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29 décembre 2006

Did T.C. Conroy count Gabriel among its customers?

December 29, 2006 -- I think I might be the only person in Manhat tan who doesn't have a therapist, or three. It's not that I don't have problems - but generally, they are nothing that can't be solved with a dirty martini or a frenetic '80s-inspired dance around my apartment. I belong to the Charlotte York School of Therapy - "My parents," she once said on an episode of "Sex and the City," "believed that all emotional issues could be worked out through a good game of tennis."

So when I got the opportunity to spend a few sessions with T.C. Conroy, a Hollywood life coach, I was skeptical, yet intrigued. With the New Year approaching, it seemed like a good time to get a handle on some of my issues. Namely, that I am a huge control freak who can't just calm down/relax/save money/get to the gym on a regular basis.

On what would she coach me? I wasn't really sure, but her title sounded agreeably sporty. I pictured us in a team huddle. She could shout instructions to me, and I'd head off down the field to accomplish my goals.

The difference between a therapist and a life coach is that the latter does not focus on the past and the roots of your emotions; instead, she or he focuses on the future. It's also not a replacement for therapy - some people have both a therapist and a life coach.

"Your coach is not your mom, significant other or best friend," explains Conroy's publicist, Thomas Onorato. "A life coach's only agenda is to support you by providing a caring ear, being your best cheerleader or giving you a good swift kick in the pants when you need it."

Fair enough. But before I had my first session with Conroy - who counts Guns N' Roses, Peter Gabriel ( NDR: attention ! voir le commentaire ci-dessous /caution! look at the comment below ) see theand the Rolling Stones among her clients - I wanted to get an idea of what I was getting myself into. I turned to Google. And as it turns out, T.C. is totally hot; rock-star chic with flat-ironed black hair and a ruby-studded platinum tooth. She is also the ex-wife of Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode...


26 décembre 2006

Yungchen Lhamo biography and interview on World Music Central

Yungchen Lhamo was born near Lhasa, Tibet at a time when the isolated ‘forbidden kingdom’ was caught in the ravages of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Her once wealthy family was punished and forced to endure desperate poverty.

In 1989, she escaped from Tibet with a small group of friends to find refuge in India. Despite her perilous journey, she survived, encouraged by her profound determination to meet the Dalai Lama, considered to be the living Buddha. She made the pilgrimage to Dharamsala, the place of exile of the Tibetan spiritual leader, where she succeeded in meeting him and receiving his blessing. It was then that she decided to communicate her ideal “to contribute actively to make things better” through her voice.

She emigrated to Australia in 1993, where she had to overcome several obstacles: being a woman, singing Tibetan spiritual songs a capella, not speaking English… But the public was amazed by the purity of her voice and by the power of her stage presence and in 1995 she received the Australian Record Industry Award (ARIA) for the best world music album with Tibetan Prayer. It was the beginning of international acclaim. In 1996, she released her first international album Tibet Tibet (Real World) and toured the world.

1997 was a breakthrough year for Yungchen Lhamo. Following the release Tibet Tibet, the singer traveled the world, garnering accolades for her spellbinding a cappella performances and raising awareness for the struggle of the Tibetan people living under an oppressive Chinese regime.

"I am determined to make a path as a solo performer," she says. "My childhood was one of such despair and poverty. Part of the Chinese rationale for the occupation of Tibet is that the Tibetan people are backward and inferior. By forging a path for Tibetan artists, I am showing what we really can do if we have freedom."

Yungchen Lhamo's stately appearance in Tibetan robes and mala prayer beads, her harrowing tale of childhood deprivation and flight to His Holiness the Dalai Lama's compound in Dharmsala, India, have made her a de facto ambassador of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism wherever she travels. But she is a woman and an artist, not just an emblem for a cause.

Yungchen's voice is very special. It is no wonder that a Lama named her "Goddess Of Song," which is the literal meaning of Yungchen Lhamo in the Tibetan language. In its long sustained notes, her voice evokes wind and mountain heights in its intricate melismas, the language of birds. Preternaturally expressive, her a cappella voice is stirring in full band context: richly complemented by guitars, violin, even the Finnish kantele, and subtle loops and electronics. The result is as utterly contemporary as the first modern Tibetan musical artist has every right to be.

"Traveling over the past years, I met so many musicians who wanted to work with me," Lhamo says. "I was reluctant at first, because I really love performing a cappella." But wary of her vocal gifts being sampled onto trance dance tracks, she decided to jump in, to explore, grow, and change. She met noted European producer Hector Zazou (Bjork, John Cale, Suzanne Vega, Huun-Huur-Tu) at Laurie Anderson's Meltdown Festival and was immediately interested. "He's a good man," Lhamo states, "and that makes a big difference to me." Encouraged by Real World founder Peter Gabriel, Lhamo set to work with Zazou at Real World studios in England.

"Singing a cappella is very difficult," Lhamo explains. "You feel totally responsible for everything the audience feels. Every sound is created by yourself." Recording with Zazou gave her the opportunity to focus her interpretive energy with other musicians. "It was very enjoyable," she says. "The years of singing a cappella have made me strong."

That strength is witnessed in Coming Home's songs, all written by Yungchen and based on Tibetan melodies, songs which share the trance qualities of Buddhist prayer and yet take off on graceful flights of their own. Each is steeped in metaphor, layered in spiritual, political, and familial symbols.

Heart and Dream are songs for Yungchen's son, who attends a Tibetan school in Dharmsala, separated from his traveling mother for much of the year. For Yungchen, who received very little secular education in Tibet, separation is a necessary sadness. "It's not just a school for Tibetan culture, it's a school for freedom of thought. In Tibet, children only learn about China. I myself never learned anything about the world from books, but I -have-been fortunate and have learned, from traveling, about countries I didn't even know were there."

Sky, a song Yungchen sings in English, addresses the faltering of confidence with the realization that all things are possible. The song grew from a teaching given to Yungchen Lhamo from the Lama Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche in New York. "When I was young I was sent to work very early, and had no opportunity to imagine what was possible in life. I was speaking to Lama Rinpoche about how daunting it was to be doing what I am doing coming from such a disadvantaged background. He told me that the Buddha Jetsun Drolma attained Enlightenment as a woman, so I shouldn't think that I lack the potential to accomplish anything. In Asian cultures, women still often have lower expectations than men."

Perhaps the most striking track on Coming Home is the aptly titled Defiance. Backed by a squall of distorted guitar and the gravelly overtone drone of Tuvan throat singing, Lhamo's voice poignantly enacts "the sound of my heart breaking but refusing to be broken." The song was written for a lifelong friend of Yungchen's who died not long after settling (for a time) in Sydney, Australia. Although her friend didn't die at the hands of the Chinese like so many Tibetans, it is easy to hear in Lhamo's spirit-wracking plaint the stirring reference to the cultural genocide in her homeland.

"It is a political song," she says. "Before the Chinese, Tibet had a social order that, while not perfect, was a society that cared for its own. The Chinese came and injected qualities into that order: forced labor, anti-spirituality, and the idea of cultural inferiority. The problem is beyond those who publicly resist and are tortured and killed. People's everyday lives are destroyed." The friend, whose picture she carries with her, was one of those lives.

And yet it's rare and remarkable for a Tibetan artist to convey such strident emotion over the crisis in her homeland. "It's not anger," she says, "but hurt. You can believe in non-violence but you can still be hurt. Many Tibetans are angrywe are hurt. We have seen our parents, our grandparents, tortured and killed. But we have a way of looking at the world where anger cannot be our motivation. The idea is not to act on that negative emotion, but to find another path."

One might find her faith's doctrines of non-attachment to the material world and devotion to the realm of the spirit incongruous in the life of a world-renowned vocalist. But according to Yungchen, "It actually makes it easier. There are basic understandings of life that come from the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism that make it easy to not get so distressed when things go wrong and not have an ego explosion when things go well."

While proud of her new record, she acknowledges that there will be voices who prefer the "purity" of her a cappella work. "You can't control how people will respond," she says, "so I can't worry about it. I don't live isolated. I'm part of the modern world, and that means growing, experimenting. I think people will want to hear what I can do.

"I feel very lucky to be able to do this, even though it makes for a very difficult lifestyle, always traveling but never reaching home. But I love singing with the motivation of inspiring people."

Lending her beautiful voice and expansive vision to the world, Yungchen Lhamo is fulfilling the destiny set before her. "In Buddhism, the ideal is to be of use, to actively contribute to things being better," she says. "It's very easy to sit isolated and talk about love and compassion, but to inject that into your work - that's spiritual practice."

Her status as an international star has been confirmed by performing twice at New York’s Carnegie Hall (alongside Michael Stipe, Sheryl Crow and Philip Glass) and at the Lilith Fair, also in the USA.

She is recognized not only for her singing talent but also for her fight for the Tibetan people living under Chinese repression and she was the first Tibetan woman to be named in Marie Claire’s ‘Women Who Changed Our World’ series. Yungchen Lhamo is without doubt the most well known Tibetan performing artist today.


Interview with Tibetan Singer Yungchen Lhamo

"What was the first big lesson you learned about the music industry?"

"The first big experience I had was in 1995, when I first signed with Peter Gabriel. This opened my eyes to the nature of the music industry..."

23 décembre 2006

Peter Gabriel at CBC news

We sit down in New York this week with the legendary singer/songwriter/technology buff Peter Gabriel to talk about Witness, the organization he founded in 1992. The group was the first effort to use an emerging technology - the videocamera - as a tool in the fight to expose human rights abuses. Since that time, Witness has worked with dozens of small, local groups around the world - in places like Burma, the Congo, and Mexico - training them and helping them edit their footage. The resulting films are put in front of the world's decision-makers, the UN, the U.S. congress and the newly formed International Criminal Court. And now Gabriel wants to expand the organization, again getting out in front of the newest technological innovation - uploading video on the internet. As an artist, Gabriel has always been a thinker and poet, and he explains how he came to be involved in human rights issues, and what difference a group like Witness can make.

Visit the Witness web site

22 décembre 2006

Peter Gabriel est toujours plus qu'un ex Genesis

Pendant que ses anciens copains (à l'exclusion de Steve Hackett ) annoncent une reformation qui pue beaucoup le business, il regarde vers l'avenir comme toujours.

Même sur le front des nouvelles technologies : de sorte que, après avoir fondé en 1999 la plate-forme de distribution digitale Od2, qui finit aujourd'hui dans les mains de Nokia, il s'embarque dans une aventure analogue.

Toujours avec son associé Charles Grimsdale il lance un software, The Filter, destiné à faciliter aux consommateurs la recherche en Réseau de morceaux correspondants à leurs goûts et achetables sous forme de téléchargement.

tous les deux ont créé un fond financiers, Eden (le nom évoquera quelque chose au fan de Gabriel...), et ont confié la direction de l'entreprise à Blair Schoof, un vétéran de la musique digitale qui peut se prevaloir de son expérience auprés BMG, d'AOL et de MusicNet.

Le service, qui est déjà en phase de test expérimental, repose sur un software gratuit disponible sur le site de la societé,

Une fois déchargé, le plug-in ouvre une fenêtre dans la base de données digitale de référence (iTunes ou Windows Media) et demande à l'utilisateur de sélectionner dans sa librarie digitale la chanson appréciée ;

il crée automatiquement un playlist de morceaux analogues dans le style et dans l'ambiance , et avec un click, l'usager peut décider de l'acquérir sur iTunes ou sur un autre digitalstore.

la technologie (Exabre) a été développée par des techniciens qui travaillaient avec Od2 , le système conserve en mémoire les habitudes d'achat et les associations musicales dont les internautes ont fait usage pendant ces sept dernières années pour acheter de la musique dans les magasins qui utilisaient les services de la societé (Msn Microsoft, Tiscali, Mtv, Coca-Cola etc).

"La première vague de la révolution digitale a concerné la liberté de choix, la possibilité de rendre tout accessible à tous, partout et à n'importe quel moment" a expliqué Gabriel. "Je crois que la seconde vague concernera par contre, dans quelque mode que ce soit, la liberté du choix. Cela traitera le fait de pouvoir filtrer et de se focaliser, de sorte que cela puisse nous se procurer en majeure partie ce que vraiment nous voulons, ce qui nous excite, nous amuse et nous surprend".

Viktoria Tolstoy - 'Pictures Of Me'

...Tolstoy’s third album for the label features five originals written by her musical collaborators and eight songs from quality contemporary writers ranging from Paul Simon, Van Morrison and Peter Gabriel to Stevie Wonder, Prince and Seal...

...Tolstoy gets flirtatious on "Kiss That Frog" one of Peter Gabriel’s sexual metaphor songs in the mould of the better-known "Sledgehammer". For one of British rock’s premier intellectuals Gabriel is a dirty old bugger sometimes. I put it down to all that communal masturbation after lights out in the dorm at Charterhouse....

17 décembre 2006

BBC Wiltshire - Interview with Peter Gabriel

Listen to our interview with the legendary singer-songwriter and ex-Genesis frontman who now lives in Wiltshire.

It was a rare honour recently when BBC Radio Wiltshire were granted an exclusive interview with the musical legend that is Peter Gabriel. The ex-Genesis frontman and highly successful solo artist - famous for songs such as 'Solsbury Hill' and 'Sledgehammer' - now lives in Box in Wiltshire where he also runs Real World studios. He founded the recording complex in the late-1980s in order to promote World music.

Womad : BBC Radio Wiltshire's Ashley Heath spoke to Peter and found out about his plans for the 2007 WOMAD festival now that the event is to be held in Wiltshire for the first time at Charlton Park near Malmesbury. He also spoke of his love for the county he has adopted as his home, as well as reflected on his lengthy musical career.

Genesis Reunion : Ashley also found out why he declined the offer to join his ex-band mates in the Genesis reunion tour due to take place next year.

Click below to listen to the 20min interview in streaming Real Audio.

audio Interview with Peter Gabriel >

Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

16 décembre 2006

Season of Fear

Hollywood, music stars call for UN action against Myanmar

The Associated Press, Friday, December 15, 2006, BANGKOK, Thailand

Hollywood and music stars, including Tim Robbins and Kate Pierson of The B-52s, have called on the United Nations to pass its first-ever resolution on Myanmar where a brutal offensive against ethnic minority people is continuing, a press release received Saturday said.

The appeal was delivered in a letter sent to the office of the U.N. secretary general Friday after a gathering in New York City earlier in the week by nearly 500 activists to highlight the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, also known as Burma, the private human rights group WITNESS said.

"It is past time for the issue of Burma to be addressed by the UN's most powerful body, the Security Council. In eastern Burma, over 3,000 villages have been destroyed, forcibly abandoned or forcibly relocated in the past 10 years," the letter said, urging the resolution be passed before the end of the year.

The United States, which persistently condemns Myanmar for its human rights abuses, is circulating a draft resolution that it plans to introduce before the council to press the country's military government to change policies that constitute a threat to international peace and security.

Celebrities signing the letters included Oscar winner Robbins, British rock musician Peter Gabriel, Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, Nile Rodgers of Chic, Angélique Kidjo and Suzanne Vega.

Human rights groups say government troops have torched villages, killed innocent civilians, raped women and herded villagers into military-controlled zones in an ongoing offensive against the Karen ethnic minority in eastern Myanmar. The government, which denies committing any atrocities, is waging a nearly year-long offensive to suppress a Karen insurgency that first erupted in the late 1940s.

The Thailand Burma Border Consortium, the main aid agency caring for tens of thousands of refugees along the Thai-Myanmar frontier, estimates that this year alone violence forced 82,000 people to leave their homes. Since 1996, more than 3,000 villages have been destroyed or abandoned in eastern Myanmar and more than 1 million people displaced, according to its most recent report. Major uprooting and abuses have also occurred in other ethnic minority areas such as Shan State.

The United States and other countries have also urged the junta to free all political prisoners including pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who remains under house arrest in Yangon. But Washington faces an uphill struggle in getting the council to take tough action against Myanmar. China strongly opposed putting the country on the agenda as did Russia, and both are veto-wielding members of the Security Council. The junta took power in 1988 after crushing the democracy movement led by Nobel prize-winning Suu Kyi. In 1990, it refused to hand over power when Suu Kyi's party won a landslide election victory.

13 décembre 2006

Peter Gabriel on TEDTalks

Musician and activist Peter Gabriel explains the personal motivation behind his work with human-rights organization Witness, which gives video cameras to ordinary citizens to document human-rights abuses, so the perpetrators may be brought to justice. He shares stories of citizen journalists in action, and poses the question: if injustice happens and a camera is there to capture it, can it be ignored? Gabriel first took the musical stage by storm with the band Genesis, but has enjoyed a successful solo career with hits like "In Your Eyes." In 1989 he founded the Real World label for global music and the Real World Studios in Bath, England. In 1992 he co-founded Witness.(Recorded February 2006 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 14:50)

Download this talk: Audio (MP3) | Video (MP4)

09 décembre 2006

BBC shows best teen beats

Fans of TV talent shows would have been familiar with the format - an act performs, the judges debate the merits of that performance, the presenter asks them how they feel - and ultimately, one of them is awarded the winner.

But the final of The Next Big Thing - the BBC's global search for the best young musical talent - was different in a couple of ways. Firstly, all the acts were aged under 18. Secondly, they were all really rather good.

In this case, selecting the eventual winner would be legendary producer William Orbit, Rough Trade founder Jeff Travis, African star Angelique Kidjo and Dirty Pretty Things drummer Gary Powell, with former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel also giving his input.

And so to the acts. Brazilian six-piece combo Sweet Cherry Fury began the night with their jaunty, raucous take on boredom in exams, Cold Blonde Body. Having flown 20 hours from Sao Paulo - and lost their luggage en route - they were determined not to let a minor technical hitch that had delayed the start of the gig put them off.

Lyrical flow

Impressively, performing live at the BBC's famous Maida Vale studios in front of industry icons seemed to inspire them rather than make them nervous - something, on the most part, in common with all the performers on the night. They threw themselves into their songs with both intensity and passion. As Vardy, the lead singer of British three-piece rock group Skagz put it, "we're having the time our lives."

There was an intense performance from Malawian rap act NiC, a duo who volleyed words back and forth like Sampras and Ivanisevic in their prime, deciding not to bother with those fancy passing shots and just belting the ball at each other. Their angry - if interestingly anti-materialistic - rap stems from their frustration at attempting to break into the music industry in Africa. Judge Gary Powell was particularly impressed by what he described as their "lyrical flow", saying they could be understood better "than acts in the charts earning millions".

NiC would eventually finish second, a place shared with British duo Stefan and Mya - whose much more light-hearted song, My Dunks, is about a fashion victim and his girlfriend, who feels she is always second-best to her man's trainers.Their bickering couple style drew high praise from the judges. "I'd say you're like Lily Allen, but you're much better than that," said Powell.

But everyone brought something different to the final, despite - or perhaps because of - their widely diverse backgrounds, sounds, and themes. Refugee Malikinke delivered a multi-language plea to African men to think before they sleep around; US multi-member group MLK performed an eight-word, two-minute celebration of Martin Luther King; while the Skagz thrashed out their up-tempo rock song about singer Vardy "getting attacked in the mining village of Whitwell".


As soon as she stepped behind the microphone, however, the star quality of the act who go on to win shone through. Armenian performer Silva not only sang, she also really performed, coupling her smooth vocal with some well-honed dance moves. The 17-year-old's tango-based song I Like - written by her sister and produced by her brother - would not have sounded out of place on any hit-centred radio station. But, with a little polish, the same could have been said for most of the other acts too. None were noticeably weak - a benefit, perhaps, of having a panel of music industry experts give their input into choosing the final seven.

The four judges admitted they had expected the standard to be "much lower", and were visibly impressed. As they deliberated and the groups awaited the result, the genuine camaraderie that had grown between the acts - they had stayed together in the same hotel since arriving in London earlier in the week, and cheered each others' performances - was clear to see. They all stood huddled together, nervously chatting to each other, offering congratulatory handshakes and hugs whenever one of them was mentioned by name by the judges.

When the result was announced, the cheers and applause were such that any one of them could have been cheering their own win as much as Silva's. Silva herself was utterly overwhelmed by the experience, and accepted the trophy with tears in her eyes. Asked if she was happy to have won, she could manage only one word: "Yes."

British musicians fight for copyright extension

Paul McCartney and U2 were among thousands of musicians who signed a full-page newspaper ad that appeared Thursday, calling on the British government to extend copyright protection for their work. Peter Gabriel, Cliff Richard and Billy Bragg were also among the 4,000 performers whose names appeared in the Financial Times pages calling for an extension, a position that also has the support of most record companies.

"We call upon the U.K. government to support the extension of copyright in sound recordings," the ad read. The appeal was in response to Wednesday's release of the Review of Intellectual Property, which was commissioned by Britain's Treasury. The review was led by Andrew Gowers, the former editor of the Times.

Gowers's report rejected calls by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) to extend Britain's copyright on sound recordings to 95 years, from the current 50 years. Those terms would compare to the Sonny Bono Act, enacted in 1998 to lengthen copyright protection in the U.S.

Gowers argued in the report that there must be a balance between protection of the artist and of the consumer, and he rejected the notion that artists would move elsewhere to evade the shorter copyright protections. It's not known whether the government will act on the recommendation. If so, recordings by artists such as Richard, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones would be in the public domain within the next few years.

The Open Rights Group, which included Matt Black, a DJ from Coldcut, supported Gowers's recommendation. "The only people to benefit from term extension would be the giant traditional media groups," Black said. "Here we can recognize that music is a key part of our culture, [and, indeed, a key export], that recycling is a natural part of musical creativity," he added.The review also called for a crackdown on music piracy and counterfeiting operations, including dramatically increasing the maximum prison sentences for those found guilty of online copyright infringement to 10 years from two.

Fairlight Signed By 44 Pop Stars On Ebay

Get it for Christmas and support WITNESS charity if you have a spare $100,000 05-Dec-06
Fairlight Signed By 44 Pop Stars On Ebay
For music fans around the globe the ultimate holiday gift this year is available online at EBay: a vintage Fairlight CMI keyboard signed by 44 legendary artists who used it to define the sound of the Eighties. The Fairlight will be auctioned online up until live auction at the WITNESS Benefit Dinner and Concert in New York City on December 11, 2006. With a starting bid of $100,000 already registered, this is a gift that will likely appreciate considerably over time and, because it’s being auctioned for charity, will keep on giving beyond the holiday season.

Here's the details directly from the press release that we have received..

Fairlight has donated a vintage CMI (Computer Music Instrument) keyboard and arranged to have all 43 keys plus the chassis autographed by the artists that made the instrument the most important development in music in the Eighties. The signatory artists, who used the CMI to radically change the music of the day, include Lindsey Buckingham, Nick Rhodes, Stuart Copeland, Elvis Costello, Mike Oldfield, Hans Zimmer, Roland Orzabal, Barry Gibb, Steve Winwood, Kate Bush, Laurie Anderson, JJ Jeczalik, Joni Mitchell, Annie Lennox, Boris Blank, Midge Ure, Alan Parsons, Geoff Downes, Brian Wilson, David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Sir George Martin, John Paul Jones, Trevor Horn, Jim Kerr, Brian Eno, Jean Michel Jarre, Howard Jones, Herbie Hancock, Thomas Dolby, Keith Emerson, Mark Mothersbaugh, Bono, Jan Hammer, Todd Rundgren, Stevie Wonder, Iva Davies, David Hirschfelder, Chick Corea, Daryl Hall, Mike Rutherford, Billy Gibbons, Peter Gabriel and David Bowie.

Iconic hits such as “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel; “Thriller” by Michael Jackson; “Rocket” by Herbie Hancock and “The Unforgettable Fire” by U2 are classic examples of the Fairlight CMI as it was used within the 80’s genre. Among the first commercially-available albums to incorporate it were Kate Bush's “Never for Ever” (1980), Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday” (1980), Jean-Michel Jarre's Magnetic Fields (1981), and the Buggles' last album, “Adventures in Modern Recording.” Peter Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey" and its parent album Security (1982) also feature the instrument.

The Fairlight CMI was the world’s first digital sampler and featured other radical advances for the time, including a light pen interface and menu-driven GUI. One of the CMI’s most significant software features was the so-called "Page R,” which was the world’s first real time graphical music sequence editor, widely copied on other software synths ever since. The instrument was featured extensively in the futuristic videos of those who used it dominating the 80’s music scene and, being the first device to cross the computer/instrument divide, was the subject of passionate debate within the artist community — Phil Collins, a CMI detractor, went so far as to advertise “No Fairlight Used” in the liner notes of his 1985 album “No Jacket Required!” A Fairlight CMI can be seen in the Devo film “We Are Devo” and in Jan Hammer's music video for the Miami Vice theme song. It also makes an appearance being operated by Nick Rhodes in Duran Duran's video for "The Reflex".

The CMI hit the height of its popular frenzy among the artist community when it was featured in a now-legendary performance by Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Thomas Dolby and Howard Jones at the 1985 Grammy Awards. Ironically, the Grammy Album Of The Year in 1985 was “No Jacket Required.”

Though still selling to the music community elite, the cost of manufacturing forced Fairlight to discontinue the CMI in the late Eighties, as it migrated its business to building digital audio workstations and mixing consoles for the Hollywood film production business, the television broadcast market and the higher-end of music recording where the “Fairlight Sound” is still highly prized.

On December 11, WITNESS’ annual benefit will be hosted by the organization’s founder and chairman, Peter Gabriel, and actor Gael Garcia Bernal. The event will include performances by Paul Simon, Angélique Kidjo and Kate Pierson & Fred Schneider of the B-52's.

Commenting on the auction, Fairlight Chief Executive John Lancken said today, “Bringing together the artists and the instrument that turned music on its head back in the Eighties is a fascinating exercise in the history of music, but to do it with WITNESS to support peace and human rights around the world is especially gratifying. We believe that this project, the culmination of two years of hard work, is only the beginning of a long and productive relationship between Fairlight and WITNESS as we bring to bear our digital media expertise and our user base of studios and broadcasters around the globe to help advance the great cause that WITNESS fights every day.”

Echoing this sentiment, Gillian Caldwell, Director of WITNESS, said today “The Eighties is remembered for among other things the unique music of the time, much of which was created on the Fairlight CMI. Today, WITNESS seeks to ensure the current decade is not remembered as a time that the world turned a blind eye to human rights abuses across the globe. To open up the eyes of the world to these abuses, WITNESS relies on sound and video technologies, which is why it is especially exciting to see a professional audio company like Fairlight support our cause.”

The December 11 auction marks the end of a two-year program embarked on by Fairlight, WITNESS and New York City public relations agency Griffin Public Relations & Marketing to reach out to the artists who had used the keyboard. Working with artists, agents and managers, the group pitched participation, sought an agreement to autograph and then issued the keys individually to artists around the world. The autographed keys were each returned to Fairlight in Sydney and the keyboard was recently reassembled and shipped to New York, where it will go on display at a VIP reception before the auction.

Peter Gabriel and Gael Garcia Bernal to Host WITNESS’ Benefit Dec. 11, 2006

Event to highlight WITNESS’ ongoing work to end human rights abuses in Burma

(CSRwire) NEW YORK, NY - November 17, 2006 - Musician Peter Gabriel and film sensation Gael García Bernal will co-host the “Focus for Change” benefit for WITNESS, the international human rights group, on December 11, 2006 in New York City. The event, to be held at the Hammerstein Ballroom, will include performances by Paul Simon, Angélique Kidjo and Kate Pierson & Fred Schneider of the B-52’s.

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. 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 11th event highlights WITNESS’ work in Burma, where over the past decade more than one million ethnic minority civilians in eastern Burma have fled from attacks of the SPDC - Burma's military regime - in a brutal campaign of repression, assimilation and counter-insurgency. Some have become refugees in Thailand and other neighboring countries, while others have been displaced inside the country. Burma dictator Than Shwe’s use of military force has resulted in extra-judicial killings, torture, rape, and forced labor on a massive scale. Over 3,000 villages have been destroyed or forcibly abandoned due to the military’s attacks. In the last six months alone, more than 20,000 people have been displaced from their homes and 5,000 fled to refugee camps in Thailand.

At the event, supporters will hear a keynote address urging effective international action by the UN Security Council by Mr. Kwe Say, a representative from WITNESS partner, Burma Issues, who fled an attack on his village and lived on the run as a child. Burma Issues, a Thailand-based organization staffed primarily by people who have fled from Burma, uses video to document the systematic repression of civilians by Burma's military government for international audiences and to educate and mobilize grassroots communities within Burma.

WITNESS’ benefit will also bring some of music’s best loved legends together to safeguard human rights and raise awareness of rights abuses all over the globe through the auction of a one-of-a-kind vintage Fairlight CMI keyboard signed by 43 of music’s biggest artists including Stevie Wonder, Bono, Herbie Hancock and Annie Lenox. The Fairlight CMI (Computer Music Instrument) was invented in 1978 and was the world’s first digital sampling keyboard. The keyboard, which was discontinued in the late 1980s, is now a highly prized collectors’ item. An online auction on EBay will begin on December 1, 2006 enabling music enthusiasts and collectors to bid on the keyboard in the ten days leading up to the auction. Then, on the evening of December 11th, an accompanying live auction will take place at the WITNESS benefit and the winning bid will be authenticated and announced.

Corporate sponsors of Focus for Change include Fairlight; DivX, Inc.; TED Conference; Griffin Public Relations & Marketing; Newscorp; Lindblad Expeditions; Deckers Outdoors Corporation; Hobie Surf Shop; EOS Airlines; Hennessy; Belvedere Vodka; Hudson Yards Catering; American Apparel; Chocolat Michel Cluizel; and Auction Cause.

Corporations or individuals interested in event sponsorship, can visit ( or contact Sara Federlein, WITNESS, 718.783.2000 ext. 304 or


WITNESS uses the power of video to open the eyes of the world to human rights abuses. By partnering with local organizations around the globe, WITNESS empowers human rights defenders to use video as a tool to shine a light on those most affected by human rights violations, and to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools of justice.

BBC Search For Next Big Thing In Music

30 November 2006 ; The BBC's international search for the world's best young band or solo artist is heading towards the grand finale with young musicians from Armenia, Brazil, Ghana, Malawi, UK and USA winning their way into the final. The global panel of judges of BBC World Service's The Next Big Thing contest has shortlisted as the finalists:

Armenia: Silva - I Like
Silva is 17-years-old. The track was composed by Silva's sister Mane and produced by Edgar, her brother.

Brazil: Sweet Cherry Fury - Cold Blonde Body
Sweet Cherry Fury are a six piece girl band from Brazil who share a passion for rock and roll.

Ghana: Mishkini - 3 Eyez
Mishkini is a young Liberian refugee living in Ghana. The song is performed in Ewe (a Ghanaian language), English and French. It talks about consequences of unfaithfulness among lovers.

Malawi: NiC - Take A Look Into My Eyes
Nick Giannakis wrote this track to describe the trials and tribulations he goes through trying to excel in the music industry in Malawi. The song touches on issues like drugs, loyalty and peer pressure.

UK: The Skagz - Whitwell
Whitwell is about Skagz's singer getting attacked by yobs in a village near where they live. Dave from Skagz says: "Like all Skagz songs, it's about real life experiences, it's honest and it's real."

UK: Stefan Abingdon - My Dunks
My Dunks is an observation of the fashions and trends of teenagers today. Stefan says: "It's my protest against fashion victims, which blatantly includes myself!"

USA: MLK and the Dreamers - Great Man
Made up of six musicians from three different local schools, MLK and the Dreamers were drawn together by their love of music. The band members like to describe their sound as "original, playful, and energetic".

The seven finalists are expected to fly into the UK next week to perform at the BBC's famous Maida Vale studios. The Next Big Thing is showcasing musicians who are 18 or under, compose original tracks and are unsigned. The shortlist was judged by a global panel of music industry names including critics, artists, record label pioneers and industry heavyweights. The BBC initially planned to shortlist six finalists, but the global panel came up with seven names.

The Next Big Thing producer Simon Pitts explains: "We had such a high standard of entries it was simply impossible to get it down to six." One of the panellists, British writer and broadcaster, Miranda Sawyer, described Silva and her song I Like as "unnervingly sophisticated".

UK-based Gareth Simpson, who recently developed OXJAM - Oxfam's most ambitious music event ever – said he liked the range of influences evident on Silva's performance: "There's an eastern feel fused with a contemporary R&B."

Ilka Schlockermann, German-born and now UK-based musician, producer and publicist, described Mishkini's 3 Eyez as "an interesting, mellow track" while Sergio Dias, the lead singer and founder of internationally-acclaimed Brazilian band Os Mutantes, liked the rhythm division of Mishkini's melody which he described as "simple but hearty". Sergio Dias also liked the "well produced, good contrasts" of Stefan Abingdon's My Dunks.

Another The Next Big Thing judge, Bernie Cho, Manager of MTV Korea's Creative and Content Department, was full of praise for NiC's Take A Look Into My Eyes. Bernie said: "With tight lyrics, disciplined delivery, and mood-swinging instrumentals, NiC's hypnotic hip-hop track has all the basic ingredients for a good-to-go, radio-friendly song. But by throwing in some off-colour, off-speed counterjabs like electric guitar chords and exotic, operatic choruses, NiC surges from OK to excellent on my scorecard. A nice, mature effort…"

Swedish producer, music engineer, DJ, musician and label manager Christopher Berg had special praise for The Skagz's song, Whitwell. Christopher said: "I like the quirky verse-groove… and this band understands the importance of a dynamic arrangement… I could see this band getting signed and releasing something successful, with the right producer involved."

Broadcast journalist and academic from China, Mao Xi, explained that she chose MLK and the Dreamers' song, Great Man, because "it proves a band can still make music using traditional instruments and without the latest technical equipment. It is a good song where everyone involved is having fun and the listener is drawn into the happiness."

The Next Big Thing final will take place on Saturday 9 December 2006 in a special programme. Producer William Orbit (of Madonna, Robbie Williams and Sugababes fame) will be joined by world music legends Cathy Dennis, Angelique Kidjo, Rough Trade founder Geoff Travis (Antony & The Johnsons, The Strokes, The Smiths) and special guest Peter Gabriel in a live show to select the winner from six finalists. The competition is part of a week of programmes from BBC World Service, Generation Next, which explores the real issues in the world according to under-18s.

27 novembre 2006

The Peter Gabriel Song

The Television Personalities Pay Tribute To Eminem On New Album

Out early next year...

The Television Personalities are due to return with a new album early next year.

The 13 track album ‘Are We Nearly There Yet?’ is released through Overground Records on February 20.

The CD collates material recorded before the release of their last album ‘My Dark Places.’

It was recorded in the summer of 2005 in New York after the band The Baskervilles donated £1,000 to get The TV Personalities in the studio.

Dan Treacy from the band said of it: “I’m as proud and disappointed of this CD as anything I’ve ever done.”

Tracks include a homage to Eminem and Peter Gabriel. The full track-listing is as follows:

1. Are We Nearly There Yet?
2. The Peter Gabriel Song
3. The Eminem Song
4. I Get Scared When I Don’t Know Where You Are
5. I See Dead People.
6. If I Could Write Poetry
7. If I Should Fall Behind
8. Coltrane’s Ghost
9. Mr Brightside
10. All The Midnight Cowboys
11. All The King’s Horses
12. You Are Loved
13. It’s All About The Girl

good news

A un journaliste qui souhaitait savoir si ceci n'avait pas donné lieu à des discussions avec Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins a affirmé: "Bien sûr, mais Peter fait preuve de presque trop de prudence à cet égard. Nous considérons cette tournée simplement comme une bonne occasion de rejouer ensemble. Depuis son départ du groupe en 1975, Peter Gabriel mène sa carrière en solo. Nous avons certes eu des discussions, par exemple pour savoir si nous allions rejouer "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" en concert dans sa durée totale, mais ces discussions n'ont pas abouti."

18 novembre 2006

Peter Gabriel récipiendaire d'un prix de paix


Peter Gabriel, qui a fondé le groupe rock Genesis, a reçu à Rome le prix «Man for Peace». Ce prix pour la paix est décerné par la Fondation Gorbatchev. Gabriel, âgé de 56 ans, est honoré pour son travail de promotion des droits de la personne et en faveur de la paix mondiale. Le prix lui a été remis lors d'une rencontre d'anciens lauréats de prix Nobel de la Paix, qui est organisée chaque année à Rome par la Fondation Gorbatchev. Dans le passé, ce prix a notamment été décerné à l'organisateur de l'événement "Live 8", Bob Geldof, Yusuf Islam, le chanteur autrefois connu sous le nom de Cat Stevens, et le réalisateur et acteur italien Roberto Benigni.

Peter Gabriel, homme de la paix 2006

Les lauréats des prix Nobel de la paix, réunis à Rome pour un 7e sommet, ont fait de Peter Gabriel l'« homme de la paix 2006 ». Le musicien britannique voit ainsi saluées « ses activités en faveur de la paix et de l'humanité », a souligné Mikhaïl Gorbatchev, Prix Nobel 1990, ajoutant que le chanteur « utilise la musique, langage universel, pour faciliter la compréhension entre les cultures ». C'est des mains du Prix Nobel de la paix de 1983, le leader syndical et politicien polonais Lech Walesa, que M. Gabriel a reçu son prix, à Rome.

Un engagement soutenu

Peter Gabriel, 56 ans, a été parmi les premiers artistes à dénoncer l'apartheid en Afrique du Sud. Il est engagé depuis plusieurs années dans la défense des droits de l'homme. Pendant plus d'un an, il a d'ailleurs fait une tournée mondiale au profit de l'ONG Amnestie internationale, qui travaille en ce sens. Dans son discours de remerciement, M. Gabriel a affirmé que la musique était omniprésente dans le monde et permettait de toucher les êtres humains. Il a aussi insisté sur l'importance de la technologie, qui rapproche les hommes et transforme « la guerre en paix »

Peter Gabriel honoré pour son engagement pour la paix

Peter Gabriel a été honoré à titre d'«Homme de paix», vendredi, par une fondation dirigée par l'ex-leader soviétique Mikhaïl Gorbatchev, rapporte l'Associated Press.

On a ainsi voulu souligner le travail de promotion de la paix et des droits humains accompli par le musicien. Il a reçu son prix à Rome lors d'une cérémonie qui marque le début d'une rencontre qui rassemble les lauréats du prix Nobel de la Paix. Celle-ci se déroule chaque année. Elle est organisée par la Fondation Gorbatchev et l'hôtel de ville de Rome.

Parmi les autres récipiendaires de ce prix de la Paix de la Fondation Gorbatchev: le musicien et organisateur de Live 8, Bob Geldof; Yusuf Islam (anciennement connu sous le nom de Cat Stevens) ainsi que l'acteur et réalisateur italien Roberto Benigni.

Photo: Gabriel, tenant son prix, pose en compagnie de l'ancien leader polonais Lech Walesa, récipiendaire du prix Nobel de la paix en 1983.

Peter Gabriel est «l'homme de la paix 2006»

Le musicien britannique Peter Gabriel a été désigné «homme de la paix 2006» vendredi à Rome lors d'un sommet des lauréats du prix Nobel de la paix réuni jusqu'à dimanche.

Cette septième édition du sommet a pour thème «l'atome pour la paix ou pour la guerre?».

C'est le prix Nobel de la paix 1983, le Polonais Lech Walesa, qui a remis le prix au musicien, remplaçant l'ex-président soviétique Mikhaïl Gorbatchev, absent pour cause de maladie. «Peter Gabriel est reconnu dans le monde entier pour ses activités en faveur de la paix et de l'humanité. Il utilise la musique, langage universel, pour faciliter la compréhension entre les cultures», a souligné M. Gorbatchev, prix Nobel 1990, dans un message distribué pendant la cérémonie à la mairie de Rome.

Une «voix pour la liberté»

Rappelant que Peter Gabriel avait été l'un des premiers artistes à dénoncer l'apartheid, le maire de Rome, Walter Veltroni, a salué une «voix qui se bat pour la liberté». Peter Gabriel a souligné dans son discours de remerciement que «la musique était omniprésente dans le monde, comme l'eau» et que ce «langage permettait de toucher les être humains».

Barbe blanche et chemise sans col, le chanteur a insisté sur l'importance de la technologie (téléphone mobile, ordinateur portable...) qui permet de relier les hommes et de transformer «l'information en connaissance, la connaissance en sagesse et la guerre en paix». Peter Gabriel, 56 ans, ancien du groupe Genesis, est depuis plusieurs années engagé dans le combat pour les droits de l'homme, effectuant notamment pendant plus d'un an une tournée mondiale au profit d'Amnesty International.

Johnny Clegg, le "zoulou blanc", part en reconquête avec un nouvel album

Le chanteur sud-africain Johnny Clegg, figure de la lutte anti-apartheid dans les années 80, part à la reconquête de son public avec "One Life" (Marabi/Harmonia Mundi), son premier album international depuis près de dix ans, où, en adepte du métissage, il ouvre son rock zoulou à de nouveaux courants.

Le »zoulou blanc» se produira dimanche à Paris (Grand Rex) avant d'autres concerts en France. "C'est un classique +Johnny Clegg mélange+", déclare Clegg à l'AFP, dans un français maladroit. Dès les années 70, ce jeune blanc rebelle remua les consciences en épousant la cause zoulou, fréquentant les townships et s'affichant dans des formations multiraciales.

On retrouve sur "One Life" les caractéristiques de sa musique, combinaison à haute teneur énergétique de rythmes binaires du rock et de polyphonies vocales zoulou, qui a fait sa réputation dans les tubes "Scatterlings from Africa" (1982) ou "Asimbonanga" (1987). Mais Clegg, 53 ans, toujours en prise avec les bouleversements de la société sud-africaine, y intègre de nouvelles données. "Il y a du hip hop, du raï, du reggae, de la dance music, du kwaito", explique le musicien, qui joue de la guitare acoustique, des claviers, du concertina.

Mixé dans les studios Real World de Peter Gabriel en Angleterre, »One Life» emprunte également au reggae et à l'afro-cubain, mais le côté rock et pop y prend petit à petit le pas sur la partie "roots» et »world». Sur cet album, Clegg s'exprime en quatre langues. »Je chante en anglais, en zoulou» (que cet ancien étudiant en anthropologie maîtrise à la perfection), »mais aussi en afrikaans (NDLR: langue des afrikaaners, communauté blanche d'Afrique du Sud d'origine néerlandaise qui systématisa l'apartheid en 1948) dans un but de réconciliation, et en scamto, nouveau langage codé des jeunes des townships», raconte l'ancien leader des groupes Savuka et Juluka.

Via ce nouveau disque, publié simultanément en Europe, aux Etats-Unis, au Canada et dans une partie de l'Afrique, Clegg souhaite s'extirper du statut de figure historique de la lutte anti-apartheid, dont il est prisonnier. Il veut regagner une crédibilité dans son pays, où Freshly Ground, un nouveau groupe de pop multi-racial, est aujourd'hui plus connu que lui.
"Je travaille très dur pour me refaire", avoue ce combattant, qui a englouti une partie de ses économies dans une entreprise de production musicale qui a fait faillite.

Après le concert (complet) au Grand Rex dimanche, avec en première partie The Gospel Choir of Soweto, Johnny Clegg jouera à Nevers le 23, Luxembourg le 24, Mantes-la-Jolie le 25 et Saint-Quentin le 28. Une tournée en Europe et aux Etats-Unis est prévue au printemps. Sans doute gratifiera-t-il encore son public de ses fameuses danses guerrières zoulou, rituel qui a toujours fait partie d'un show mené tambour battant.

16 novembre 2006

Peter Gabriel Designated 2006 Man Of Peace By Nobel

British musician Peter Gabriel will receive a peace award from the hands of Mikhail Gorbachev and other Nobel Laureates during a ceremony in Rome on Friday.

Gabriel was designated 2006 Man of Peace for "his great contribution and commitment to peace and human rights", organizers said in a statement.

Among his numerous initiatives, organisers singled out his efforts to fight apartheid. In 1980, Gabriel published "Biko", a heartfelt plea not to forget the south-African leader Steve Biko, murdered in September 1977 in a prison in Port Elizabeth.

Former South African president Frederik Willem de Klerk will be among the Nobel Peace Laureates attending the ceremony.

The annual Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, promoted by Gorbachev and the City of Rome, has reached its seventh edition.

This year's edition focuses on the dangers of atomic energy.

14 novembre 2006

Pioneering the Avant-Garde - Lisa Paul Streitfeld

Music, the purest of all the artistic mediums, was at the forefront of avant-garde experimentation throughout the 20th century. The collaborations between Beat poets and jazz musicians in the 50s gave rise to the 60s counterculture movement that was propelled by avant-garde experiments with music arising from chance encounters in everyday life and the popularity of rock, with its ideals of the sacred marriage through projection. The following decade, punk broke down gender boundaries along with popular forms made sterile through disco. The New Age movement of the 80s delivered musicians who consciously used sound to move the kundalini through the charkas of the body. In the 90s, grunge was a valve for the emotional fallout from the toxic marriage arising from the chaotic breakdown of gender roles.

My personal search for the hieros gamos in millennial art forms began with my absorption in Peter Gabriel's CD, US, prior to a visit to his Real World Studio in 1994. Last spring, I became acquainted with the genius of Darryl Tookes. Like Gabriel, Tookes is a pioneering Aquarian artist integrating heaven and earth through a personal narrative aligned with a 21st century icon...

Katché: Jazz album of the Year

Neighbourhood, Manu Katchés ECM leader debut, has won the German Critics Prize – Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik – as Jazz Album of the Year 2006. From the jurys findings: The French drummer Manu Katché, who has played on hundreds of records with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd, Sting and Dire Straits has not been in a hurry to follow up Its About Time, the first CD issued under his name. 15 years have passed between that disc and Neighbourhood.Neighbourhood, Manu Katché's ECM leader debut, has won the German Critics Prize – Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik – as Jazz Album of the Year 2006. From the jurys findings: The French drummer Manu Katché, who has played on hundreds of records with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd, Sting and Dire Straits has not been in a hurry to follow up Its About Time, the first CD issued under his name. 15 years have passed between that disc and Neighbourhood. "Neighbourhood", Manu Katché's ECM leader debut, has won the German Critics Prize – Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik – as Jazz Album of the Year 2006.

His recording on ECM assembles a cast as unexpected as it is convincing: the Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko, and members of Stanko's quartet Marcin Wasilewski, piano, and Slawomir Kurkiewicz, bass, meet Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek, playing in peak form. The chemistry of the team is a perfect blend, both amongst the rhythm section and between the horn players. At once delicate and relaxed, Katché's compositional sketches unfold gracefully. His lucid drumming never forces itself into the foreground of this fascinating and well-made French-Polish-Norwegian production that emphasizes the musical qualities of European neighborliness."

The award will be presented to Manu Katché on Saturday, 18. November 2006, at the Berlin Musikinstrumenten-Museum.

Katché can also be heard on several ECM recordings with Jan Garbarek, including the acclaimed "In Praise of Dreams", released in 2004. He is currently on tour with the Jan Garbarek Group.

12 novembre 2006

"What is INDIE?"

The finalists for the 6th Annual Independent Music Awards were recently announced, and the independently produced documentary film "What is INDIE?" made a huge splash in the "Best Song Used in Film/TV" category by getting 2 songs into the top 5 as finalists for the award.

The nominated songs are "We Can Take Care of Each" by Philadelphia artist Gina Kaz and "Citysong" by Montreal artist Andrea Revel. The 3 other nominees in the category are songs used in productions by major studios Fox Searchlight, ABC Family and the WB.

"This is yet another example of the ever-changing landscape in the entertainment industry, where do-it-yourself artists and productions can now compete directly with major studios and record labels." Dave Cool, Director, "What is INDIE?"

Judges for this year's awards include Peter Gabriel, Ozzy Osbourne, Cyndi Lauper and Suzanne Vega. More information about the 6th Annual Independent Music Awards can be found online:

Port Elizabeth

The road of riches

...Such are the joys of the Garden Route that it is easy to spend a week just mooching along this coastline. We have flown into Port Elizabeth, the first major centre at the eastern end of the Garden Route, with some trepidation. In the annals of apartheid this lovely town, with its long, flat beaches and relaxed atmosphere, is remembered as the place where Steve Biko was bashed while in custody in 1977. He died after being taken to Pretoria. If you know Peter Gabriel's song Biko, it is impossible to arrive in Port Elizabeth without the words of the opening verse echoing in your mind: 'September '77 / Port Elizabeth, weather fine / It was business as usual / In police room 619."

Out of Africa

Musicians descend on B.B King's Manhattan club

Thanks to artists like Peter Gabriel, who introduced Youssou N'Dour to non-African audiences, and Paul Simon, whose 1986 album "Graceland" brought Ladysmith Black Mambazo to prominence, the music of Africa is not unknown away from its home continent.

Those who want to explore African music more deeply have the opportunity Tuesday at B.B. King's Blues Club and Grill as Putumayo, the multicultural retailer, presents "Acoustic Africa," a tour comprised of three of the musicians featured on the eponymous album -- Vusi Mahlasela, Habib Koité and Dobet Gnahoré.

Mahlasela first came to prominence when fellow South African Dave Matthews featured his singing on "Everyday." Mahlasela's music is melodic and showcases the unique guitar style he developed teaching himself on a homemade instrument. Mahlasela has finished a new record, "Guiding Star," with Matthews, Derek Trucks and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. "I think this album brought together all the right forces," Mahlasela says. "These were people who helped me, who were my guiding stars. I'm calling the album that."

Mahlasela says he is enjoying touring with Koité of Mali and Gnahoré of Ivory Coast -- both former French colonies -- even though they don't all speak the same language. "It's been great performing with and listening to the other artists. They've brought this musical energy and we're sharing it with audiences," Mahlasela says. "The music we play has different languages and different styles. But you hear the melodies, and you can hear that all of the influences of the music in Europe and in the States draw back to Africa."

Although Mali is landlocked -- the music of Africa has been influenced by traffic through its ports -- Koité says there was no shortage of inspiration for him and his band, Bamada. "We touch seven or eight countries," he says. "In Mali, we have some of the music of the many countries we touch." Koité had come to the attention of Americans thanks to his duet with Bonnie Raitt on her 2002 album, "Silver Lining." Raitt and Jackson Browne, another Koité fan, have visited him in Mali.

"Bonnie is like a sister to me. She has come to my home, which in Mali is a great thing," Koité says. "Jackson first came to my gigs in Los Angeles. It was a dream for us to see him. Everybody was saying, 'Jackson Browne. This is not possible.' " What has been possible on this tour is for the three performers to blend their music and cultures. "Vusi, Dobet and I can make one very good mix," Koité says. "If I give Dobet one of my songs I have written, I have to tell her what it means. We have to learn each other's Africa."

11 novembre 2006

Genesis to Re-issue Back Catalogue

Hot on the heels of announcing their ‘Turn it on Again’ tour, newly re-formed Genesis are going to release their entire back catalogue.

March 2006 will see the release of A Trick of the Tail, Wind & Wuthering, ...And Then There Were Three, Duke and Abacab and in July 2007, Genesis, Invisible Touch, We Can't Dance and Calling All Stations will hit the shops.

Planned for late 2007 or early 2008 are the recordings featuring Peter Gabriel including Trepass, Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, Selling England By The Pound and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.

All the releases will packaged with a CD and DVD with full track lists and any extra goodies to be confirmed.

MP rocks on for mobiles scheme

MP Oliver Heald with Peter Gabriel

MP Oliver Heald teamed up with one of his boyhood heroes, rock legend Peter Gabriel, to support a mobile phone recycling campaign.

Both Mr Heald, the MP for North East Herts, and the former Genesis star have been appealing for people to donate their unwanted mobiles to help African countries.

Every hour, 1,712 mobile phones are upgraded in the UK after about 18 months of use - despite having a lifespan of approximately 10 years.

Mr Heald said: "If each mobile phone-user in the UK were to throw away their handsets we'd be land filling about £650,000 worth of silver each year.

"Sending our unwanted mobile phones to developing counties can not only help protect our environment from hazardous waste and toxic chemicals, but can help people in developing countries to do business, keep in touch, and more importantly in emergency cases where the nearest hospital is 90 miles away, people can call for help, making the difference between life and death."

Mr Heald, pictured above with Peter Gabriel, said wider access to communications in Africa was an important element in tackling poverty.

"Having a phone means having a voice and that is the best way to help people out of poverty. It is important that we in the UK help them to help themselves."

"I had all the Genesis albums in my youth. Peter Gabriel is one of the great stars of rock music.

"If in doubt, listen"

Artist has his finger on 'signs for peace'

Exhibit opens this weekend

Fingerprints are both unique and universal: Everybody has a set, and everybody has their own set.

Touching on that, a Danish artist has produced a collection of works using the prints of famous folks -- some he obtained from public records -- to create what he calls "signs for peace.''

Opening this weekend at Chicago's Peace Museum, a modest space inside the Gold Dome Building in Garfield Park, Claus Miller's exhibit includes stylized art made from the enlarged imprints of such peacemakers as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, John Lennon and Albert Einstein...

'If in doubt, listen'

Singer Peter Gabriel sent Miller a fingerprint with the line, "If in doubt, listen.''

"I looked for the key-word 'listen' in every Gabriel song and when I found it, I reproduced the digital sound wave, enlarged it, put colors on it, turning it, at last, into a wonderful thunderbolt connected to [his] fingerprint,'' Miller said...