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21 octobre 2006

Peter Gabriel speaks out about Genesis reunion

In the New Musical Express :

The singer won't be taking part, but hasn't ruled it out completely. Peter Gabriel has spoken out about his absence from the Genesis reunion. As previously reported the three remaining members of Genesis - Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks - are planning a world tour and hope to record new material.

Speaking about his non-involvement in the project, Gabriel told BBC NEWS: "There were conversations and I decided not to be a part of it. It's not that I've ruled it out, just that I've got some new material that I'll be working on." The singer added he is pleased that his former bandmates are continuing without him, declaring, "I'm very happy for them."

the lowdown on the new WOMAD site

including photograph

Fri 20th Oct 06

WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) held a press launch on Thursday afternoon at its organisational home at the impressive Real World Studios near Bath, to reveal the location of the new festival site for WOMAD 2007 as Charlton Park, near Malmesbury in north Wiltshire.

WOMAD press conference
Bill Cobham (musician), Paula Henderson (Festival Director), Peter Gabriel (WOMAD co-founder), Thomas Brooman (WOMAD Managing & Artistic Director), Annie Menter (Director, WOMAD Foundation), Johnny Kalsi (musician)

First we were told a little about WOMAD's aims - to bring together and to celebrate many forms of music, arts and dance drawn from countries and cultures all over the world, and were treated to a short video about WOMAD and a great two song performance by Sam Tshabalala and Patrick Bebey.

The first five acts for WOMAD 2007 were confirmed, as well as the details about tickets – on sale now. See here for this news.

Speaking about the new site, Thomas Brooman expressed his excitement at a new chapter for WOMAD Festival in the UK, and with the new site being bigger, there's the opportunity to develop new ideas for the festival.

Leader of North Wilts District Council Carol O'Gorman – herself a WOMAD attendee - was pleased to welcome the diverse and family festival to the area. Although the site is yet to have an entertainments licence granted by the council, the enthusiasm with which many councils now embrace festivals means that the licencing process should run smoothly.

Given the chance to ask some questions, Peter Gabriel was asked if, with it being WOMAD’s 25th year in 2007, he'd be performing. His reply was "I may be playing the fool but I'll be playing in some way". What exactly did he mean by that? I couldn't be sure either way.

There then followed a trip to Charlton Park, to see the new site for ourselves. Owned by The Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire, we were welcomed by Viscount Andover on behalf of Charlton Park.

The site is around five miles north of junction 17 of the M4, and just off the A429 this should mean few problems or queuing delays for those arriving by car. At 280 acres (including the car parking areas), it's around 50% bigger than the previous site in Reading, and with the number of attendees at around the same size (it will be 20,000 in 2007) this means significantly more space.

The site is mostly very flat grass fields with a fair number of trees scattered about, and also includes an arboretum which is likely to be used as a part of the site.

Any possible downsides? With there having been a fair amount of rain recently, it's not surprising that I left the site with mud stuck to my shoes, but this was misleading ... I'd walked over an area that had been fairly newly planted with grass (in readiness for WOMAD), and the grass there was thin and the soil overly soft - it should be better grassed and have firmed up by next summer. Elsewhere there wasn't the same problem, and having been told that the land drains well, it shouldn’t be a nightmare in the event of a summer downpour.

Charlton Park
photo 1: the small hanger in the distance is likely to be behind the main stage, with the stage front pointing to the left, so that the crowd would be behind the small clump of trees to the left of the picture (these are about 30 yards from the hanger).
photo 2: having turned about 60 degrees clockwise, Charlton Park House is in the distance - the site extends almost to the house.

Charlton Park
photo 3: having turned about a further 60 degrees clockwise, the site extends across two fields to the solid block of trees in the distance - this area is likely to be camping &/or car parking.
photo 4: having turned about a further 90 degrees clockwise, the site extends to the trees in the centre of the photo in the far distance. The arboretum is out of shot to the right. This area is likely to have camping &/or car parking to the left and perhaps at the far end, with a part of the entertainments area more central/in the foreground and to the right.

Charlton Parkphoto 5: having turned about a further 90 degrees clockwise, the arboretum is out of shot to the left, and the small tree towards the foreground on the right is the other end of the small clump of trees from photo 1. The site extends to the trees on the far of the photo. The area shown between the clump of trees to the right towards the forground and the trees at the far side would be towards the back of the main stage audience area. A tented stage is likely to be sited to the left of the photo close to the trees.

"My decision to invite WOMAD to bring their festival to Charlton Park was an important one, as Charlton Park has always been a private estate with a great community spirit all around. WOMAD came extremely highly commended by everyone to whom I spoke, specifically regarding the impact WOMAD would have on us all, and we trust they will continue their great work here in Wiltshire. I am very excited by this project and look forward to a long and successful relationship between Charlton Park and WOMAD." - Viscount Andover, on behalf of Charlton Park.

"It was wonderful to receive the invitation to Charlton Park at a moment when we and our audience felt we had outgrown our home in Reading. When I visited with Thomas Brooman, it was immediately clear what a perfect venue Charlton Park would be for us and it was also great to have such a warm welcome from Viscount Andover and his team. WOMAD has always worked best as a partnership with a community, and we very much look forward to bringing WOMAD back to the west country, where it began 25 years ago." - Peter Gabriel, WOMAD co-Founder.

"In this special 25th festival anniversary year we are creating a new rural vision and a new life for WOMAD in the United Kingdom. After all these years, Charlton Park is in many ways a fulfilment of our earliest dreams for the festival. WOMAD has always aimed to bring artists and audiences together in an atmosphere of delight, discovery and peace, and at Charlton Park we believe we have found the perfect place to achieve this... a unique cultural experience in a corner of the English countryside at its idyllic, bucolic best." - Thomas Brooman, WOMAD's Artistic Director.

WOMAD @ Charlton Park

Peter Gabriel, Thomas Brooman, & Viscount Andover

20 octobre 2006

WOMAD Press Conference LIVE stream today

Join us for a LIVE webcast from The Big Room at Real World Studios at 2.15 today for a WOMAD Press conference with Peter Gabriel, WOMAD Artistic Director Thomas Brooman and special guests, Johnny Kalsi and Bill Cobham with performances by San Tshabalala and Patrick Bebey

Requires QuickTime.

Watch the Live stream @

19 octobre 2006

WOMAD announces first acts and confirms new site location


WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) has revealed that its new location will be Charlton Park, near Malmesbury in Wiltshire.

There's also five artists have also been confirmed to play the festival, which will be held from Friday 27th to Sunday 29th July 2007. The acts are Baaba Maal, Bill Cobham, Sam Tshabalala, Steel Pulse, and Dhol Foundation.

Tickets are already on sale, available at the reduced price of £110 until 31st January 2007 - afterwards they'll be priced at £120. Camping from Friday to Monday is included in the ticket price - if you wish to camp on the Thursday there's an extra charge of £10. Click here to buy.

eFestivals will have full details on the new announcement, including photographs of the new site, online within the next couple of hours.

Wiltshire home for Womad festival

Womad, Britain's biggest world music festival, will take place at a stately home in north Wiltshire next summer. From July 2007 the festival will be held at Charlton Park near Malmesbury, organisers have announced. After 17 years of the event being held at Rivermead in Reading, organisers decided to move sites because its original site was too small.

Womad co-founder Peter Gabriel said: "It just felt there was beginning to be a negative noise about Reading." Gabriel told reporters he recently met a woman who had been going to the festival for 15 years, but had decided not to go again because it was too crowded.

Successful relationship

Organisers ruled out using the nearby home of the Reading rock festival as there is only a four-week gap between the two events. Despite moving to a bigger site though organisers say there are no initial plans to increase the 20,000 daily capacity.

Charlton Park is home to the Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire. His son, Viscount Andover said: "I am very excited by this project and look forward to a long and successful relationship."

The environmental impact the festival may have has been discussed amongst organisers and North Wiltshire Council. Council leader Carol O'Gorman said: "Until we've gone through the process we won't know about it, but I've talked to the organisers and they put local people and businesses first. "It's a superb opportunity for North Wiltshire," she added.

Next year will be Womad's 25th anniversary and Gabriel will perform along with Baaba Maal, drummer Bill Cobham, the Doll Foundation, Steel Pulse and Sam Tshabalala.

Gabriel passes on Genesis reunion

Former Genesis singer Peter Gabriel says he will not be joining his bandmates for an upcoming reunion tour. Gabriel, 56, was a founding member of the band, singing with them until 1975, when he left to pursue a solo career.

"There were conversations and I decided not to be a part of it," Gabriel told BBC News. His replacement, former drummer Phil Collins, has confirmed he will take part in the reunion tour, which was announced earlier this week.

"I'm very happy for them," said Gabriel."It's not that I've ruled it out, but I've got some new material that I'll be working on."

A spokesman for Genesis said specific details of the tour and "long term plans" including possible new material would be announced in the next few weeks.

Cult success

Genesis sold over 130 million albums during the 1970s and '80s, scoring hits with albums such as Nursery Crime, Selling England By The Pound and Invisible Touch. They started out as a progressive rock band, but took a more commercial direction when Collins took over the vocal duties. The 1980s saw them score a run of top 40 singles, including Mama, That's All and In Too Deep.Collins quit the group in 1996, and was replaced by former Stiltskin singer Ray Wilson. He recorded one album, 1997's Calling All Stations, with remaining members Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks before the band was put on indefinite hiatus.

18 octobre 2006


Peter Gabriel is ushering in the second wave of the digital revolution by backing a new piece of software that the creators claim will change the way we listen to archived music.

Gabriel won the Pioneer Award at the recent Digital Music Awards, and has been at the forefront of musical innovation from his championing of world music and embracing of video technology right up to his current digitial innovations.

“The Filter” is a free piece of downloadable software, which say the makers, will organize your ipod record collection into intuitive playlists at the click of a mouse.

The programme scans your iTunes library using Artificial Intelligence – as it gets better at judging your tastes, it is said it will even playlist according to your mood.

On the new generation of AI software, Peter Gabriel, says, "The first wave of the digital revolution was about the freedom of choice, trying to make everything accessible to anyone, anyplace, anytime. I think the second wave will be about freedom from choice. It will be able to filter and focus so that you get more of what you want.”

“The Filter” is available for Win XP and iTunes at
The Mac OS X, WinAMP and WMP versions are to follow soon.

Gabriel Re-Shocks the Monkey Online

The British rock legend holds a Web contest to remix a classic song, draws more than 700 entries, and, in the process, promotes his record label

Ever since music file sharing upended the record business, labels and artists have been doing everything they can to keep copyrighted tunes from ricocheting around the Internet for free. British singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel recently went in totally the opposite direction, posting the musical ingredients of his 1982 classic Shock the Monkey and inviting fans to morph it into something new and original.

The resulting Shock the Monkey remix contest, viewable on, is one rock musician's solution to the problem faced by nearly everyone in the media business these days: how to stay relevant when consumers are generating so much of their own content on sites such as News Corp.'s (NWS) MySpace and Google's (GOOG) latest acquisition, YouTube.

To kick off the contest, Gabriel did something close to revolutionary for an established musician. Back in March, he posted a so-called sample pack of Shock the Monkey consisting of vocals and other pieces of the original multitrack recording. For most people in the music business, that is the commercial equivalent of hiring kidnappers to babysit.

BIG-TIME LURE. Gabriel already qualifies as something of an Internet trailblazer. In 1999, he was co-founder of On Demand Distribution, or OD2, one of the first commercial digital download services. OD2 later merged with rival Loudeye, which is now owned by Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia (NOK).

For the former Genesis front man, sharing Shock the Monkey was a bold way to generate Web traffic for his record company, Real World. The label, distributed by London-based EMI Group, has an eclectic catalog of artists ranging from Ohio bluesman Skip "Little Axe" McDonald to Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali and Temple of Sound, a group of Pakistanis who mix Sufi mysticism with funk.

"One of the major issues with in-house promotional Web sites is getting enough content," says York Tillyer, interactive director at Real World, which is based in the village of Box in western England. "We were looking around for something that would generate its own momentum and that would reach out beyond our traditional audience."

As the Shock the Monkey remixes came in, users could rate their favorites. There were well over 700 entries, testament to the proliferation of music-processing software and home recording equipment. Gabriel then picked winners from the top dozen chosen by listeners. "I was amazed at the number and quality of remixes," Gabriel says in an e-mail. One remixer managed to credibly combine Gabriel's vocals with music from the opera Carmen. Another dispensed with the vocals altogether and reengineered the tight, high-energy original into New Age mood music. Gabriel, who says he got tired of listening to his own voice while judging contest entries, gave it an honorable mention.

COMMUNITY SNAPSHOT. The effect on site traffic was impressive. In the first two weeks of October alone, the contest generated 33,000 unique users, respectable for a standalone Web site. Some 13,600 people have listened to the winning remix by Multiman, who, according to his MySpace page, is a New York City-area producer (and who won a high-end sound processing console from Real World). Initial indications are that the contest indeed is helping sales of Real World artists, Real World's Tillyer says.

The contest also achieved something else widely sought after in the media/entertainment world these days: It created a "community," generating a lively conversation among remixers and listeners as they debated the technical and musical merits of the top entries. "Wasn't this in the wedding scene of The Godfather?" quipped one commentator, referring to the contribution by an Italian calling himself Filippo Villa. His Spaghetti monkey featuring a jaunty piano backup with accordion highlights, was among the runners-up.

Most of the contest winners did not seem to be the proverbial teenagers tinkering with Apple (AAPL) GarageBand software in their bedrooms, though. Winner Multiman has worked with the Backstreet Boys, according to his Web page. Sound Chateau, named runner-up for a synthesizer-heavy remix that appears to have been recorded aboard the Starship Enterprise, is a Berlin-based production house specializing in music for commercials and TV.

CONTESTS WITHOUT COPYRIGHTS. Sound Chateau's previous work includes a Christmas album featuring songs by people who have appeared in the Big BrotherShock the Monkey

Gabriel is not the only successful recording artist to let fans rework his hits. David Byrne and Brian Eno are currently encouraging listeners to "mutilate" portions of their 1981 collaboration My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, published by Virgin Records Limited and Warner Music Group (WMG). The sample packs, as well as numerous remixes, are available on Nine Inch Nails, the metal band from Cleveland, also is encouraging remixers, posting its 2005 single The Hand That Feeds on its official site,

Gabriel and Real World are already expanding on the remix idea. Sample packs for several other Real World artists, including the Mexican band Los de Abajo, are already online. Gabriel is planning to post another of his own songs for remixing, though he hasn't yet decided which one. "Much of the music on labels like Real World is easily bypassed by traditional media outlets," says Tillyer. "This gets people talking about the work."

Speaking of traditional media, is there a lesson here for them? Maybe just this: that adjusting to Web 2.0 might require them to loosen their grip on copyrights ever so slightly.
reality show as well as several CDs by children's cartoon character Schnappi the Crocodile. Doghouse Riley, another runner-up, which turned into a brassy roadhouse tune, is a California-based band.