Avital uses none of Barrett's own work in the 77-minute production, but instead he's brought together "a map of signs, motifs, sound metaphors, gestures and symbols that recall intimate and detailed aspects of Syd's story".
(PROG magazine)

"...a multi-faced composer with a taste for true experimentation...a volcano that erupts once again"
(Corriere della Sera - Corriere musicale magazine)



Sample Score - Download

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The Wagnerian concept of a “total opera” meets the psychedelia in a poetic study dedicated to the controversial personality of Syd Barrett, founder of Pink Floyd.

A total opera where sounds, images, gestures, objects and actions complete one another thanks to the creative partnership of a truly unique Italian “task-force”: soloists from the Teatro alla Scala, legendary artists from the electronic music scene, a great visual artist, dancers, performing everything from ballet to avant-garde theatre, with post-punk and contemporary musicians. All will be performing as one, guided by the psychedelic creation of the visionary composer Yuval Avital, giving life to one of the central dramas of the cultural scene in the second half of the 20th century.

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The icon/sonic opera Noise for Syd features no arrangements or citations from Syd Barrett's or Pink Floyd's music. And yet, Avital’s psychedelic score - a detailed graphic work that blends stage cues, traditional notations, iconic images, drawings and quotations - is a map of signs, motifs, sound metaphors, gestures and symbols that recall intimate and detailed aspects of Syd’s story: his early departure from the music scene and his withdrawal into self-imposed exile at his mother’s house in Cambridge for over 30 years; his fantastical and psychedelic dimension that mixed Lewis Carroll’s surrealism, art, spirituality, urbanity, blues and rock, all with almost a childish freedom; the world of hallucinations in which Barrett lost himself; testimonies of his band mates and family members and, most of all, the wound he left, that smarted for many years afterwards, drawing in the rock scene tears of sound - as with the celebrated Pink Floyd songs "Shine on you crazy diamond" and "Wish you were here" - and fuelling a variety of theories and legends about his life that, when publicly discussed, still have the power to arouse heated debates to this day.

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"Syd never understood celebrity," his sister Rosemary stated in a radio interview a few years ago. And indeed, Avital’s opera distances itself clearly from the cult of Syd Barrett as a celebrity “to be exploited” and shuns the way the media capitalized from the mysterious circumstances of his death. Instead, this is a work that aims to create a staging of a human archetype which, as in the myth of Icarus, reaches the light and then burns his wings.

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Noise for Syd - icon/sonic concert in memory of Syd Barrett

World premiere : November 13, 2013 Festival Aperto, Teatro Cavallerizza, Reggio Emilia, Italy

Yuval Avital - Composition, direction, video, electric guitar, noise effects
Matteo Guarnaccia - slideshow, overhead projector, body painting
Giovanni Cospito - electric bass & live-electronics
Lorenzo Colombo - extended drum-set & percussions
Paolo de Gaspari - bass-clarinet & ethnic reeds
Riccardo Sinigaglia- MOOG, VCS, grand piano (to be played inside)
Simone Beneventi - Noise objects, percussions
Anna Kolesarova & Marta Mazzoleni - Dance
Isabella Spinelli - Stage design & assistant director
Paolo Latini - Light design


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