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31 décembre 2005

L’année de toutes les ambitions

L’année de toutes les ambitions
Kathleen Lavoie / Le Soleil

Pour notre rédaction, la dernière année a débuté avec un projet majeur, celui de rendre hommage, à la veille des premières du Projet Andersen et de 1984, à l’artiste de Québec le plus célébré sur la scène internationale, Robert Lepage. Si le metteur en scène, dramaturge et acteur n’est pas musicien, toute sa création théâtrale, elle, est influencée par la musique, notamment celle de l’ami proche qu’est Peter Gabriel. Ce dernier, heureux de saluer son complice dans le crime, nous offrait alors une entrevue exclusive où il révélait les liens qui les unissent et sa passion pour la capitale, qu’il visite bien plus souvent qu’on ne le pense... Une discussion mémorable que cette journaliste n’est pas près d’oublier ! (...)

29 décembre 2005

On the air

Tony Levin in the St Petersburg Times :

“I laugh to think that at the end of Peter Gabriel’s song ‘On the Air,’ I played a strong bass line, borrowed from a Shostakovich symphony. I don’t think many people in live audiences through the years noticed that, but probably the listeners in Russia would be aware of it. Hey, maybe we will do that song!”

Imagine there's no labels

1/29/2004 10:52:04 AM by Eric Bangeman

Veteran rockers Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno are launching MUDDA (Magnificent Union of Digitally Downloading Artists), an enterprise that will assist musicians in selling music directly to consumers, bypassing the record companies. With the Internet transforming how people buy and listen to songs, musicians need to act now to claim digital music's future both Gabriel and Eno argued at a at the annual Midem music conference.

"Unless artists quickly grasp the possibilities that are available to them, then the rules will get written, and they'll get written without much input from artists," said Eno. "There are some artists who already tried to do everything on their own," said Gabriel, adding that those musicians often found out they didn't like marketing or accounting. " We believe there will be all sorts of models for this."

Having been in and around the music business myself for over 35 years, there is the very distinct possibility that MUDDA or a similar endeavor could change the basic fabric of the music business. Artists have for decades complained that they lose all of their rights to content, style, copyrights and revenues by signing contracts with recording companies. Most musicians sign recording contract because they have little ability or skill in distributing or marketing their works. The Internet allows musicians a shot at levelling the playing field by being able to reach a wide audience and to sell their music without a third or fourth party taking a piece of the pie.

Gabriel is co-founder of a European company, On Demand Distribution, which runs legal downloads sites in 11 European countries. Their company would provide the technology for MUDDA, though Gabriel and Eno are looking for online partners. Europe's sites haven't caught up to the success of the U.S. portals. Apple's iTunes is planning a European launch this year, which is expected to build interest in legal downloading in a market where many people don't realize there's even such a service.

Personally, all of this makes me want to get back in the studio; I learned to hate A&R (Artist and Repertoire) guys while trying to make records years ago. Write-up by Bob "waterdoctor" Norcross

28 décembre 2005

Geldof's year

2005 was supposed to be the year of Africa. Tony Blair committed Britain to ambitious targets on aid and debt relief. Museums staged major exhibitions dedicated to the continent's art. And one of the biggest popular movements ever - spurred on by a very big pop concert - called on eight world leaders in a Scottish hotel to make poverty history. But what, in the end, did it all achieve? Bob Geldof looks back on a year of 'world-saving bollocks' and argues that whatever his critics say, we really did change things (...)

Bob Geldof :

When I invited my righteously indignant critics to create an event to their liking, in say Regent's Park, and offered to incorporate it into Live8, answer came there none. Indeed, when Peter Gabriel suggested we adopt his Eden Project World Music gig in Cornwall I readily agreed.

Unfortunately, my point is borne out by the fact that 3 million were live spectators to Live8; there were 2,000 in Cornwall. More than 3 billion watched Live8; few saw or watched bits of Cornwall. The Live Aid and Live8 DVDs are the biggest and fastest-selling DVDs ever, now totalling millions of sales; Cornwall has sold a few thousand. That is not to be smug, triumphant or condescending; it is simply to make the point behind my cold, pragmatic thinking around what Live8 was for. If those critics promote an African concert in the future, I wish them well - and can I have some free tickets? But Live8 wasn't and could never be about that. (...)

27 décembre 2005

Rock landmark at risk of becoming boomtown flats

By Steve Bird / The Times

ONE of Liverpool’s cultural landmarks is under threat from the city’s selection as European City of Culture. Parr Street Studio, a converted 19th-century warehouse that helped to create the Britpop movement and where Coldplay, Pulp, the Stereophonics and the Charlatans recorded, may be converted into flats.

The threat comes from an earlier generation of rock stars, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks of Genesis, who have applied for a conversion to 41 luxury flats worth millions to profit from the property boom generated by Liverpool’s status as the 2008 City of Culture.

For the past 12 years the three-studio complex, the largest in the city and the biggest outside London, has been used by Diana Ross, Feeder, the Beautiful South, Teenage Fanclub and Embrace. Other artists and groups to have recorded there include Barry Manilow, Sleeper, Björk, Simply Red and Take That.

Ken Nelson, a music producer who has won three Grammy awards during his time at Parr Street after working on Coldplay’s hit albums Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head, said: “
To lose the studios would be a great shame.” He added that if the studios closed, musicians would have no reason to come to Liverpool to record. The city’s rock heritage has helped to increase visitor numbers, and many music tours, which centre on the Cavern Club, where the Beatles played, include Parr Street.

Thomas Laing, a singer and producer who made the video that helped Liverpool to become City of Culture, said that he wanted to meet Collins to try to persuade him to abandon the plans to scrap the studio. “We don’t have the power to stop them selling the building to a developer,” he said.
“There is a huge gulf between us and him and his group, he may not even know what is being proposed for the studio.”

Warren Bradley, Liverpool City Council’s executive member for culture, said:
“The loss of Parr Street would be desperately sad. In my opinion the city centre does not need any more developments of flats. I want these creative people to continue to come to Liverpool and if the worst comes to the worst we must do our best to help to relocate people.”

The value of Parr Street has risen with two redevelopments in the area, a £750 million project by the Duke of Westminster and another called Ropewalks. Speculators have been buying old warehouses near the docks. The planning application has been postponed until councillors have visited the site, which could be worth £1.5 million. A spokesman for Collins’s property company, Hit and Run, said it was in disrepair and much of it was not used.


Beatles fans still make the pilgrimage to the Abbey Road studios in St John’s Wood, North London, to walk over the zebra crossing on the Abbey Road album cover. The studios still exist

Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios, in Box, near Bath, has been used by stars that include Kylie Minogue

Britannia Row, London, was first used by Pink Floyd. The group bought it in 1975 and it has been used by Westlife and Kate Bush

The Rolling Stones used the Olympic Studios in Barnes, southwest London, to record six albums. They have also been used by Duran Duran, Roxy Music, the Cranberries and

Eden studios, in Chiswick, West London, opened in 1967 and are used by Girls Aloud, George Michael, The Smiths and the
Kaiser Chiefs

26 décembre 2005

Le Patrimoine des tenors

Les Chants des tenors de la tradition sarde ont été reconnus "Patrimoine de l'humanité" à l'Unesco.

Originairement exécutés par des bergers et des paysans, les chants de tenors ont connu dans les années passées un instant de notoriété internationale avec le disque "Amore et 'mama" sorti par le Real World de Peter Gabriel.

Entre autres amateurs du genre, les jazzistes Lester Bowie et Ornette Coleman, outre Frank Zappa, qui définissait les chants tenors come "musique bovine".

publié : 25 décembre 2005
Il Patrimonio dei tenores

I Canti a tenores della tradizione sarda sono stati riconosciuti dall'Unesco "Patrimonio dell'umanità". Originariamente eseguiti da pastori e contadini, i canti a tenores hanno conosciuto negli anni scorsi un momento di notorietà internazionale con il disco "S'Amore e 'mama" uscito per la Real World di Peter Gabriel. tra gli altri estimatori del genere, i jazzisti Lester BOwie e Ornette Coleman, oltre a Frank Zappa, che definì i canti a tenores "musica bovina".
pubblicato il: 25 dicembre 2005

24 décembre 2005

Global Concert Tackles Climate Change

London 12/21/2005 2:25 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)

The Strokes, The Darkness and Super Furry Animals are the first three bands topping the bill at 2006’s gig of the year, to promote awareness of climate change and solutions to tackle humankind’s biggest problem. Millennium Stadium UK will host the much-anticipated ONE EARTH CONCERT whose line-up is expected to grow further in the next days. Influential supporters of the initiative include Brian Eno, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency and many more.

Why? To engage the public in positive action to tackle climate change, and to encourage one million Europeans to switch to renewable energy sources by September 2006.

The Strokes will showcase tracks from their much-anticipated album and sold out tour First Impressions of Earth. The concert, hosted on 28th January 2006 will be broadcast to millions world wide, and hopes to kick-start positive public action towards climate change – starting with the simple step of switching to renewable energy. Hitting the one million target should cut carbon dioxide emissions from household energy by 2 million tonnes per year, enough to fill over 340 million cars.

By logging on to and switching to renewable energy people can reduce their CO2 emissions from household energy by a third or more. It is FREE to make the switch and only takes 5 minutes.

"People are genuinely concerned about the effects of climate change, but don’t know how easy it is to make a huge difference. 2006 will be the year people tackle climate change individually and the concert will focus attention on the part we can all play in doing so." Said Michael Mathres, co-founder of Climate Change Now.

More details of the line-up for the One Earth Concert will be announced shortly as further globally-recognised artists, celebrities and dignitaries join this unique and necessary concert. The campaign and concert are supported by UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), the European Commission, the Eden Project, The Big Issue, and are part of the Clinton Global Initiative.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mikhail Gorbachev says, "
We are guests and not masters of nature. We should elaborate a new paradigm for the resolution of conflicts surrounding the issues of development, security, and stability. Climate change is one of the realities of our time and we should address it with all seriousness."

Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the European Environment Agency says, “
The European Environment Agency gives its strong moral support to this initiative. Renewable energy sources are key to a low carbon future. Climate Change Now tells people that we are all part of the solution. We can all make a difference in the fight to limit global warming."

"Everyone now recognizes that climate change is real and that we need to respond urgently and cooperatively. Governments, businesses and individuals all have a role to play, and UNEP is committed to helping all actors to play their part." United Nations Environment Programme.

European Commissioner Stavros Dimas says,
"People tend to believe that their personal choices do not make a difference for the greater good. In fact, they do. As much as we have been the source of climate change, we can help combat it. Each and everyone can contribute by making those choices that express respect for the environment."

More information and ticket details are available from and Ticketmaster / 08705 582 582.

CONTACT:Rob LoweFreud Communications 020 7291 6413

23 décembre 2005

Rights group Witness puts media tools to good use


Since its founding in 1992 by British musician Peter Gabriel, footage produced by the nonprofit group has aired on the BBC, CNN, Oxygen and ABC, and an available video archive is maintained at Witness also has attracted involvement from such celebrity activists as Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon and Angelina Jolie.

"It's an unprecedented opportunity," Gabriel said about how technology is affecting the media landscape, "with the average person able to record and distribute their own media, easily and affordably, with something as inconspicuous and convenient as a cellular telephone."

The inspiration came to Gabriel in 1988, he said, while he was on a world tour sponsored by Amnesty International. He met victims of human rights abuse and was appalled that the perpetrators went unpunished. Caldwell said the national outcry on race and police brutality ignited by the Rodney King video and Gabriel's acquisition of funding from the Reebok Human Rights Foundation were the final factors in establishing the nonprofit organization.

"Witness was really founded ahead of its time," Caldwell said, referring to the nonprofit's Internet-based nature. "But we're at a point now where digital, Internet and mobile technologies are converging. An example of that is what we saw during the bombing in the London tube. It's changing the whole face of the citizen-journalism landscape."


22 décembre 2005

Changing the World, One Moving Image at A Time

12/22/2005: Press Release from Witness

Changing the World, One Moving Image at A Time

A New Book Shows how to Harness the Power of Video for Social Change Video for Change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism (
CSRwire) (New York) Tiananmen Square. The Rodney King incident. Omarska Detention Camp. Abu Ghraib. Visual images of these events captured crucial moments in human rights history.

For well over a decade, WITNESS, the nonprofit organization founded by musician and activist Peter Gabriel has been supporting human rights defenders to harness the power of visual images like these and testimony about human rights to make meaningful and lasting change. Finally, a comprehensive guide to their tips and strategies is available publicly for the first time in the newly published book Video for Change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism (Pluto Press, UK/University of Michigan, USA). Written by leading video activists and WITNESS staff, this practical handbook will appeal to experienced, as well as aspiring video advocates.

Readers are shown how to plan, film, edit and distribute their video, as well as offered guidance on how to develop an effective strategy for using video as a catalyst for change. The book is unique in that it also covers the practical ethics and responsibilities of social justice video-work, as well as advice on using storytelling as a tactical tool in advocacy, and offers a global range of real-life stories to learn from.

"WITNESS has pioneered the use of video as an accessible and effective tool for human rights activists worldwide" said Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus.
"This new book shares the stories of WITNESS' global partners and others who are using video to secure social justice. I hope it will inspire a new generation of activists to incorporate these powerful new tools into their work."

Editors and contributors include Peter Gabriel, (co-founder of WITNESS and celebrated musician and activist), Thomas Harding (author of The Video Activist Handbook, co-founder of Undercurrents), Gillian Caldwell (Executive Director of WITNESS), Katerina Cizek (co-director of Seeing is Believing: Handicams, Human Rights and the News), Sam Gregory (Program Manager of WITNESS) and Ronit Avni (founder and director of Just Vision). For more information and to purchase copies of the book go to

WITNESS ( uses the power of video to open the eyes of the world to human rights abuses. Over the past decade, WITNESS has partnered with groups in more than 60 countries, bringing unseen images, untold stories and seldom heard voices to public attention —catalyzing grassroots activism, political engagement and lasting change.

19 décembre 2005

BOSTA Afrocelt Sound System au Liban

"Bosta", premier film musical libanais d'après-guerre

"BOSTA" (l'Autobus) a été filmé au Liban avec certains des acteurs libanais les plus populaires.

C’est le premier film musical libanais d'après-guerre avec des rythmes orientaux et un cachet contemporain, tels que la danse de Dabké, qui est du folklore national libanais, mixée avec un peu de techno occidental.

Ceci représente une nouveauté de production, parce que les films libanais, se fondent principalement sur les fonds culturels orientaux et arabes.

La musique de Bosta a également été un grand défi, elle a permis de joindre des efforts entre les compositeurs locaux (EL Khatib Ali) et le système d' Afro Celt, et un groupe britannique "vrai monde" de Peter Gabriel.

Une telle collaboration est la première dans la scène locale de production de cinéma libanais.
Ce film donne des perspectives positives de l'image stéréotypée de la guerre et du terrorisme...

December Will Be Magic Again

Kate Bush: December Will Be Magic Again - the great lost Kate Bush single, released at her commercial peak in 1980. Bush name-checks Oscar Wilde and Bing Crosby in a swooping seasonal shrieker. It was aired during her 1979 BBC Christmas special, Kate, in which she also sang with Peter Gabriel and Roy Harper. The studio version was released the following Christmas, when it lodged in the charts at No 29. It has never been reissued.

Find it on This Woman's Work: The Kate Bush Anthology.

About Herman Kullar and TrichoGenesis

Current Technology Reports UK Subsidiary Commences Operations



Mr. Kullar is the Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of the Subsidiary; Mr. Kramer is CEO. Both the Director of Sales and Director of Marketing have been identified, but are not yet revealed as they are presently employed elsewhere.

The Subsidiary's Business Plan is virtually complete and formal meetings with prospective investors will commence in January 2006. While the Financing is in process, Mr. Kullar will introduce the patented TrichoGenesis platform to spas/salons/health clubs in the UK and other areas in Europe and the Middle East.

"I am both pleased and extremely excited to be part of this tremendous opportunity," states Subsidiary CFO Herman Kullar.
"I believe our revenue sharing model will allow us to grow at an aggressive pace and I am looking forward to help introduce the TrichoGenesis platform to the UK, Europe and Middle East markets."

"ACP is very keen to begin marketing the private equity capital raise, and will do so aggressively in the beginning of January 2006," states ACP Managing Director Thomas R. Byrne. "We believe the Company's strategy is sound and the management on board is extremely capable, making for a winning combination. In the past two months we have seen a number of opportunities present themselves to this new subsidiary, which we are eager to exploit."

Mr. Kullar has an extensive background as a Financial Officer in small technology driven companies, where it was also necessary to act as a business development coordinator. Mr. Kullar's broad background includes eight (8) years (1995-2003) as Financial & Commercial Director of Peter Gabriel, Ltd. / Real World Group, the music publishing and recording company. He was responsible for creating, coordinating and implementing the Group's financial strategy; daily operations of the accounting function; prepared budgets; dealt with all aspects of taxation, insurance, health/safety and monitored the Chairman's personal financial affairs.

Mr. Kullar
took direct control for the global marketing of a new multimedia product where he generated 2 million plus Pounds Sterling in revenue in the first nine months and a total of 6 million Pounds Sterling over four years, turning the company into profitability. Mr. Kullar's CV also includes CFO of Very Small Technologies Inc., a MEMS/Nano- technology company based in New York and as Managing Director and Chief Accountant for General Instrument Corp; Semitron Industries, Ltd., located in the U.K. (1990-1995).

The Year of Charitainment

Celebrity do-gooderism was in fashion. But do we need stars to be our guides?

At Manhattan's Supper Club, Angelina Jolie--humanitarian, Oscar winner, erstwhile wearer of a vial of Billy Bob Thornton's blood--is scheduled to speak about Sierra Leone. It's a benefit dinner for Witness, a group that has been chronicling abuses in the war-torn African country--slaughter, rape, the drafting of child soldiers. So, naturally, a swarm of cameras are there to get her take on the big issue of the day: Isn't she, like, totally excited that Brad Pitt has decided to adopt her two kids?

Jolie ducks questions from the reporters, who instead corner actor Tim Robbins and singer and Witness co-founder Peter Gabriel, among other high-profile guests. The event is covered by Entertainment Tonight, Extra and The Insider, TV shows that do not generally report on internecine bloodshed in sub-Saharan Africa when it is not connected to the woman who hooked up with her married co-star in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Jolie's notoriety is now a charitable asset. If you could place a dollar value on a broken marriage, Jennifer Aniston could claim a monster tax deduction.

It's fitting that Jolie should be hounded by cameras at an event for Witness, a group that supplies human-rights workers with video equipment to record atrocities. Its slogan: See It, Film It, Change It. Cofounded by a celebrity, the organization harnesses what celebrities know best: that in this world, nothing matters that does not have a camera pointed at it. When I ask Gabriel why it's useful to have Jolie as a spokeswoman, he is blunt. "Number one, you're here talking to me," he says. "Also, when she went to Sierra Leone with us, straightaway we got into the President's office, which would have been very hard without her." Ignore Kofi Annan all you want, but blow off Lara Croft at your peril...

18 décembre 2005

U2 Show

"U2 Show," by Diana Scrimgeour: Subtitled "The Art of Touring," its 300-plus large-format pages offer a multilayered look at the concept, design and execution of the rock concert, as presented by U2. There's loads of dazzling photography (especially of the extravagant ZooTV and PopMart tours), but the meat of the book is the interviews -- with agents, video directors, sound technicians, stage managers, graphic artists, promoters, record execs, even stars such as Peter Gabriel and Steven Van Zandt -- which offer multiple perspectives on the business of touring, the growth of the rock stage spectacle, and U2's commitment to doing as much of it as possible with integrity and heart.

10 décembre 2005

Peter Gabriel et Black Eyed Peas en vedette

Peter Gabriel, la soprano Jessye Norman et le groupe Black Eyed Peas seront les têtes d'affiche du gala d'ouverture de la Coupe du monde de soccer, l'année prochaine en Allemagne.

Les places pour la cérémonie, prévue le 7 juin à l'Olympiastadion de Berlin, sont maintenant en vente.

La FIFA espère que ce nouveau gala deviendra une tradition lors des prochaines coupes du monde. Pour la première fois en 2006, il ne servira pas de préambule au premier match de la compétition.

Jusqu'à présent, la cérémonie d'ouverture de la Coupe du monde se déroulait peu avant le premier match du tournoi. Le premier match aura lieu cette fois à Munich deux jours après le gala.

Brian Eno composera l'hymne du gala et Mark Fisher, qui a travaillé avec les Rolling Stones et U2, construira la scène.

see it, film it, change it

Actor Tim Robbins, right, stands with Gillian Caldwell, WITNESS executive director, center, and musician Peter Gabriel, left , at the fundraiser Gala and Concert to benefit

, Monday, Dec. 5, 2005 in New York City. WITNESS is an international human rights organization that provides training and support to local groups to use video in their human rights advocacy campaigns.

Human Rights Group Arms Activists With Video Cameras

By Carolyn Weaver Washington, D.C.09 December 2005

Watch Human Rights report / Real broadband - download

watch Human Rights report / Real dialup

An international human rights organization puts video cameras in the hands of human rights activists around the world. Some of the resulting films and TV broadcasts have led to legal reforms or fueled international campaigns for change, while others have been submitted as evidence in war crime proceedings.

These are clips from videos made not by professional filmmakers but by human rights activists on five continents. The local activist groups partnered with
Witness, a New York-based organization founded by the rock singer Peter Gabriel. Gabriel had the idea for Witness after a notorious 1991 incident, when news organizations repeatedly broadcast video of California police beating a suspect, Rodney King – images captured on a bystander’s inexpensive camera.

“Witness donates video cameras to human rights organizations around the world and trains and supports them to integrate video into their human rights campaigns,” says Gillian Caldwell, executive director of Witness. That means training in scripting and editing as well as in shooting. Ms. Caldwell says these tools bestow the power to document events on the local people who experience them – as opposed to journalists visiting from other regions or countries.

“Essentially what's happening is that these local partners are looking from the inside out,” she says.
“That's exactly the opposite of what you see in traditional journalism, when people parachute in and are looking from the outside in. And I think it's tremendously empowering for local human rights organizations to be able to speak in their own voices and own perspectives."

It also means that human rights abuses that may receive little attention from international or even local media can be taken up vigorously by local human rights activists. In 2004, for example, Witness partnered with a human rights group in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo that campaigns against the use of child soldiers. Children make up 60 percent of the soldiers among the armed groups fighting in the region, and are forced both to suffer and to commit horrific abuses. The Witness-backed film on the problem of child soldiers is being shown this year in public screenings around Congo to build popular support against the practice.

In Burma, activist videographers trained by Witness have documented the government's widely-reported use of slave labor, making a video that shows villagers forced to leave their subsistence farming to work without pay building roads. In another Witness video from Sudan and Chad, people driven from their homes by Sudanese government forces and allied Arab militias told Human Rights Watch videographers of their fear of being murdered or kidnapped

by the government of Omar Bashir if they try to return.
"Omar Bashir will kill us if we go back,” one woman explains in the film. “When the Arabs come, they keep all the women here. They ask us where we come from. If we say the North, we are finished. They terrorize us."

The images collected by human rights videographers are sometimes very difficult to look at. But that is what makes them potent. The president of Paraguay visited one mental hospital following a television broadcast of a Witness-backed video showing patients living in filth, without clothes or clean water and food. The government then signed an agreement to guarantee the rights of mentally ill patients to decent conditions.

In Sierra Leone, meanwhile, activists are distributing thousands of copies of a Witness video detailing human rights abuses during the country's civil war, to press the government to implement the binding recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Yet some observers say that advocacy videos should not always be taken at face value, for they may not contain the whole story. Mark Feldstein, who heads the journalism program at George Washington University, says that such films are valuable, but that they don’t necessarily aspire to the comprehensiveness of journalism.

"You need to get the other side, or multiple sides, and none of these organizations are going to want to provide that,” Mr. Feldstein says.
“They're only really going to want to provide their own point of view. And there is something lost by approaching it in a way that journalism doesn't, by providing only the one side. Nonetheless, it's still more information getting out there, and that's a good thing."

Some Witness-supported videos have been submitted as evidence in war crimes tribunals, and given as testimony to U.N. regional commissions. But Gillian Caldwell says that even where video activism does not bolster a legal case, or lead to immediate change, it can sometimes keep conditions from getting worse, and that it also helps communities in a less tangible way. “I think some of the deepest impact we have is in fact much harder to measure or even to explain,” Ms. Caldwell says,
“and that’s really the impact you have on a community when you give them the opportunity to explain their experience and you give them an audience. It’s tremendously powerful.”

Since its founding in 1992, Witness has worked with partners in sixty countries, including India, Bangladesh, countries in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and the United States. But Ms. Caldwell says that Witness doesn't usually work in war zones such as Iraq, where local human rights groups cannot operate safely.

John Lennon was definitely one of my heroes...

Excerpts from interview with Peter Gabriel, recorded at Real World Studios on 15 June 2005

"John Lennon was definitely one of my heroes. I think he always wrote from his heart. He was a very complicated individual, but there's an honesty about his song-writing that I think makes it very powerful. Sometimes it's very simplistic, childlike and naïve; and that is what gives it some of its strength."

"I got enlisted in the human rights thing when Bono called me up and asked me to get involved in the Conspiracy of Hope tour in 1986 and then I did his collecting of artists job for the Human Rights Now tour in 1988 and suddenly you were meeting people who had been tortured, you were meeting people who had watched their families shot in front of them, and human rights were no longer something I was reading about and it was real education for me. When you meet people face to face, it's very hard, when you get asked to help, to then walk away."

"Sadly, all over the world in every country, there are still human rights abuses. If you look at what most of the countries signed onto when they signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and what actually happens day-to-day in those countries, there are still horrendous abuses and I think that there is an awful lot still to be done."

"I think that anyone who doesn't have some sense of idealism when they're young is really missing out a bit of their humanity, because you have the chance to go into the world and feel, quite rightly, that it is soon going to be yours and you can change it. I think that's what my generation did with the Beatles at the front of it. There is so much more that
needs to be done and if people let go of the rope, then it slides back very easily.

So I think: get involved with a cause -- doesn't matter which one -- because it will lead you to things you will really care about, and travel -- go to places that you didn't ever think that you should or would want to visit and just meet the people and find out who lives there, what sort of experiences they have and what sort of culture they have.

Those types of exchanges that go on again, transform lives, and that's the opportunity you have now -- to change your life in a way that plugs you into different people around the world."

"Working with the tours and meeting all the people that felt their lives had literally been saved by Amnesty made it seem like such a simple, elegant and powerful idea. I think that it is a wonderful organisation that really deserves a lot of support."

09 décembre 2005


Joi Ito's Web

Last night Mizuka and I attended the Focus For Change gala benefit for WITNESS in NYC hosted by Peter Gabriel and Angelina Jolie. I first became interested in WITNESS when I
met Gillian Caldwell the Executive Director in Davos in 2004. I started talking to her about blogging then. I helped Gillian get her blog set up when she and Angelina Jolie were headed off to Sierra Leone to deliver the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's recommendations to the government in May. The blog was a success.

We've been talking about other ways to use the Net. She invited me to attend the Gala last night which was an amazing event.The videos and comments from Peter Gabriel, Angelina Jolie and Gillian were awesome and inspiring. However, the main event for me was Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier from Sierra Leone.

He talked about how his life started as a happy kid who played soccer in the streets. As the war swept across the country, he survived the loss of his family and fled from village to village as he watched them being ravaged by the war. He eventually ended up being recruited as a child soldier.

He was able to leave the military and attended college and appear before us last night to express his hope for lasting peace in Sierra Leone. It was an extremely well delivered and moving speech and really highlighted the strength of the words of a witness.The festivities were also great. There were a number of great performances, but my favorite part was when
Nile Rodgers and CHIC rocked the house with their classics.

did an auction with some pretty cool things. The only thing I bid on was the Nano programmed by Lou Reed, but I wasn't able to keep up and didn't get it in the end. ;-)In total, the event was the best fund-raiser gala sort of event that I've ever attended. It had a clear and moving message and vision, it was fun and it was extremely well executed. Congratulates to everyone involved.

08 décembre 2005

Peter Gabriel's Still Got it, For The Most Part!

Peter Gabriel shows off his stuff in many smaller venues, the 2 Disc DVD shows Peter in his show spectacle best, and just playing the music and getting more intimate. Disc one shows the live performances at various venues, and Peter Gabriel shows that he still has the charisma and appeal he has always provided.

Disc two, although not exactly what I was expecting, shows Peter Gabriel with a lot of dialogue and documentary stuff, but it really does let the true fans more of a behind the scenes adaptation, if you are not a huge fan of Gabriel, disc two may seem more redundant than entertaining, but for real fans it is a treat to get to know the man and his ideas and thought patterns a bit more.

When one thinks of rockers that are what I sometimes refer to as Geriatric Rock, we may think more along the lines of Alice Cooper, Mick Jagger and the boys etc. The ones that have lost their Rock Icon status are the likes of Balladeers like Elton John and Phil Collins, and Rod Stewart, although doing well with the "American Songbook" discs has totally re-invented himself and left many fans scratching their heads in bewilderment.

OK, now what about Peter Gabriel........ Well, although not a true "rocker" in style, Peter Gabriel delivered some of the best alternative new wave music there was going around with his staple hits like "Sledgehammer" and "Games Without Frontiers" (Both included on this DVD compilation).

Gabriel shows that he does still have what it takes, stage presence and charismatic performances are still intact. Peter's vocals for the most part are still there as well, however on tracks like "Sledgehammer" you can hear some vocal limitations, and of course just looking at the pop-icon we realize that he didn't age as gracefully as some of his peers (Not walking dead like Keith Richards, but noticeably aging just the same). Still Growing Up Live & Unwrapped has the mega hits, as well as fan favorites to be enjoyed, also includes bonus tracks "In Your Eyes" (2004 Growing Up Live Tour) and "No Self Control" (from 1988's This Way Up world tour).

Bottom line, for sure worth the cost, I mean come on, a concert in your living room and more about Peter Gabriel, from his own mind, all in one package for about the price of a CD..... Seems like a no-brainer to me.

07 décembre 2005

Jolie sparks a riot at Witness gala

Jolie sparks a riot at Witness gala

07/12/2005 - 10:13:05

Angelina Jolie sparked a near riot at New York's The Supper Club on Monday night when she arrived late for a benefit and refused to pose for pictures. Enraged paparazzi, who had spent over two hours waiting for the special guest speaker at Peter Gabriel's Witness gala in near freezing temperatures, rushed the actress as she attempted to sneak in a back entrance.

Jolie quickly found herself surrounded by the snappers and barked orders to her security team to keep them at bay. The actress was then forced to plead with the photographers to "back up," pushing one woman's camera away when she got too close.

Ever-professional Jolie agreed to sign a handful of autographs as she continued to plead with the snappers to give her room. Eventually, three minutes after arriving at The Supper Club, angry Jolie hissed: "You're not backing up," before dashing inside the venue. Jolie agreed to briefly pose for pictures outside the venue after giving a speech at the gala, held to highlight the plight of refugees in Sierra Leone.

Live 8 at Eden: Africa Calling

Live 8 at Eden: Africa Calling
Contributed by Tony Whitt

Monday, 05 December 2005

The Live 8 project was a dream given form: ten concerts took place around the world on the same day – Saturday, July 2, 2005 – with the aim of making poverty history. The concert that took place at the Eden Project in Cornwall, England, however, was subtly different from the rest. Named Africa Calling, this concert was co-hosted by world music guru Peter Gabriel and Johnny Kalsi of the Dhol Foundation, and it featured a lineup of nothing but African artists, in a celebration of the music of the country arguably suffering the most from poverty in the entire world.

The risks of putting on a concert such as this, with only a few well-known Western personalities like Dido and Angelina Jolie, and with headliners with such unusual names as Youssou N'Dour Et Le Super Etoile and Kanda Bongo Man, were understandably considerable. As the concert organizer points out in the excellent Africa Calling At Eden documentary film produced by the BBC, there was every possibility that someone might tune in for this segment of Live 8, see an artist performing that they'd never heard of before, and then switch right back off. But that's also what makes Rhino's release of a DVD of the best performances of this concert so extraordinary – and what makes the fact that it's so enjoyable such a welcome surprise.

Granted, not every performance in this concert is going to get your feet tapping, and some of them are every bit as obscure as you might expect music produced under the rubric of "world music" to be. For instance, it's rather hard for anyone but the most ardent world music fan to get worked up over Zimbabwean performer Chartwell Dutiro playing a tune on the mbira – that's one of those instruments that looks like a hand-held piano with "keys" fashioned out of copper. And a major flaw both in the disc and in the original concert is that, while each set of performers sings in their own language, no translations of the lyrics are provided, making listening to these songs a purely auditory experience.
(Even those who know French might be a bit annoyed at this lack, as Algerian performers Akim El Sikameya use a dialect rather different from the français you learned in school, and Senegalese rappers Daara J simply rap in French too quickly for you to catch anything.)

But once you get past that particular stumbling block – and the rare, truly awful performance such as the closing group singing of the African national anthem – there are treats in store on this disc. Were it not for the language barrier, the Mozambique-born Mariza would probably be topping the alternative music charts here in the US; and it doesn't take knowing what the lyrics mean for someone to get into the foot-stomping rhythms of the South African dance group Shikisha. The same goes for the frankly electrifying Touareg singing group Tinariwen. Sadly, nothing on the discs nor in the documentary explains such basic things as what "Tinariwen" means nor what the Eden Project itself is all about – but it might just get people interested enough to go out and learn for themselves. B (Movie) B+ (Disc)

04 décembre 2005

Levin fondly recalls session with Lennon


Sunday, December 4, 2005

Levin fondly recalls session with Lennon

By John W. Barry, Poughkeepsie Journal

After concluding the first day of a 1980 recording session in New York City, bass player Tony Levin received a phone call.

The message he received was that the sessions were a secret — don't tell anyone, not even friends, where they were being held.

Levin — a Kingston resident who at the time was living in New York City — was playing with John Lennon and Yoko Ono during recording sessions for the couple's two upcoming albums, "Double Fantasy" and "Milk and Honey."

The next morning, Levin caught a cab and gave the driver the address of his destination — 54th Street and Seventh Avenue, the location of The Hit Factory recording studio.

"The cab driver said, 'That's the block where John Lennon is recording an album,' " recalled Levin, known around the Hudson Valley as much for his decades playing with Peter Gabriel as for his local, all-star bar band, Uncle Funk. "Some secret. I said, 'Where did you hear that?' He said, 'On the radio.' "

Thursday marks the passing of 25 years since Lennon was shot and died, three weeks after "Double Fantasy" was released. Levin said Lennon was planning to tour behind the album.

"We were roughly staying in touch with them about a tour, early in the following year," Levin recalled during a recent telephone interview.

Levin said Lennon was very relaxed in the studio and seemed to like being with musicians who enjoyed playing as much as he did. Lennon also enjoyed jamming on Buddy Holly songs in the studio.

"He was a very nice guy, very gracious," Levin said. "He was very direct, which didn't surprise me. To a New Yorker, he was a man with a New Yorker's manner. When he saw me the first day, when I came into the session, he said 'Hi.' He recognized who I was. He said, 'They tell me you're good. Don't play too may notes.' That was his way of saying hello."

Found out from reporter

Levin, who has performing credits with King Crimson and David Bowie, was in his East Side apartment, developing photographs in a makeshift darkroom in his kitchen, when he learned from a reporter's phone call that Lennon had been shot.

"I was so put off by the way I found out," Levin recalled. "The phone kept ringing from the newspapers. For me personally, I wasn't really allowed to go through how I did feel about it. It didn't work for me to ask for a quote. It took me many years to come to grips with it."

Regarding how he looks back on his work with Lennon, Levin said, "I admired and appreciated his work, was something of a little bit of a fan. I treated it like, not just another session, a really good session with a really great musician whose work I know."

Years later, Levin said, "I came to realize how much some of his music before those sessions had influenced me and still does."


While “Live 8 – July 2nd, 2005” collects highlights from concerts around the world, “Live 8 – Africa Calling” is all about the concert that featured African performers. Held at the Eden Project in Cornwall, South West England, “Africa Calling” features internationally renowned artists like Youssou N’Dour et Le Super Etoile [whom I’ve had the privilege of seeing live] and lesser known [but equally talented acts like Kanda Bongo Man, Angelique Kidjo, Emmanuel Jal, and Frititi.

The sounds are varied and for the most part joyful – music for the soul, as well as the body. Peter Gabriel joins Geoffrey Oryema for one song; Dido joins Kidjo on another. If you’re looking for something different, this is an excellent opportunity to discover more than a dozen fine African acts – and to contribute to a greater good. That’s not the kind of deal you want to pass up!

The highlights, for me at least, are three N’Dour songs [“Set,” “7 Seconds,” and “Birima”] and Kidjo’s stunning “Tombo” – but none of the performers is less than excellent, and their music is guaranteed to induce happy dancing in the most unwilling of participants.

As with the above-reviewed set, “Live 8 – Africa Calling” is beautifully produced. Audio and video are first-rate.

The one extra on the set is a half-hour documentary, “Africa Calling At Eden” a behind-the-scenes doc dealing with organizing the one concert that featured an African line-up. A twelve-page booklet provides the playlist, letters from Nelson Mandela, Peter Gabriel, Thomas Brooman of WOMAD, and Tim Smit of The Eden Project, and brief bios on all the performers.

From the Gleneagles Country club to the stadium in Edinburgh, more people put more effort and heart into the Live 8 worldwide concert than has ever been done before. The best musical fruit of that effort is on “Live 8,” and on this stunning “Live 8 – Africa Calling” DVD set.

03 décembre 2005

WORLD CUP 2006: Time to make friends in Berlin

(...) Heller had his work cut out to pull together such a star-studded team. "I went on and on about it to Philippe Decoufle, but he initially said, 'No, no, I've already done that in my life'. So I said to him, just give me three weeks and I'll get back to you. So I got back to him with Peter Gabriel as my 'trophy', and he said yes."(...)

Eno, Gabriel, Peas Set For World Cup Kickoff

Eno is composing a 2006 World Cup anthem using instruments from across the world to form a very different orchestra.

Music director Gabriel promised to "make some noise." Asked why he had signed up, he joked, "It's the same attraction for a musician as for a footballer -- money, sex and drugs."

Germany Plans Star-Studded Opening Gala For World Cup

World Cup host nation Germany has revealed its plans for the cultural extravanganza that will kick-off the soccer spectacular next summer.

The star-studded gala will take place at Berlin's Olympic Stadium on June 7, two days before the 2006 World Cup kicks off. But the organizers, aware of the schmaltzy affairs put on to mark the openings of such events as the Olympics and the Superbowl, want the World Cup event to be a classy affair.

Promising a gala a world away from the parades of superstars and echoes of local themes used at other major sporting events, Andre Heller, the gala's Austrian artistic director, assured the gathered press at the launch that the line-up would be eclectic and contemporary.

"We have an enormous space to fill but we won't do it with banal figures," he said.

Heller, along with French choreographer Philippe Decoufle and a creative team featuring British rock musicians Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel, announced that popular hip hop band The Black Eyed Peas, Algerian singer Cheb Kahled, and American soprano Jessye Norman will be among those providing the music at the first World Cup gala in FIFA's 100-year history.

A first for FIFA

Previous World Cups have held opening ceremonies which typically lasted about an hour immediately before the first match. The 2006 World Cup will start what world governing body FIFA hopes will be a new tradition -- a separate festivity to mark the start of the tournament.

Heller is hoping that French avant-garde choreographer Decoufle brings the creativity and inspiration that made his surreal Cirque du Soleil-style opening and closing ceremonies at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville such a success.

The show, directed by the Frenchman, featured a polka with braying donkey sounds mixed with fiddles and figures emerging from the sky, including suspended ski jumpers and an angel to put out the flame.

Bildunterschrift: Decoufle's 1992 Cirque de Soleil performance caught Andre Heller's eye.
"I saw ceremonies for 30 years. One was different -- Albertville 92. It was a shock that an artist and not a Disney type was putting on the show," Heller said.

Brian Eno, a former member of Roxy Music who has produced albums by U2 and David Bowie, will compose a 2006 World Cup anthem using instruments from across the world. Former Genesis front man Peter Garbriel will act as musical director.

A procession of World Cup winners

As well as music and dance, the gala will also feature a total of 132 former World Cup winners, including Argentina's 1986 hero Diego Maradona (photo) and Brazil's three-time victor Pele.

"It is like having (Diego) Maradona, Pele, (Johan) Cruyff and (Alfredo) di Stefano all playing for the same team," said Franz Beckenbauer, head of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee at the launch.

Glittering stars from the arts and sports will not be the only ones taking center stage. Approximately 13,000 potential volunteer performers and helpers applied in the first phase of auditions which closed on Nov. 15 with final casting decisions for the approximately 5,000 performing roles to be completed by mid-January.

Around 1,500 other volunteers will be needed to build the extravagant set designs and stage -- and take it all down within 12 hours to spare the grass in Berlin ahead of the city’s first World Cup match on June 12.

The gala promises to be a spectacular event even though its 25 million euros ($29.4 million) budget is dwarfed by the more than 100 million euros needed to put on the ceremonies at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Tickets for the event will not come cheap with prices ranging from 100 to 750 euros.

02 décembre 2005

Beyond Myst

The adventure continues online: With Uru Live, the online service of Uru, you can explore new ages and areas of the D'ni civilization, unravel new mysteries, participate in the ongoing story, and adventure in a world that continually changes and expands. Exciting new content will be downloaded regularly, providing an adventure experience that is fresh and ever-changing.

GameSpot reports that Peter Gabriel, the multiplatinum singer and former Genesis front man, has agreed to contribute a new song, "Burn You Up, Burn You Down," for Uru: Ages Beyond Myst. Gabriel will also pen an original composition for the next, as-yet-untitled, Myst game.

"I thought it succeeded well in creating a feeling of other worlds in which mystery and imagination were the compelling elements instead of the usual action-packed shoot-'em-ups,"
he said in a statement.

30 novembre 2005

Dream Team

L'équipe artistique de la FIFA le 30 novembre 2005 à Berlin; de g à d: Brian Eno, Mark Fisher, Peter Gabriel, Phillippe Decouflé, Andre Heller

Le Français Philippe Decouflé, célèbre pour sa mise en scène de la cérémonie d'ouverture des jeux Olympiques d'Albertville en 1992, est le chorégraphe du gala de la Fédération internationale de football (FIFA) qui aura lieu à Berlin le 7 juin, deux jours avant le coup d'envoi du Mondial.

Mondial-2006: Philippe Decouflé, chorégraphe du gala de la FIFA le 7 juin

BERLIN (AFP) - Le Français Philippe Decouflé, célèbre pour sa mise en scène de la cérémonie d'ouverture des jeux Olympiques d'Albertville en 1992, est le chorégraphe du gala de la Fédération internationale de football (FIFA) qui aura lieu à Berlin le 7 juin, deux jours avant le coup d'envoi du Mondial. Decouflé, chorégraphe, metteur en scène et danseur, sera le grand ordonnateur aux côtés de l'Allemand Andre Heller de ce gala auquel contribueront notamment les musiciens Brian Eno et Peter Gabriel et la soprano américaine Jessye Norman, ont annoncé les organisateurs mercredi lors d'une conférence de presse à Berlin.

"C'est un peu comme si Maradona, Pelé, Cruyff et Di Stefano jouaient dans la même équipe", s'est enthousiasmé Franz Beckenbauer, le président du comité d'organisation du Mondial-2006. Quelque 5000 interprêtes, danseurs et musiciens participeront au gala de la FIFA d'une durée de 90 minutes qui aura lieu dans le stade olympique de Berlin, ont précisé les organisateurs. La vente mondiale des billets a débuté mercredi avec des prix allant de 100 euros pour les moins chers à 750 euros.

La Coupe du monde 2006 aura lieu du 9 juin au 9 juillet en Allemagne.

29 novembre 2005

Le Gala d'Heller avec 8000 superstars !

À partir du mercredi (midi) Il y aura des billets pour le Show d'ouverture de la coupe du monde de Berlin.

Berlin - lorsque le 7 juin 2006 le soleil se couchera, alors brilleront les étoiles intérieures d'environ 8000 Berlionnoises et Berlinois. Car VOUS serez les réelles STARS du le gala de la Fifa World Cup dans le stade olympique.
Des centaines de millions de personnes suivront dans le monde entier à la télévision la première ouverture du show de la coupe du monde de football . L'initiateur du Gala André Heller promet : "Ce sera une célébration pleine de surprises et un feu d'artifice des sens."

Attention : Dès aujourd'hui à midi on peut acheter des billets pour le mégaévenement Il y a des tickets aux points de vente habituels et sur Internet ( Soyez rapides ! Le Gala pourrait être soldé rapidement...

La Dreamteam des créatifs du debut de vente présente aujourd'hui à Kreuzberg son Dreamteam créatif pour les Gala d'André Heller. En la présence du maire Klaus Wowereit et deux artistes qui ont écrit une histoire de la musique sont aussi attendus Franz Beckenbauer, : le directeur musical du Gala Peter Gabriel (Ex-Genesis, "Sledgehammer") et Brian Eno (Ex-Roxy Music) qui composera la chanson-titre du Gala.

L' américain et Oscarisé Doug Jack se chargera de la Choreographie du show. le Britannique Mark Fisher realisera la mise en scène, il a déjà travaillé pour Pink Floyd, U2 et les Rolling Stones. Un show de Superlatif ouvrira notre fête du football avec "tambours et trompettes" pêle-mêle, attend les Berlinois et leurs hôtes.

André Heller au journal B.Z. : "Le show durera environ 90 minutes et je prie tous les dieux pour que tout se passera bien. Comme thèmes l'Allemagne et Berlin joueront un rôle, naturellement le football et surtout le beau stade WM-Motto "le monde est invité en ami." C'est une chance pour Berlin, Heller ne veut pas de parade de star pure (bien qu'il ai invite des superstars). Pour Berlin la plus grande chance depuis la réunification est de présenter l'ouverture au monde de cette ville."


Heller-Gala mit 8000 Superstars!

Ab Mittwoch (12 Uhr) gibt's Tickets für Berlins WM-Eröffnungs-Show


Berlin - Wenn am 7. Juni 2006 die Sonne untergeht, dann erstrahlen die Sterne vom rund 8000 Berlinerinnen und Berlinern. Denn SIE werden die eigentlichen Stars sein - bei der Fifa World Cup Gala im Olympiastadion.

Hunderte Millionen Menschen werden die erste Eröffnungs Show einer Fußball WM weltweit im TV verfolgen. Gala-Initiator André Heller verspricht: "Es wird ein Fest des Staunens und ein Feuerwerk der Sinne."

Aufgepaßt: Ab heute 12 Uhr kann man Tickets für den Mega-Event kaufen. Karten gibt's an den bekannten Vorverkaufsstellen und im Internet ( Seien Sie schnell! Die Gala dürfte rasch ausverkauft sein...

Kreatives Dreamteam Zum Verkaufsstart stellt André Heller heute in Kreuzberg sein kreatives Dreamteam für die Gala vor. Im Beisein des Regierenden Bürgermeisters Klaus Wowereit und von OK-Chef Franz Beckenbauer werden auch zwei Künstler erwartet, die Musikgeschichte geschrieben haben: Gala-Music-Director Peter Gabriel (Ex-Genesis, "Sledgehammer") und Brian Eno (Ex-Roxy Music), der den Titelsong der Gala komponieren wird.

Die Choreographie der Show übernimmt der amerikanische Oscar-Gewinner Doug Jack. Die Ausstattung entwirft der Brite Mark Fisher, der schon für Pink Floyd, U2 und die Rolling Stones arbeitete.

Die Berliner und ihre Gäste erwartet eine Show der Superlative, die unser Fußballfest mit einem kunterbunten Paukenschlag eröffnet. André Heller zur B.Z.: "Die Show wird rund 90 Minuten dauern und ich bete zu allen Göttern, daß wir alles richtig machen. Als Themen werden Deutschland und Berlin eine Rolle spielen, natürlich der Fußball und vor allem das schöne WM-Motto - Die Welt zu Gast bei Freunden."

Chance für Berlin Heller will keine reine Starparade (obwohl er Superstars einladen wird): "Es wird eine große wunderbare Jam-Session werden, kein niveauloser Musikantenstadl. Und für Berlin ist es die größte Chance seit der Wiedervereinigung, die Weltoffenheit dieser Stadt zu präsentieren."

28 novembre 2005

Angelina Jolie and Peter Gabriel to Host Benefit Gala for WITNESS

Corporate Social Responsibility Press ReleaseProvided by CSRwire

11/28/2005: Press Release from Witness

Angelina Jolie and Peter Gabriel to Host Benefit Gala for WITNESS

Event to highlight WITNESS’ ongoing work to document human rights violations and emphasize the group’s current initiative to secure sustainable peace in Sierra Leone

CSRwire) New York – Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie and musician and activist Peter Gabriel will co-host a benefit gala for WITNESS, the international human rights group, on December 5, 2005 in New York City. The event, to be held at The Supper Club in Times Square, will include performances by folk rock icon Emmylou Harris, legendary performers Nile Rodgers and CHIC, and other special guests.

WITNESS (, the New York-based organization that deploys video and technology to promote human rights causes worldwide, was co-founded in 1992 by Peter Gabriel. Since its founding, WITNESS has partnered with groups in more than 60 countries, bringing often unseen images, untold stories and seldom heard voices to the attention of key decision makers, the media, and the general public — prompting grassroots activism, political engagement, and lasting change.

The December 5th event highlights WITNESS’ work in the West African country of Sierra Leone, where a devastating 11 year conflict, notorious for the rebels’ practice of amputating limbs of civilians, came to an end in 2002. Jolie traveled with WITNESS Executive Director Gillian Caldwell to Sierra Leone in May 2005 and helped secure key commitments from the country’s president to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) recommendations. (The TRC was established as a forum for truth telling, a non-partisan investigative body, and a catalyst for the longer-term process of reconciliation.)

Selections of "Witness to Truth," a companion video to the TRC’s written report (produced by WITNESS), will be screened at the Gala. In addition, Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier from Sierra Leone, will offer his inspirational story of surviving the loss of his family and repeated trauma during the conflict and his hope for lasting peace in Sierra Leone.

The Gala will also showcase Artists Support, a benefit fine art print edition involving internationally known visual artists and photographers such as Olaf Breuning, Fabrice Hyber, Alfredo Jaar, Shirin Neshat, Izhar Patkin, Dayanita Singh, Sebastiao Salgado, and William Wegman. The effort promotes awareness of the WITNESS website as a global meeting place for people interested in promoting human rights and involves the collaboration of two artists born in different parts of the world.

For information on individual tickets or for corporations interested in event sponsorship, visit: or call The WITNESS Benefit office at 888.292.8488.


Date: Monday, November 07

Topic: Rock News

A new Peter Gabriel album might be on the horizon. While he often takes a long time between releases, reports that for the past few months, he's been working on material for a new record that's got a working title of I/O, which stands for "input/output."

He hasn't yet called in the full band, because he said,
"My mental process is so slow that it's not really fair to take that time out of anyone else's life."

Gabriel told that part of what takes him so long to make records is that he has trouble getting the words down on paper:

"I'm much quicker getting the musical ideas than I am sort of sorting out and finishing lyrics, which, to get past my editor, is a lot harder. That's me, I'm afraid. You know, your own sort of quality control, but the point at which you say, 'OK, that's all right to go out. I'm not gonna be embarrassed by that one,' I can do that very quickly with music and very slowly with lyrics."

There's no word on when I/O might come out, but Gabriel is already thinking about a tour, and he said he might preview some of the songs live. He said,
"What I've always wanted to do is finish the songs, get them arranged for the band, tour for a month or so, then record them. That would give me a different type of immediacy -- because sometimes when I work and work on stuff, people feel that it loses some of its flair."

Gabriel's last studio album was UP, which came out in 2002.

His next release is a DVD called Still Growing Up -- Live And Unwrapped. It's due next Tuesday (November 15th).

27 novembre 2005

Peter Gabriel, the Shaman

DVD Review: Peter Gabriel: Still Growing Up Live & Unwrapped

November 23, 2005

Still Growing Up - Live and Unwrapped

Around twenty-five years ago I was working with some pretty esoteric theatre directors. It was a time when experimental theatre people were looking to try and recreate the power and energy of the shaman in the actor. Not, as so many people would think make them a priest or something ridiculous like that, but to give them that sort of authority on stage; the ability to be the focal point for thousands of people.

This director was very down to earth in spite of all his talk about priests and shamanism, and used as his examples the people he called the priests and shamans of our society. He said in terms of what he was talking about, being the focal point of thousands of people that as far as he was concerned Bruce Springsteen was the most powerful shaman or priests in our world right now.

Who else, he said, can walk onto a stage and command the attention of 45,000 plus people. Interestingly enough it was only a couple of years latter that Pope John Paul started doing his huge outdoor Masses, where he would become the focal point for tens of thousands of people. Whatever you may have thought of the man personally he was no fool and he knew what kind of potential power there was to tap into from that type of gig.

What brought all this stuff to mind again was watching the latest Peter Gabriel DVD: Still Growing Up: Live & Unwrapped. This is a follow up release to the 2003 DVD Growing Up Live which was shot on the tour of the same name. The 2005 release is a two disc set: disc one is a record of some the smaller more intimate concerts they did after the main elaborate tour and disc two is a primarily a documentary and interview with Mr. Gabriel about the smaller tour.

Shot in a variety of smaller locations across Europe it's a technically pared down version of the tour that places more emphasis on the performers than on a stage show. At least that's what the promo says; if this is what they consider pared down the main tour must have been incredible.

I haven't seen a picture of Peter Gabriel in years; I stopped following his career around the late eighties when I began to lose interest in pop music for a while, so my first sight of as he looks now was quite startling. The man who I remember as a frenetic bundle of energy, like a coiled spring, has evolved into a rock at the centre of a storm on stage.

Perhaps it's the radical change in his physical appearance in the last fifteen years, rounder and greyer, and the slowing down that age can bring, but now instead of coming across as an entertainer he has the appearance and the demeanour on stage of a monk or guru who is there to impart wisdom and guidance.

He's always been an incredibly intense performer with massive amounts of energy expanded during his performances, but now instead of bouncing all over the place he exudes the same power while standing still. That's not to say he doesn't move anymore and remains fixed in place like a post, but it's no longer necessary for him to be the centre of attention. Whether he's stalking the stage like a large cat, doing some simple choreography with the band, or riding incredible two wheeled standing scooters (as is the case in amazing version of "Games Without Frontiers") he demands attention and commands the stage

I don't think I have seen audiences so riveted and completely in the hand of a performer before. He could just be reading a French introduction to the song he's about to perform and you could hear a pin drop, in an open-air concert. People want to listen to him and share in the experience of his music.

That's the thing that comes across so clearly on the concert disc of this set; Peter Gabriel songs in concert are an experience. They are more than just a band getting up on stage and running through a collection of their hits. Obviously the disc is not able to recreate the atmosphere of being at a live concert, there's almost no way in which to be able to do that. What they have done instead is equally as effective.

We are brought face to face with individual band members; we look into the eyes of Peter Gabriel as he sings. We are given access to the raw emotion that a performer generates while on stage through the magnificent camera work and brilliant editing of director Hamish Hamilton.

They made a risky choice with this film in the way in which they decided to present the songs. Instead of having a song from this venue, and then another song from that venue, they've inter-cut venues in the songs. You could be watching one song, but it's footage from four different venues.

The potential of this being a confusing mess is quite high, but they have managed to bring it off with great success and actually increasing the impact of songs through showing the variety of staging. I don't know if they've used only one audio feed for the song or have edited the sound and the picture of each excerpt into the final result. But whatever they have done the sound is impeccable.

The material on this disc spans the breadth of his career, form "Solsbury Hill" and "Games Without Frontiers" and onwards. "Games Without Frontiers" is the song where you first begin to realise the connection this man has with his audiences. Even while he and his daughter, who sings harmony vocals, are propelling themselves around the stage on these two-wheeled standing scooters, he brings the crowd into the singing of the refrain "Je sans frontiers" (I'm without frontiers) seemingly effortlessly.

In some ways his control over the crowd is actually quite terrifying as it's a reminder of how easy it is for a charismatic figure to control large numbers of people in a mass rally type situation. His closing song, "Biko", the memorial to Steven Biko, South African activist killed in the seventies by the police, is almost chilling. With its rhythmic chanting of the name Biko the crowd actually continues singing the song after Gabriel has physically left the vicinity ( we see him driving away while the drummer is on stage playing the beat and the audience is still singing away)

The second disc of the set is a documentary of the concerts seen in the first disc. Footage from the concerts, and others, and the travel between gigs are interspersed with an interview with Peter Gabriel. While some it deals with just the specifics of the tour, he also talks in a general manner about his work.

He is at great pains to stress how unimportant he or any pop musician really is. Lines like "I don't buy this genius stuff, Einstein was a genius ..." or
"Anybody can be an artist...Put a gun to somebody's head and tell them they have a year to produces some great piece of art or the gun will go off I'm sure they will...being an artist is about being exposed to the right kind of people and atmosphere...not just about talent"

There was no false modesty in any of those statements, just the perspective of a man who had his feet firmly on the ground, and is refusing to get caught up in the hoopla surrounding what he does for a living. Perhaps this is why he is so compelling when he is on stage. He genuinely appreciates that he has been given the opportunity to do on a full time basis what millions would love to do.

Still Growing Up Live & Unwrapped is a great release, especially if you are someone like me who has never had the opportunity to see Peter Gabriel in concert. He is one of the most enigmatic and potent pop performers alive today. This two disc set not only lets you sample that power but gives you insight into what makes him tick and some behind the scenes look at touring. This is a great release for those who have never seen him live on disc before, or even if you just haven't seen him in a while. There's been quite a change.

Shakira's world

Shakira's world

In the languages she speaks and the melting-pot music she makes, the pop star personifies what it means to go global.


Oral Fixation's first song, "How Do You Do," is directed at the Almighty, but it's more accusatory than reverential. "How many people die and hurt in your name?" the Catholic-schooled singer asks. "Hey, does that make you proud, or does it bring you shame?"

The first single, "Don't Bother," sends the message that hell hath no fury like Shakira scorned. Feeling threatened by a too-perfect rival who is "fat free" and "practices tai chi," she lashes back in a tart, Alanis Morissette voice. In the video she hits her wayward lover where it hurts: She drives his car to the dump and has it crushed.

Oral Fixation is full of songs of self-examination, too. The cloying, middle-of-the-road ballad "Your Embrace" wonders,
"What's the use of a 24-inch waist if you don't touch me?"

On "Costume Makes the Clown" she marries stadium-rock crunch, a hooky chorus dressed up with strings, and lyrics about the unreality of her own image: "Told you I felt lucky with my humble breasts / Well I don't." She adds:
"I'm not a virgin, but I'm not the whore you think / And I don't always smell like strawberries and cream."

And for the album closer, "East Timor," Shakira takes a bubbling dance groove based on the Peter Gabriel song of that name to criticize her own self-absorption: "It's OK if the planet splits in three," she sings, sarcastically.
" 'Cause I'll keep selling records, and you've got your MTV."

Shakira may be standing on top of the world, but she's not about to pretend that everything's right with it.