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06 octobre 2006

WOMAD comes to Wiltshire

THE WOMAD music festival will be coming home to north Wiltshire next year, 25 years after it was conceived here.Musician Peter Gabriel came up with the idea for the festival - The World of Music, Arts and Dance - in 1980 at his Real World studios in Box.

The first WOMAD event was held two years later in Somerset and since then it has travelled across the country, and has spent the last 17 years in Reading, Berkshire. The organisers have decided the festival has outgrown the Reading site and have decided to try and bring it back to the place it was created.

The organisers are not disclosing the location of the new festival site but the Chippenham News understands that Charlton Park, near Malmesbury, has been approached to host the event. The three-day music event is the UK's biggest festival of international music and regularly draws crowds of up to 40,000 people to the Reading area It is expected to take place from July 27-29 next year.

Organisers at WOMAD's head office at Gabriel's studios in Box say the festival had outgrown the Reading site and they were delighted to have found a new home in Wiltshire near to their headquarters.They added that they were proud of their achievements at Reading but felt they needed to move in order to protect its long-term future and audience appeal.

North Wiltshire District Council has held a meeting with the organisers to discuss the proposed move to Charlton Park next summer. A spokesman said: "We have had a preliminary discussion with the organisers and understand it could involve up to 45,000 people in attendance."An event safety group meeting has been organised for later this month and we anticipate a premises licence application later in this year."If this goes ahead it will be the largest event ever to be held in north Wiltshire."

Leader of the council Carol O'Gorman said: "It is wonderful news for north Wiltshire."This will encourage people to come and stay and share north Wiltshire with us and will help our economy and bring people in."I can't wait for it to go ahead." She deflected claims that the festival would be a nightmare for health and safety and would bring traffic problems, adding: "We have got a brilliant team at North Wilts, an expert team of officers, who will be looking in to that and will sort it out."We have to be up for it, and we will be."

05 octobre 2006

Rock star's global festival heads for village

Villagers in Charlton, near Malmesbury, have been left stunned at the news that Peter Gabriel's giant world music festival could be moving to Charlton Park next year. Womad is described as the UK's biggest festival of international music and attracts crowds of up to 45,000. It has been based in Reading for the last 17 years, but has outgrown its Rivermead venue. Held over a three-day weekend in July, Womad this year featured 80 artists from 40 countries.

Independent financial adviser Brian Pickering, of St John's Way, said he doubted the village could cope. "It's rather startling," he said. "All we've got here is a pub, two bus stops and a telephone box. "I don't think we will be able to cope with that many people. You also don't know whether it would cause any security problems for the village."

Colin Legge, of Bullocks Horn, also doubted the village could cope with so many people at once.
But Margaret Langley, 58, of Park Street, who lives near the entrance to the park, said she would welcome the festival.

"It sounds like quite an impressive event and it's only for one weekend," she said."It's got to be good for the village to have an event like that, so it doesn't worry me."If it gets too noisy I'll just have to close the windows. Mrs Langley added she would be interested to go and watch the festival. Reuben Waller, general manager of the Horse and Groom Inn, The Street, said it could be beneficial."We will have three or four rooms for visitors by the time the festival comes," he said."I cannot imagine too many traders will be unhappy and, even if they are, it's only for a weekend."The Rev Richard East, of St John the Baptist Church, said everyone should make the most of the festival."It sounds fine by me and we will have to make plans to embrace it," he said.

It's enough to make you cry

The duduk, with its mournful tones, is a rising Hollywood star.

If red is the color of passion and chocolate the food of love, then the duduk has surreptitiously become the sound of sadness. Most of us can't name the instrument, but we've heard it so often that if we were paying attention, it might almost border on cliché. Almost.

The duduk (pronounced doo-dook), is an ancient instrument from the Caucasus that looks a bit like a recorder. No longer than a forearm and with a range of just an octave, it sounds like a voice crying or wind howling across a mountaintop, its tone fleshy and pulpy, deep and haunting. Anyone who has watched a tear-jerker has probably heard the duduk's mournful echoes. Peter Gabriel's score in "The Last Temptation of Christ" introduced us to it almost 20 years ago — music on which Djivan Gasparian, the duduk's best-known ambassador, played.

Like a Hollywood star, the instrument then took a sabbatical, showing up only in an occasional film or a pilot that never made it. In the last 10 years, however, it has made a very steady showing and is now an expected guest at all the right parties.

Its evocative sound surfaces again Friday night when the new season of Sci Fi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica" begins, featuring a soundtrack adorned with what its composer, Bear McCreary, calls "a simple wooden pipe [that] emotes generations of sadness." A duduk solo, with text sung in Armenian, is featured in a McCreary song that follows the first episode's main title Friday.

The duduk's rising star owes a debt to the half-million Armenians that call Los Angeles home. This large Armenian community — the largest in the world outside of Armenia — has provided a steady base of musicians, teachers, instrument makers and, not least of all, fans that helped the duduk transition from ethnic enclave to mainstream culture.

On a trip to Los Angeles to visit his two daughters and their families — as well as to record the scores for "Syriana" and "The Da Vinci Code"Gasparian, now 76, still seemed surprised by his fame as a master of a once-obscure instrument. "Many years ago, a Russian journalist asked me if I had made the duduk famous or if the duduk had made me famous," Gasparian says. "I still don't have an answer."

How and why did a simple shepherd's flute move from an ethnic curiosity to a staple in the Hollywood composer's arsenal? "I don't think there's anything that sounds as close to the human voice, and there's nothing as compelling to the human ear as the human voice," explains Jon Ehrlich, whose credits include now-defunct TV shows "Invasion" and "The Agency," and who composed a piece for the duduk for his own wedding.

It's a great dramatic tool for composers, Ehrlich points out. "With the duduk, you're pointing to a moment you want to keep alive, making a static moment breathe and be alive," he says.

"Battlestar Galactica" composer McCreary attributes the duduk's rise to "a current trend in films and television to branch away from the traditional orchestral score, which opens the door for unusual instruments and non-Western musical influences."

His roots led him to the instrument. "I first introduced the sound of the duduk mainly as background color in my orchestration, simply as a way to represent my Armenian heritage," says McCreary, who first heard the duduk while researching and writing an opera based on his grandmother's exodus from Turkey after the 1915 Armenian genocide. "I was instantly struck by the haunting, vocal quality.

"However, as the scoring process for 'Galactica' went on, I found it more useful than I had originally imagined, and the producers responded to the intimacy and power of the sound. It was not long before a mournful duduk wailed over the main title."

Although the show last season saw some changes, the duduk remained. "Set against the heavy percussion in the 'Battlestar Galactica' score, the duduk has an even more powerful impact," McCreary says. "During the most dramatic scenes, a melodic instrument will always resonate more with viewers."There is the danger, of course, of going to the well too often. "It seems like composers are getting tired of the duduk or at least they're afraid it will get overused," says Chris Bleth, Gasparian's first American student and a professional duduk player who has worked with Ehrlich and McCreary. "I get asked, 'What's like the duduk but isn't?' "
Yet the duduk's sound is so ephemeral it has yet to be synthesized successfully.

"The depth of perception — the stirring mournfulness that comes from so many years of suffering — at some level we can all relate to that," says Pedro Eustache, a woodwind musician and ethnic instrument disciple who played the duduk in scores for "The Passion of the Christ" and "Munich," among others. But, he adds, "I will not let movies define the duduk. The duduk is the antidote to desensitization."

"It's slowly become part of the musical landscape," Ehrlich says of the instrument. "That's staying power."

04 octobre 2006


Twenty Global Leaders Discuss Integrated Philanthropy in Marc Benioff's Latest Book - THE BUSINESS OF CHANGING THE WORLD

Michael Dell, Craig Barrett, Michael Milken, Steve Case as Well as Musician Peter Gabriel and World Economic Forum Founder Klaus Schwab Discuss the Value of Integrated Philanthropy

(...)With the mission to educate corporations of all sizes on the potential to give back, Benioff gathered together twenty outstanding global leaders, including Michael Dell and Kevin Rollins of Dell, Craig Barrett from Intel , Steve Case, founder of AOL, Revolution, and The Case Foundation, musician and human rights activist Peter Gabriel, Alan Hassenfeld of Hasbro , Steve Burd of Safeway , Jim Donald of Starbucks , John Morgridge of Cisco , Michael Milken of The Milken Institute, Mike Eskew of UPS , Phil Marineau of Levi Strauss, Akinobu Kanasugi of NEC , Jeffrey Swartz of Timberland , Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum, Jean-Pierre Garnier of GlaxoSmithKline , Larry Fish of Citizens Financial Group, Marilyn Carlson Nelson of the Carlson Companies, and Laura Scher of Working Assets. Charles H. Moore of the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy contributed the forward to the book, rounding out the group of leaders. (...)

Digital music awards honours MySpace influence

(...)The 2006 BT Digital Music Awards didn't showcase an industry "coming of age" as The Guardian has it. Digital music's pubescence is long behind it as far as the public is concerned. It's more like a confused late-20 something now, torn between settling down, getting fat, and going to dinner parties with rich buddies, and its heritage as an agitator, grinding the cutting edge. A sharpness was detectable at times last night, thankfully.

Accepting an award for pioneering online music, Peter Gabriel alluded to the continuing conciousness struggle. He said there was still ample opportunity for artists to assume control of their own careers, which is precisely what the music business is scrambling to stymie. The biggest cheers from the assembled crowd of record company and marketing suits went up whenever an artist or campaign was mentioned which had pulled a fast one on the public. Ex-Bedales public schoolgirl Lily Allen's internet-spearheaded coronation as an "edgy" yet ubiquitous pop princess amused them immensely. (...)

Peter Gabriel awarded the 'Pioneer' Award by the BT Digital Music Awards

"The event is called the BT Digital Music Awards, which is taking place this year on October 3rd at the Roundhouse. It's the first music awards show to go into the Roundhouse since it's been refurbished and we're really looking forward to hosting a show with live music in there.The Digital Music Awards is in its sixth year now, and celebrates UK music artists, projects and services across digital platforms. The awards are either voted for by professional panels, or the public, or a combination of both. Last year's event at the Hammersmith Palais featured live performances from Magic Numbers, Turin Brakes, Roots Manuva, The Crimea, Mew and Goldie Lookin' Chain in collaboration with the Philharmonia. A specially-commissioned TV programme was then aired on Channel 4 the following night, which included pre-recorded features on digital music, interviews with more artists as well as the live performances and interviews from the awards show.

Since "digital" is such big news these days, we felt it was important to give an award this year to remind people of some of the early work that was done to get us to where we are now. We want to call this the Pioneer Award and we'd like the very first one to go to Peter"

A specially-commissioned TV programme has been made for Channel 4. This will be going out twice. Once on the 7th October, which will be a 15 minute round up of the awards and will feature Peter. The full programme goes out on the 21st October - currently at 11.30/midnight, but check listings in case this changes

The Digital Music Awards site
Channel 4

03 octobre 2006

Undiscovered Countries

(cliquez sur l'image / click on the picture)
Durée : 5'52"
Titre : More Than This
Artiste : Peter Gabriel
Format : XviD
Taille : 81.4 Mo
Créateurs : WalterScott

Clip en hommage à deux figures de la culture nippone, Kenji Miyazawa, auteur pour enfant et poète, et Osamu Tezuka, qu'il n'est plus besoin de présenter. Les sources : Phoenix (Hi no Tori) concernant Tezuka, Night on the Galactic Railroad et Spring & Chaos (deux films avec des chats si vous voulez les reconnaître dans ce clip) concernant Miyazawa. Ce clip a gagné dans les catégories Best Dramatic, Best Sentimental et Grand Prix à l'AWA 2006 Pro contest, le concours Pro de la convention Anime Weekend Atlanta de cette année. Envoutant, c'est le mot qui décrit peut-être le mieux cette video. La chanson de Peter Gabriel combinée aux images de ces différents animes plutôt méconnus vous convie à un voyage chargé d'émotions. Superbe.

Postcards from East Oceanside: Greatest Hits


Postcards from East Oceanside: Greatest Hits

Paula Cole’s ‘Postcards from East Oceanside: Greatest Hits’ offers a delightful taste of her music career which has spanned the past decade.

Following in the footsteps of Kate Bush and Tori Amos, the starkly autobiographical elements of some Cole songs are tempered by her more "pop" orientated songs like ‘I Don’t Want to Wait’.

After graduating from the esteemed Berklee College of Music in 1990, the Massachusetts born singer/songwriter landed the job of backing vocalist on Peter Gabriel's Secret World tour of '93 and '94.

Coming off the road she released her debut album for Imago Records, ‘Harbinger’, which is represented by four tracks on the 'Greatest Hits' collection: most notably the more autobiographical tracks ‘I Am So Ordinary’ and ‘Bethlehem’ which deal with adolescent alienation and ‘Happy Home’ which examines the façade of family felicity.

Imago Records went out of business and Cole signed with Warner Brothers for her second album, ‘This Fire’ (1996), which won her a Grammy Award for the best new artist. The hits ‘Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?’ and the (hugely overplayed) theme song‘Dawson’s Creek’ ‘I Don’t Want to Wait’ propelled Cole into mainstream stardom.

Unsurprisingly the album they came from is the most represented on the collection. The six tracks featured here also include ‘Greatest Hits’‘Me’, which is in many ways similar to ‘I Am So Ordinary’; the more upbeat ‘Feelin’ Love’; the love song ‘Carmen’; and the hauntingly beautiful duet with Peter Gabriel ‘Hush, Hush, Hush’, which was written for a friend who died of Aids.

Cole’s third album, ‘Amen’ (1999) took on a slightly more esoteric note, with songs like the title track and ‘God is Watching’ questioning the destruction of earth and the violence of mankind. Both are featured here as well as the more pop orientated ‘I Believe in Love’.

‘Greatest Hits’ also includes Cole’s cover of Johnny Mercer’s ‘Autumn Leaves’ from the soundtrack of the movie ‘Midnight Garden of Good and Evil’. This jazzy track adds further depth to the collection and highlights Cole’s versatility as a singer.

So do the two previously unreleased tracks — ‘Tomorrow I Will Be Yours’ and the title track ‘Postcards from East Oceanside’. The former, which harks back to the autobiographical/narrative style of ‘Harbinger’, tells the story of lost childhood love and the intimacy of this ‘personal’ account is Cole at her best.

She lets you in to share her misery and inadequacies and takes you with her as she soars to great heights. Her strong voice has an amazing range and each song is carefully crafted and polished.
‘Postcards from East Oceanside’ isn't quite as accomplished. With Cole exploring the innocence of girlhood, the high-pitched whispery vocal does little to mask the fact that it's probably the least noteworthy track on the album.

So if you already own her first three albums, ‘Postcards from East Oceanside: Greatest Hits’ is probably not worth getting, but if not, it offers a comprehensive taste of everything that is great about Paula Cole.

Rebekah Kendal
Tue, 03 Oct 2006

WOMAD to move to new site

from Berkshire to Wiltshire


WOMAD - a World Of Music, Arts, and Dance - is to move to a new home in 2007, after being based at Rivermead, Reading since 1990.

WOMAD is intensely proud of its achievement at Rivermead together with Reading Borough Council and appreciates the support and endorsement of both the Council and the people of Reading. They feel honoured to have experienced a unique, creative and truly valuable partnership with Reading Borough Council during our years of working together.

However, after seventeenth festivals at Rivermead, it's felt that WOMAD has now outgrown the available land, and so a decision has been made to move to protect the long-term future and audience appeal.

Audience feedback after WOMAD Rivermead in 2005 included strong criticism of the site as a whole, and a feeling of overcrowding in particular. In order to alleviate these problems, WOMAD implemented substantial changes to the festival site in 2006, but despite these improvements a perception of overcrowding remains.

As a result, the WOMAD festival team felt there was no alternative than to seek a new venue in which to present the WOMAD Festival in future years. Thomas Brooman - Managing and Artistic Director, WOMAD - said "We are keen to express our sincere goodwill towards Reading Borough Council and our support for every element of our working partnership in producing the WOMAD Festival each year at Rivermead."

A new site has already been found in Wiltshire. Full details of the new festival site will be announced on Wednesday 1st November, and tickets for the 2007 festival - taking place from Friday 27th until Sunday 29th July - will be put on sale on that date.

02 octobre 2006



l'Essor n°15799 du - 2006-10-02 08:00:00

Le comité préparatoire des journées d'hommage à Ali Farka Touré, prévues les 6, 7 et 8 mars 2007 à Bamako et Niafunké, est à pied d'oeuvre.

Il vient de rencontrer la presse à l'hôtel Nord-Sud pour lui exposer de l'état des préparatifs et les enjeux de cet événement désigné sous le vocable peulh "Jammal poï". Les anciens ministres Moustapha Dicko et Aminata Dramane Traoré sont les parrains du comité. La fête sera placée sous le haut patronage du président de la République, Amadou Toumani Touré.

Selon Temo Tamboura, le parcours d'Ali Farka Touré sera revisité au cours de ses journées d'hommage dont l'objectif est de sensibiliser l'opinion nationale et internationale sur la nécessité d'assurer la conservation des oeuvres léguées par le célèbre artiste. Ce patrimoine va répondre à des besoins d'exploitation universitaire, radiophonique et culturelle.

Le programme d'activités prévoit des conférences-débats, un méga concert organisé au stade Modibo Keita et animé par des stars de la musique malienne, africaine et mondiale. Les mélomanes devraient déguster le meilleur de Toumani Diabaté, Oumou Sangaré, Manu Dibango, Youssou Ndour, Alpha Blondy, du Bembeya Jazz, de Ry Cooder, Marcus James, Boni Wright et Peter Gabriel. Les plus hautes autorités rendront également hommage à la mémoire du virtuose disparu. Le voyage de recueillement à Niafunké sur la tombe de Ali Farka Touré bouclera les manifestations.

Le budget de l'organisation s'élève à plus 90 millions de Fcfa et sera constitué de dons et subventions. A cet effet, une opération de quête et de sponsoring est lancée et les fonds collectés seront déposés sur le compte bancaire de la Fondation Ali Farka.

Le défi est d'importance et la cause noble. Le guitariste a apporté une touche particulière à la "World music" en l'enrichissant de son style particulier. L'artiste a également laissé à la postérité, un héritage artistique riche de sept albums de notoriété internationale. Il a hissé la musique malienne sur la plus haute marche de la notoriété. Deux Grammy Awards music ont ainsi récompensé l'inspiration et la maestria d'Ali Farka à travers l'album "Timbuktu" en 1995. Le bluesman est sorti de scène en beauté. Le CD "In the heart of the moon" enregistré en duo avec Toumani Diabaté en 2005, berce les âmes et auréole le souvenir du disparu.


01 octobre 2006

Genesis Will Reform Next Year For Tour

But without Peter Gabriel...

Genesis’ long-mooted reunion will go ahead next year – but without original member Peter Gabriel.

Gabriel had said he would rejoin the band for the first time in decades for a reunion tour – but his schedule wouldn’t allow anything to happen until 2008.

In now appears Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks – who had a string of hits in the eighties - will now go ahead without him, undertaking a money-spinning tour of America and Europe themselves.

According to a report in the Sunday Mirror, Collins is particularly keen to get on with it after kicking his feels following his split from his third wife earlier this year.

Realworld News

1-Oct-2006 I can't take any more!

So that's it for entries in the Shock The Monkey Remix Competition. We must apologize for our minimal Hot Picks in the final batch, there were many great mixes, but we just didn't have time to engage our ears and minds for long enough to filter the content - as you might have noticed these picks are pretty random, just an inital reaction as we listen for approval - it's your top ten lists that count (and the ratings for other non-competition packs on the site) Just to clarify, some of you have been playing fast and loose with the PG catalogue in your mixes, and we've let that slip through, but obviously we couldn't do this when other people's music was involved.

Right up to this last night of submissions the music has been amazing, so thanks to everyone who's been involved - it looks like around 740 mixes of Shock The Monkey have made it into the competition (is this a record?) so please help us out by filling in your top ten (but only do it once! we're looking out for odd voting patterns) We've all got lot's of listening to do. If we've made and mistakes in what we have approved,denied and replaced, let us know and we'll get it sorted (but not tonight!)

Hopefully the mixes will keep coming, and as we said in our last post, new Sample Packs are on their way (more on this later in the week) We'll keep you posted on developments in the run up to next Saturdays announcement of the winner in this little game.

More to come, but from the early hours of October all we can say is keep mixing, keep the votes and comments flowing and thanks for the music!

Listen vote and comment at

We love... Thomas Dolby

Some people have all the luck. You'll probably remember Thomas Dolby for two songs from the '80s that brought a smile to your lips: She Blinded Me With Science, and Hyperactive!

Along with a career as musician and producer of the likes of David Bowie, George Clinton, Peter Gabriel, Herbie Hancock, Def Leppard, the Thompson Twins and Stevie Wonder, he also married a Hollywood actress, Kathleen Beller, who is best remembered as Kirby Colby in Dynasty.

Not content with that, Dolby went on to found electronics company Beatnik, Inc. It, in turn, created the polyphonic ringtone, currently in use in more than 100 million mobile telephones across the world.

Dolby was born Thomas Morgan Robertson in 1958 in London, the son of professor of Greek history, and he spent his childhood living in Mediterranean countries like Greece, Italy and France.

He was nicknamed Dolby by friends after he began building his own synthesisers when he was 18 years old. However, when he released a song under the moniker Dolby's Cube, he incurred the wrath of Dolby Laboratories, which sued him for using its name. The case was settled when he agreed never to use the word other than with Thomas.

Riding on the crest of new electronic music that sprang up in the wake of the New Romantic movement, Dolby earned an eccentric boffin reputation for his music, not least for his first hit, She Blinded Me With Science, which featured the enormously popular TV scientist Magnus Pyke, shouting the song's title over a quirky synth melody.

The song was included on his debut album, The Golden Age of Wireless, released in 1982. Perversely, it sold far better in the US than at home (although that was second time round, after She Blinded Me With Science became a top five hit there), probably to Americans drawn by the Englishness of Dolby's music.

Those that didn't buy it missed out on a series of classic songs, like Airwaves, Windpower, Europa and the Pirate Twins, One of Our Submarines, and Cloudburst on Main Street.
He followed it up with The Flat Earth in 1984. In typical Dolby style, he wrong-footed everyone's expectations by releasing what was his biggest UK hit to date, Hyperactive! A frenetic, funny pop song that could well be frowned upon today with it's not-quite-respectful view of mental illness, it remains hugely popular, even if it wasn't the huge hit that everyone thinks it was.

Dolby became tied up in producing other people's work for most of the rest of the '80s, writing film scores (including, bizarrely, Howard the Duck). He was also the keyboard player on Def Leppard's 1983 Pyromania album, credited as Booker T Boffin, and performed the same job at Live Aid in 1985 in David Bowie's band.

His third album, Aliens Ate My Buick, came out in 1988, but was poorly received, despite containing the hits Airhead, Hot Sauce and May the Cube Be With You.

Along with a final album, Astronauts and Heretics, in 1992, Dolby became increasingly involved in scoring music for cinema, and also founded a music software company called Headspace. He moved from that to founding Beatnik, Inc. After relinquishing his position as CEO, he founded Retro Ringtones in 2002, and has continued to create hundreds of digital polyphonic ring tones, including the polyphonic version of the Nokia signature theme.

After a 25-year break from solo performing, Dolby returned to the road with a surprise gig in San Francisco at the start of this year. He is currently touring the US.

Essential Thomas Dolby

While hard to find in many record shops today, much of Thomas Dolby's work can be downloaded over the internet.

Here's a few of our favourites.

From The Golden Age of Wireless:

Airwaves: Beautiful atmospheric tune featuring guitars and strings, and proving that Dolby's music is as much European as English;
She Blinded Me With Science: Reportedly hated by Dolby, but one of the funniest and most original pop songs ever written;

One of Our Submarines: Excellent and well-timed use of samples give this a wonderful Cold War era feel;
Cloudburst on Main Street: Like a memory of a happy, sun-filled, childhood holiday, somewhere in Britain;

From The Flat Earth:

Dissidents: Another Iron Curtain evocation;

Screen Kiss: Beautiful love song with disturbing lyrics about Tinseltown;

I Scare Myself: Surprising soft jazz disguises a dark heart, and the trademark humour's not far away, either;

Hyperactive!: You all love it - a headlong rush through an outsider's battle with an authority that fails to understand him

Sep 25 2006

Duncan Higgitt, Western Mail