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30 décembre 2007

Wizard to play the magician of Somalia

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe lands role as a war photographer whose work has been widely acclaimed since his tragic death From Hogwarts school to the hell of Somalia's civil war, Daniel Radcliffe is to make his biggest career leap yet. The Harry Potter actor has seen off competition from Hollywood's A-list to star in the true story of a young British photographer who met a tragic end.

The film, Journey, will see Radcliffe play Dan Eldon, a 22-year-old who was among four journalists stoned to death by a mob in Mogadishu in July 1993. Eldon left behind 17 journals, thousands of pictures and a legacy that has won admirers including Madonna and Julia Roberts.

His mother, Kathy, says that she has rejected numerous bids for film rights to the story, and met but turned down leading actors including Orlando Bloom, Heath Ledger, Ryan Phillippe and Joaquin Phoenix, all of whom were eager to play the part. But then she sat down with 18-year-old Radcliffe and his parents at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles.

'The timing is right and the person is right and I couldn't ask for more,' said Kathy, a journalist, producer and activist. 'He has portrayed a magician for years and my Dan was a different kind of magician. There are parallels in the two Dans' lives. Daniel Radcliffe is a poet, he keeps journals and he's half Jewish. He has a puckishness, sense of humour and energy inside him which remind me of Dan.'

For Radcliffe the role marks a career watershed. He appeared in a TV adaptation of David Copperfield before winning the prize part of Harry Potter in the series of blockbusters based on JK Rowling's novels. But in the past year he has sought to escape Hogwarts' shadow by taking to the West End stage in Equus, appearing nude in one scene, and acting in the film December Boys and the TV drama My Boy Jack

Journey is likely to be a tough test because of the extent to which Eldon and his work still fascinate and inspire. The compilation of his richly textured journals, The Journey is the Destination, has sold nearly 200,000 copies since its publication 10 years ago, and his work now has a permanent home at a new gallery in New York. His mother said that in preserving his legacy she and her daughter, Amy, have enjoyed the support of Trudie Styler, the wife of musician Sting, Alanis Morissette, the singer-songwriter, and Rosie O'Donnell, the comedian and talk show host.

Director Baz Luhrmann and musician Peter Gabriel both expressed an interest in the film, she added. 'Julia Roberts has bought two of Dan's works and been wonderful. Madonna said, "I want to be a Dan fan".'

Eldon was born in Hampstead, north London, to Kathy, who is American, and a British father, from whom she is now divorced. When Dan was seven the family moved to Kenya and he fell in love with Africa. After spells in America and travels worldwide, he followed a family friend to northern Kenya where she photographed refugees of the civil war in neighbouring Somalia. Horrified, Eldon also took photographs which were published in Kenya's leading newspaper.

In 1992, he went to Somalia on assignment for Reuters. He witnessed American and UN troops launch 'Operation Restore Hope', first with a sense of relief, then growing frustration, and his pictures helped draw international attention to the developing crisis. On 12 July 1993, he was due to leave Mogadishu - his bags were packed and his replacement had arrived.

But then UN forces bombed a house where they believed the warlord General Farah Aideed was present. Instead, 74 innocent men, women and children were killed and more than 100 injured. Survivors raced to the journalists' hotel and asked them to take pictures. Travelling in convoy, under the protection of Somalis, Eldon and a group of colleagues went to the bombed compound.

As they began to take photographs, the crowd erupted in anger at what had happened and attacked the journalists. Eldon and his colleagues - Hansi Krauss, Anthony Macharia of Reuters and Hos Maina of the Associated Press - were surrounded, stoned and beaten to death.

'I was in LA, working on a film, and I awakened to this telephone call which changed my life,' Kathy recalled. 'We flew to London and then to Kenya for the service, still feeling numb at that stage. I thought he was gone for ever but I've always felt the tremendous energy of his spirit. I couldn't heal myself until I transformed the horror of Dan's death into some positive things.'

Journey will be directed by Bronwen Hughes, whose films include Harriet the Spy and Forces of Nature, and scripted by Jan Sardi, who gained an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for Shine. Kathy is yet to announce a producer but hopes to start filming next year in Kenya, as Somalia remains too dangerous. Profits will go to the Creative Visions Foundation.

'The film is a teen coming of age story - entertaining, funny, dark at times - but ultimately triumphant,' Kathy said. 'People will leave the cinema feeling inspired, thinking: "Oh my God, let me start living right now!" It won't be pious. We're not trying to idolise him or make him or a hero.'

She said she and Amy burst into tears the first time they contemplated Dan being portrayed on screen. 'A lot of older actors wanted to play this character but we resisted because Dan was a boy emerging into manhood. If you're an established leading actor then you're too old for this role,' Kathy said.

'Daniel Radcliffe is the first time we've found a young enough actor with a global following. We love the way he's a global soul. He's travelled the world and feels comfortable in the world and hasn't been corrupted by Hollywood.'

David Smith in New York/Sunday December 30, 2007/The Observer

29 décembre 2007

Les Alpes suisses, rendez-vous glamour


L'autre station valaisanne «People» du moment, c'est Verbier, devenu le terrain de jeu favorti des Anglais, en particulier. Le milliardaire Richard Branson, fondateur du groupe Virgin, qui y skie depuis de nombreuses années, y a d'ailleurs désormais un hôtel. Il devrait y accueillir ces jours le chanteur Peter Gabriel.

Autre chanteur britannique, James Blunt a déposé ses papiers dans la station du Val de Bagnes. Celle-ci a accueilli l'an dernier les acteurs Hugh Grant, Juliette Binoche, Christian Clavier et José Garcia. Le fils de Caroline de Monaco, Pierre Casiraghi, a été photographié récemment... alors qu'il se battait dans les rues de Verbier!

28 décembre 2007

Les people anglais ont choisi Verbier

Colonisée chaque hiver par des milliers de riches touristes anglais, la station bagnarde de Verbier est également le repaire favori des stars du showbiz et de la finance. «Les personnalités viennent à Verbier pour le domaine skiable, mais surtout pour la discrétion dont elles jouissent. Ici, ce sont des gens comme les autres, explique-t-on à l'office du tourisme. C'est ce qui fait la particularité de la station. On peut tomber sur une personnalité comme ça, au détour d'une rue ou sur les pistes.»

Alors aujourd'hui, qui peut-on espérer croiser? Malheureusement, pas Hugh Grant, qui était présent la semaine dernière. Mais Sir Richard Branson. Le milliardaire britannique serait installé dans son nouvel hôtel, The Lodge, où logerait également son pote Peter Gabriel. Et puis James Blunt. Le chanteur est un habitué des lieux. «Il venait déjà quand il était militaire, rappelle une habitante de la station. L'armée anglaise envoyait ses éléments les plus méritants en vacances à Verbier. A l'époque, il se produisait déjà dans certains bars.»

27 décembre 2007

Spare us the liner notes

Saul Williams released a low-quality album as a free download in 2007

You don't need to hold an album to love it

When Radiohead made their new album, In Rainbows, available for download in October at any price fans cared to set, you'd think from the ink spilled by drooling journalists that they'd managed to revolutionize music's distribution system in one fell swoop. Lo and behold, Thom Yorke & co. will be selling the album in CD form on New Year's Day -- and it's not just for diehards from the musical stone age who want physical artefacts. As it turns out, Radiohead played something of a fast one on their fans at the outset by offering them MP3 files to download at the bitrate of 160 kbps (which is noticeably below CD quality) without alerting them to this first. If you want the music in reasonable quality, you'll have to pay (in many cases, again).

Less dubious is the model set out by Saul Williams, who is making his excellent new Trent Reznor-produced album, The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust, available online either free (with lossy files) or for $5 (with maximum-bitrate MP3s or lossless, CD-quality files). No catch, no hidden fees!

Both In Rainbows and Niggy Tardust prove that, even as physical formats become less important to the way music is released, there's something to be said for the idea of the album itself as a collection of related tracks.

When he was launching his On-Demand Distribution system for music files in 2000, I asked Peter Gabriel if the advent of downloading spelled a death sentence for the album; he told me it wouldn't, as people still want narrative structure in their art. Such, indeed, seems to be the case, whether figuratively (with a set of tracks that "takes you on a journey" or a DJ mix) or literally (witness the spate of recent concept albums with storylines, from Jay-Z's American Gangster to Reznor's Year Zero). Downloading should, with any luck, spell the death of the cynically conceived "album" consisting of one or two singles and a whack of filler.

Now all we need is a better distribution system with high-quality, no-DRM MP3s and content from various labels and musicians at reasonable prices. The Songwriters' Association of Canada's proposal to impose a monthly fee on Internet users for legal file-sharing, while problematic for those who are uninterested, might lead to just that. Industry Minister Jim Prentice would do well to consider it -- anything is better than the U.S.'s restrictive, law-suit-heavy model. And after all, taking legal action against their customers is the best way for the major labels to speed their own extinction.

26 décembre 2007

MIDEM Talent Only’s 30 Top Artists

Thirty artists and groups have been selected to perform at MIDEM Talent Only next month. A new flagship event at MIDEM for the discovery and development of artists, MIDEM Talent Only offers four days of pop/rock, jazz and classical concerts, conferences and a range of networking events. Headliners include The Black and White Years, produced by Talking Heads' Jerry Harrison, Troy Von Balthazar, former front-man of Chokebore and Finnish act 22-Pistepirkko. Classical and jazz performers include rising stars like pianist Paddy Milner, saxophonist Géraldine Laurent, trumpet player Ibrahim Maalouf, Slovenian pianist Bojan Gorisek and violinist Diego Tosi.

They will be joined by some key industry players at MIDEM Talent Only's conferences, including Peter Gabriel both in his capacity as artist and in his role as head of the Real World label, Domino Records founder Laurence Bell, and celebrated producer Tony Visconti.

The event has already created strong buzz in the industry, with some 270 acts participating via the Sonicbids on-line promotion platform. The MIDEM Talent Only concerts will be held from Sunday 27 to Wednesday 30 January, throughout the day and into the evening, and will be open to both professionals and the general public. The MIDEM international music market will take place in Cannes from 27 to 31 January 2008.

A New Deal For Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel is restarting his record label, Real World, with a new collaborative album and a slew of reissues. Newly distributed in the United States by Ryko, Real World will make its entire catalog available online and rerelease some of its albums on CD, with bonus material. The label’s first new project is Big Blue Ball, a group that includes Mr. Gabriel and Karl Wallinger of World Party.

The album, due in May, has been in the works for 15 years, and the first single, “Whole Thing,” went on sale on iTunes last Tuesday. Real World’s catalog includes albums by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Sheila Chandra, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Papa Wemba and others.


(...) Historic return flight for Zeppelin


A staggering two million fans applied for the 18,000 tickets up for grabs for the gig. The guest list - which included Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel, U2 and Oasis - read like a Who's Who? of Rock. The Zep reunion was a huge gamble... but this historic show more than lived up to the hype. Jimmy Page proved he's one of the greatest guitarists of all time and singer Robert Plant was on fire. Songs such as Black Dog, Trampled Underfoot and Kashmir were stunning and still relevant. Fans will be talking about this show for years to come. (...)

25 décembre 2007

Peter's December Update

In the last update of the year Peter talks about last month's 46664 concert on South Africa, the long journey of the Big Blue Ball project and a night at the Led Zeppelin concert at London's O2 Arena; which gave him his first trip to The Dome since working on OVO for the Millenium celebrations. We feature 'Exit Through You' and 'Whole Thing' from the forthcoming Big Blue Ball along with archive footage of the conception of 'Whole Thing' through the collaborations in The Workroom here at Real World, and excerpts of 'The Nest That Sailed The Sky' from OVO at the Millenium Dome.

24 décembre 2007

Marrakech : Le festival international du film s’impose

La levée de rideau sur l’édition 2007 du FIFM a eu lieu le vendredi 7 décembre avec la présence du président de la Fondation du Festival, SAR le prince Moulay Rachid. D’emblée, un hommage a été rendu à la star de Hollywood Leonardo Dicaprio et au cinéaste marocain Mustapha Derkaoui. (...)

Martin Scorsese et Marrakech

Le réalisateur américain Martin Scorsese a donné une « leçon de cinéma » le samedi 8 décembre dans le cadre du festival international du film de Marrakech. Cette leçon était ouverte aux étudiants et aux professionnels. Rappelons que le festival a rendu hommage à Martin Scorsese en 2005. Depuis, ce grand monsieur de Hollywood qui ne cache plus son amour à Marrakech. C’est un autre « Goytissolo » que la ville ocre est en train de séduire pour le convertir en véritable marrakchi.

Jamaa Lafna en transe

Le dimanche 9 décembre à Jamaà Lafna, le grand public a assisté au concert du groupe Nass El Ghiwane et à la projection du film « Transes » (1981) de la productrice Izza Gennini et du réalisateur Ahmed El Maanouni, en présence du réalisateur Martin Scorsese. Dans La Dernière tentation du Christ, ce dernier a été inspiré par la musique de Nass El Ghiwane qu’il a découvert en effectuant des repérages au Maroc pour ce même film. Peter Gabriel s’en était également inspiré pour composer la musique du film, une musique énergique qui anime les foules.

Izza Génini fidèle à elle-même

C’était une soirée particulière et chaude malgré le froid de ces derniers jours à Marrakech. Les propos de Izza Génini son expressifs pour décrire le moment : « ce soir la place de la rédemption est devenue ‘la place de l’art’ ». Cette casablancaise n’arrête pas à travers ses films documentaires de prouver à sa manière son amour pour son pays et son patrimoine immatériel...Aïta, Malhoun, Gnaouas, Gharnati.

Bouchra Elkhadir

16 décembre 2007

Rossy mettra le feu !

Nuit de la Saint-Sylvestre

Rossy, un nom qui sera difficile à effacer du milieu culturel malgache.

Rossy a quitté le pays en 2002, non face à la conjoncture en ce temps mais suite à une décision personnelle. Quand bien même, il reste une figure emblématique de la musique malgache. Avec l’accordéon, son instrument de prédilection, il continue d’enchanter tout le monde et de faire parler de lui à l’étranger avec son projet " contes " et " angano ".

Après avoir pris la décission de ne vivre entièrement que de la musique, Rossy a tout fait pour devenir le " meilleur ", sa musique, ayant pour source Peter Gabriel, Johnny Clegg et Roger Georges.

Multi instrumentiste, spécialiste de l’accordéon diatonique, Rossy, est un musicien professionnel qui milite pour la reconnaissance de la culture malgache à travers le monde. Son style propre est reconnaissable parmi d’autres. Rossy a inventé le " Tapôlaka " dont il est le roi, un rythme bien malgache mais avec des sonorités d’ailleurs. Il a d’ailleurs ébloui le monde entier en prenant part à des tournées mondiales, notamment avec le " Womad " (groupe world de Peter Gabriel).
Après cinq ans d’absence, il est revenu à Madagascar, en septembre 2007. Pour rendre visite à sa famille mais aussi pour présenter son opus qui s’intitule " Ino vaovao ? ". Lors de cette brève escale au pays natal, il a eu des contacts avec Jaobarison Randrianarivony, Directeur de l’agence Media Consulting qui a organisé les tournées récentes de Jerry Marcoss à Marseille, Paris et Nantes. Ainsi, Rossy jouera au grand complet, c’est-à-dire Mimil (guitare), Liva (basse), Dominika (batterie), Thierry (percussions), Hery (claviers), Fanja et Joséphine (chœurs) seront rejoints par tous les membres restés à Madagascar.

Malheureusement pour les nombreux fans de la Grande Île, ce concert aura lieu en France mais non à Madagascar. Ces grandes retrouvailles auront lieu le 31 décembre 2007, à partir de 22h, au night club " L’Ile Rouge " à Toulouse. Rossy au grand complet finira l’année 2007 en beauté, en compagnie de celles et ceux qu’il a quitté il y a cinq ans. Quant aux fans de Madagascar, espérons que leurs vœux de voir Rossy sur une scène malgache seront exaucés en 2008. Un projet à ce sujet a été évoqué lors du point de presse donné par Rossy, à " La Piscine " de Betongolo, lors de son tès court séjour. Croisons les doigts !

Recueilli par Daddy R.

Beyond Even (1992-2006) Fripp & Eno

Discipline Global Mobile

It’s hard to believe that it’s been thirty-five years since King Crimson’s Robert Fripp teamed with keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Brian Eno for the groundbreaking No Pussyfooting (EG, 1973). That album introduced the concept of Frippertronics to the world; a method of using two tape recorders and one guitar to create an ever-expanding orchestral approach that Fripp would, with the help of increasingly advanced technology, evolve into Soundscapes, featured on albums including the deeply resonant Love Cannot Bear (DGM, 2005). Eno has gone on to become a first-call producer for artists including U2 and Peter Gabriel, as well as a wide-reaching innovator of stylistic markers including Ambient Music.

Fripp & Eno have continued to work together over the years, but (DGM, 2004) was their first release since The Equatorial StarsEvening Star (EG, 1975). The Equatorial Stars was largely the nexus point where Eno’s Ambient Music and Fripp’s Soundscapes met but Beyond Even (1992-2006), a collection of various collaborations over a fifteen-year period, proves Fripp & Eno to be about more than tranquil and largely non-rhythmic aural landscapes. While there’s no shortage of soothing music on these sessions, there’s also some of their most assertive music on record, with the possible exception of the four-part “Healthy Colours” suite, from the compilation The Essential Fripp and Eno (Virgin/EG, 1994).

The first sound heard on Beyond Even is, in fact, the rhythm loop of “Ringing Beat” that is gradually augmented throughout the track. Uncharacteristically propulsive it may be, but it also remains characteristically ethereal, with Fripp’s emergent guitar back in the mix along with multiple sound washes, layered over a repetitive bass pattern. “Sneering Loops” revolves around a distorted guitar line from Fripp that’s rhythmically staggered, creating a sense of unease that gradually builds as the slightest variations are introduced.

The groove-laden but sonically atmospheric “Tripoli” would fit comfortably on one of Fripp’s laboratory-like ProjeKcts. The same can be said for the viscerally rhythmic “The Idea of Decline,” with Fripp emulating a vibraphone before heading into distorted guitar territory, and the closing “Criss Cross in Lust Storm,” with ex-King Crimson touch guitarist Trey Gunn guesting on what is undoubtedly the most jaggedly aggressive piece Fripp & Eno have recorded to date.

There are tracks that approach the ambience of Equatorial Stars, specifically the spacious “Behold the Child” and near-stasis of “Deep Indian Long.” This is music that could only be constructed in the studio, but that shouldn’t suggest sterility or over-consideration. “Timean Sparkles” and “Hopeful Timean”--the latter featuring guest bassist Tim Harries--are Fripp & Eno at their most beautiful.

The initial run of Beyond Even is a limited two-CD set; the first, with all but “Criss Cross in Lust Storm” segued together (this will be the disc used in future single-disc editions); the second, with each track distinct and separate. Either way, Beyond Even is Fripp & Eno’s most diverse album to date, and fans can look forward to their thirty-five year circle made complete when an expanded reissue of No Pussyfooting is released in 2008.

Track Listing: Ringing Beat; Gasp; Sneering Loops; Tripoli 2020; Behold the Child; Timean Sparkles; Dirt Loop; The Idea of Decline; Deep Indian Long; Hopeful Timean; Glass Structure; Voices; Cross Crisis in Lust Storm.

Personnel: Music performed and composed by Brian Eno and Robert Fripp. Tim Harries: bass (10); Trey Gunn: Warr touch guitar (13).

By John Kelman

Soundwaves: This week's music reviews

Want to know why "Jingle Bells" remains a biggie during the holidays? Catch the classic by Johnny Mercer with words you can understand, a big sense of fun and lots of bells. Twelve of these 13 tracks feature traditional favorites that are sure to start a party, even if you happen to be listening by yourself.

Elvis Presley lets us know that "Santa Claus is Back in Town" while Doris Day unleashes all of her considerable vocal charm for "Here Comes Santa Claus ("Right down Santa Claus Lane"). Russ Morgan & His Orchestra then steps up with a frisky "I Want You For Christmas."

Sinead O'Connor reminds us what Christmas is all about with her haunting rendition of "Silent Night." Peter Gabriel accompanies on keyboards. Beauty! These tunes are almost too familiar, but chances are you've never heard them so clearly, especially the older numbers. Each track sounds polished and fresh. A suite of original music from Christophe Beck, the 13th track, reminds us that this is a soundtrack. Right... Start it up again!

- Kay Reynolds, The Pilot

Kaki King Nominated for Golden Globe

Velour Music Group is proud to announce that guitarist and songwriter Kaki King has been nominated for a Best Original Score Golden Globe Award for her contributions to Sean Penn's film Into the Wild. King was nominated for this award alongside her collaborators on the film's soundtrack, Eddie Vedder and Michael Brook. This marks the first time King has been nominated for a Golden Globe. Her music also appears in the recently released film August Rush.

On March 4, 2008, King will be releasing her fourth record. Entitled Dreaming of Revenge, the album was produced by Grammy Award-winning musician and producer Malcolm Burn (Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel, Daniel Lanois). Aside from Penn, King also has a fan in Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who asked her to duet with him on "Ballad of The Beaconsfield Miners" from the Foos' current album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.

"To have these kinds of opportunities has been amazing," King says. "Just to know that I can walk into a room, pick up a guitar, and play a piece of music that I've never heard before without days of rehearsal - I feel good knowing that I'm being asked to do such challenging things."

Dreaming of Revenge is King's first record since 2006's Until We Felt Red. Red found King branching out with songs that featured electric and pedal-steel guitar, horns, and, for the first time, vocals. The New York Times said the record sounded like "the abstract, dreamy, and hypnotic end of alternative rock." Revenge picks up that thread, continuing her evolution from acoustic instrumentalist to full-fledged, multi-faceted songwriter. Previously, her whispery, ethereal voice was used as mainly another element in her sonic arsenal. This time around, King put more effort into both her vocals and the lyrics, and, as a result, Dreaming of Revenge is King's most accessible record to date.

Look for King to be touring all through 2008 and beyond. Tour dates to be announced soon.

Related Links : Kaki King's Website

December 14, 2007 Press release Source: Big Hassle Media

After hiatus, gentler, jazzier Cole ready for Park City state

Forget all the cowboys. Where had Paula Cole gone? Because fans, after all, didn't want to wait for their lives to be over.

Cole, who was catapulted to stardom by her two 1990s hit singles "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone" and "I Don't Want to Wait," performs in Park City Saturday as part of her return to show business after an eight-year retreat. "Eight years in the pop world is like death," said a talkative, open Cole from her New York City home while tending to her 6-year-old daughter. "But I needed a break from entertainment. I was tired of talking about me all the time. My quiet inner voice was telling me that I wasn't happy."

In 1999, Cole had been touring nonstop for years, first with Peter Gabriel as part of his "Secret World Live Tour," then supporting the album for which she won a Grammy for Best New Artist, and finally as one of the linchpins of the Lilith Fair. Wanting to get off the "hamster wheel," she secluded herself in New York, got married and raised a daughter. Cole resisted the itch to write and perform for a long time, she said. But soon it grew too strong. "I was kind of scared, but in a way, I longed for it," she said. "I was missing it. I got a little depressed. I needed that artistic expression."

This summer, she released her first solo studio album since 1999, "Courage." It is a more subdued, jazz-infused turn for the professionally voice-trained Cole, who in the late 1990s was lumped - largely incorrectly - with the alternative singer-songwriter movement that included Sarah McLachlan and Shawn Colvin. "It's a gentle album, more mature," said Cole, who then brought up that she is going through a divorce. "I was going through so much [stuff], but I'm not bitter."

Because Cole now calls herself a single mom, she doesn't want to go on tour for six months at a time. For her Park City concert, she is arranging a babysitter for her daughter, and is flying to Utah just for the weekend. (It helps that she doesn't ski.) Before Cole's self-imposed break, she was known for her painfully honest and unbridled shows, and says she can still pull it off with her 39-year-old body. "When I step out onstage, the adrenaline subsides," she said. "I feel more comfortable to talk. I feel like I'm really in the moment."

By David Burger / The Salt Lake Tribune

13 décembre 2007

Youssou N'Dour by Peter Gabriel

It was dark in that tent in Paris and so hot that condensation dripped from the canvas. Then, cutting through everything, came a voice of liquid gold.

I had gone to see if Youssou N'Dour would be a good artist for WOMAD, the festival of world music, arts and dance we were launching. Back then, in the early '80s, Youssou's music was really known only to fellow Senegalese. I was totally blown away. I loved the grooves, the emotion and the melodies—but most of all, that voice, a passionate instrument.

Soon afterward I traveled to Senegal to see Youssou perform at his old club next to the fish market. This was the beginning of a long musical relationship and a close friendship. I offered him the support slot on two tours, and every time he went out on the stage, it was like the sun breaking through the clouds.

I've watched Youssou, 47, grow effortlessly, as more and more demands are made on him, into a major African leader, pioneering campaigns to improve the spread of technology, working to combat malaria and being involved, too, with Unicef. He is a source of inspiration to me not just as a musician but as a person.

Gabriel, a singer and activist, has won four Grammy Awards

11 décembre 2007

World Music Superstar Angelique Kidjo Receive Grammy Nominations

(...) Produced by the legendary Tony Visconti, DJIN DJIN finds the Benin-born Angelique Kidjo partnering with such luminaries as Josh Groban, Alicia Keys, Peter Gabriel, Carlos Santana, Joss Stone, Branford Marsalis and Ziggy Marley to create an album which is truly global in scope. The album has received an abundance of critical praise.

The Associated Press stated, "Musical collaborations based on mutual respect can elevate both performer's artistry. Angelique Kidjo packs DJIN DJIN with just these kinds of duets from artists in three words, lush, dense and beautiful", while USA Today said, "the Benin-born singer delivers a thoroughly engaging collection of songs she spans musical cultures with her mesmerizing vocals Kidjo seizes your attention and then keeps you riveted." This year alone, Kidjo has appeared on The Tonight Show, The Late Show With David Letterman and The CBS Saturday Early Show.

Audio-Technica Announces Three Year Sponsorship of International Guitar Foundation

Audio-Technica Ltd and the International Guitar Foundation have announced that the world leading microphone manufacturer will become ‘exclusive microphone partner’ to the IGF. The three-year sponsorship agreement sees the company committed to supporting the IGF’s programme of festivals, Summer Schools, Guitar Camps, and Teacher Training Centres.

A not-for-profit organization, the IGF has promoted performance, learning and teaching of the guitar, in all of its forms and musical genre, among people of all ages, for more than 14 years. From classical, folk, flamenco and all forms of world music, to jazz, blues, r’n’b, rock and other contemporary playing styles, the IGF has “nurtured and celebrated the varied pleasures of this beautiful and multi-faceted instrument with unparalleled dedication”.

Whether promoting concerts by major artists at prestigious venues like the Royal Festival Hall, or recital tours of schools and youth clubs, commissioning compositions, running educational programmes, workshops and seminars, and teaching guitar in schools throughout the country, the work of the IGF has the singular goal of celebrating the unique place of the guitar in popular culture. With the world’s most comprehensive range of instrument and vocal microphones, Audio-Technica is uniquely placed to support such an extensive calendar of diverse events.

The schedule includes the internationally renowned Bath International Guitar Festival, featuring a two week programme of 14 concerts, the London Guitar Festival, including concerts at the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, and the three day International Guitar Festival at Gateshead’s prestigious Sage arts centre. The Summer Schools’ programme includes those held in conjunction with the Bath, London, and Gateshead festivals, and events at Cardiff’s Millennium Centre, and during the WOMAD festival, held in association with Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios.

IGF general manager, Phil Castang stated: “We are delighted to have the support of Audio-Technica, a company with a longstanding tradition of excellence and innovation. Whether presenting leading international rock bands or emerging young acoustic artists, the support from Audio-Technica will be invaluable in raising the quality of IGF events, and in providing greater resources for our tuition programmes.“

Commenting for Audio-Technica, senior UK marketing manager, Harvey Roberts, added: “The work of the IGF in promoting the learning and teaching of the guitar is unique, in promoting the instrument in all forms of music to children and adults of all ages. We are especially pleased to support the educational work of the IGF. There is much to teach guitar players of all persuasions about the role of microphones and importance of microphone technique. We are looking to bring our knowledge and skills in those subjects to the IGF curriculum. As a microphone company historically we have major strengths in the instrument sector; particularly with the 40 Series for recording and Artist Series and Artist Elite models for stage work. Recently jazz guitarist Branco Stoysin has chosen to record exclusively with the AT4040 and singer songwriter Jodie Jones exclusively picked the Artist Series ATM710 condenser as her vocal and acoustic guitar mic, both for recording and live performance.“

10 décembre 2007

Animated causes -- WITH VIDEOS

In between corporate video production jobs, Mark Greene of Kingston has been producing online videos so popularly infectious that some called them "viral." The artist's most-mainstream proof of effectiveness is evident on his home-office desktop which sports an Emmy statuette. "It lives on the piano," Greene said of the 2007 National Public Service Announcement/Broadband Emmy he received for his 90-second short "Big Fun with Global Warming," below.

"Big Fun with Global Warming"

Greene sees the impact of the video - designed to encourage people to stop wasting energy - as a sign that individual opinions matter. Despite the damping effect of mass media and big business, solitary human beings can influence many, he said. He encouraged others to use YouTube and other video venues to add their voices to the online fray. Greene employed his voice and imagination with some global warming facts he wanted to tell people about without hitting them over their heads.

Keep in mind, the plot of his video threatens to hit his main character, Stinky, over the head with grand pianos to illustrate how much carbon pollution is produced by the average individual - five tons per year - he wanted to do it with a positive sense of humor. Five tons is the equivalent of 10 Steinway Grand pianos. This piece, later licensed for use by the Sierra Club, was part of a cartoon collaborative effort that had already been established. Later, changed its name to Climate Cartoons and embraced the slogan "Saving the planet one cartoon at a time."

With the ease of a geek who is comfortable in his own skin, Greene downplayed concerns about the expenses of the machinery required to produce good videos. While Greene uses a pricey program called Final Cut, he said the easier-to-use I-movie editing software is cheaper and can transform even videos recorded on inexpensive video cameras into fairly slick mini-films. In addition to Final Cut, he used Flash and Photoshop programs for his animation work.

Greene observes Climate Cartoons policy against political wrangling, in his work for them. While his biggest Stinky cartoons inveigle against huge sports utility vehicles and the oppressive gas pumps that rule many American's lives, it doesn't get into any of the predictable cuts against the Bush Administration' policies on energy efficiencies. "You have to convince individual human beings to change their behavior," Greene said. "George Bush is only one man." Not that Greene is against an occasional pointed partisan pokes at people who he sees as offensive. See exhibit II, below, a video featuring Greene's own wife, Sharron Bower, as she tweaks popular Republican target Katherine Harris.

During the 2006 election, Greene employed his wife Bower and a group of their friends and professional acquaintances to produce a spoof on what Katherine Harris might be like, behind the scenes of her own play to get elected to represent Florida in the United States Senate. The result, which only pulls its punches on the lack of garishness of Bower-come-Harris' lipstick, garnered 75,000 viewings in the weeks before Harris last ill-fated election. Although much of the material was tongue-in-cheek and informed by his own behind-the scenes experience in Texas politics, Greene said it struck true with some who were close to the Harris campaign.

Greene said after the election he received emails from ex-Harris staffers who asked him: "Who is your inside contact?" Sharron Bower laughed when asked about the impact of the video on her own life. An actor who is more often recognized for playing prostitutes on Law and Order than for playing Harris, Bower said reconstituting the former Secretary of State for Florida wasn't a challenge. She did wish she had employed more bust enhancement prior to filming, and had applied more substantial lipstick, she said. "I couldn't get enough on there."

Bower said she enjoyed going to the New York City Emmy awards ceremony with her husband, especially when they got a chance to meet other award winners. The most impressive, were organizers from who have distributed video cameras to war torn areas of the world to document human rights abuses. Founded by Peter Gabriel, distributes video cameras to activists in 70 countries who visually document social, political and environmental problems and broadcast those stories via the Internet. Greene said it was humbling to be around such activists at the ceremony.

The power of video to raise awareness - for good and ill - should come as no surprise to anyone who followed the aftermath of the Rodney King beating, he said. And what about the demise of former Virginia Senator George Allen, who had used the word "Macaca" in anger "while a camera was pointed at him," Greene said. Although the plaudits that came during the Emmy proceedings of Nov. 9, the aftermath is nothing compared to that of the more-widely viewed prime-time Emmys. Certainly, Greene did not come away from the event with much in the way of "swag," what the Glitterati call the ostentatious gifts they often receive after awards ceremonies. "There was no swag," Greene said. "I got a plaque and a statue, and that was it."

And even though there is no current count on how many times the Stinky videos have been viewed, activists are looking for more ways to get more "eyeballs" on Greene's environmental themes. According to Pam Kerwin, the executive director of Climate Cartoons, Greene's videos may get additional play if her organization succeeds in getting the videos picked up by movie theaters, as pre-movie spots, and by airlines as in-flight movie selections. Kerwin acknowledged the anti-pollution message could be a challenge for the air carriers, considering the amount of fuel they go through annually. "We have to be careful," she said. "...It's a tough subject for airlines."

©Daily Freeman 2007

Tuned In to Paula Cole

December 8, 2007 -- After retreating from the limelight seven years ago, Paula Cole has reemerged with a new view on her career and her life.

Paula was riding a strong wave of success before taking leave from her career. She started her career as a backup singer for Peter Gabriel. Then, with the release of her sophomore album This Fire in 1996, Cole scored a big break when her song "I don't want to wait" was picked up as the title song of the hit series Dawson's Creek. Another sensational single off of This Fire was "Where have all the cowboys gone?", and in 1997 Paula won the Grammy for Best Artist of the Year.

Things seemed to be getting exponentially better for Cole's career. But despite her achievements Paula felt trapped by the industry. So she left New York for a home in Los Angeles, and conceived a daughter. Consumed with the responsibilities of motherhood, Paula took the next several years to search her soul for the right path. Then everything came back together.

Paula yearned to sing again, and with the help of her long-time friend and producer Bobby Colomby, she released the appropriately named album Courage in 2007. Paula recently performed at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pennsylvania. We spoke to her backstage before the show, where she discussed the metamorphosis of her career and the significance of her newly released album. Check out excerpts from the interview as well as performance video in our media carousel at the top of the page. Now YOU are Tuned In to Paula Cole!

On the Net:

Dead Can Dub

Gaudi + Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Dub Qawwali (Six Degrees 657036 1137-2, 2007)

Pakistan's late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan may have specialized in the ecstasy-inducing Sufi devotional style known as qawwali, but he had one of those incredible voices that also gave a supernatural lift to movie soundtracks, such albums as his classic Mustt Mustt and his collaborations with Peter Gabriel, Michael Brook and Eddie Vedder. There's no telling what sort of further heights he might have scaled if not for his 1997 death. Still, his legacy as a master of music and messenger of peace and love is assured.

When I first heard that an album of '60s and '70s Khan vocal tracks set to dub reggae rhythms was being released, I figured the results would be pretty good at least. But oh my, was I totally unprepared for how thoroughly this disc kept me entranced. London-based producer/composer/musician Gaudi (a new name to me, I must confess) gained access to rare and unreleased vocals recorded when Khan was still largely a Pakistani sensation, and the ethereal, echoing dub arrangements he's crafted around them are both seamless and flawless.

The vocals fit the musical backing so snugly you'd swear that a resurrected Khan walked into the studio and laid it all down in person. A blend of real and programmed sounds pulses away, with a bass and drums framework as solid as any in reggae supporting heavenly strings, accented off beats (naturally), rich techno swells and melodic hooks that beautify Khan's celestial singing even more.

Dub Qawwali is a brilliantly realized combination of east and west, of spiritually-rooted musical genres in perfect unity and of an idea brought to perfectly fitting reality. If only all world music fusions worked this well. One of 2007's best, to be sure.

Anyone for tennis with Tony?

Now he has got more time on his hands, Tony Blair's thoughts have turned towards keeping fit and pursuing his favourite hobby - tennis.

With the splendid grass court at Chequers no more at his disposal, he has set his sights on joining one of London's most exclusive clubs - Campden Hill Lawn Tennis in Kensington - which has both outdoor and indoor winter courts.

It is also not much more than a ten-minute drive by armour-plated car from Blair's new house near Marble Arch. Alas, not everyone at the snooty club, where figures such as Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, and author Sebastian Faulks play, is thrilled by the idea of the former Prime Minister making small talk in the members' bar.

"There's a waiting list for membership, which is closed, and there's a two-year wait for those on it," blusters a member. "Why should Blair leapfrog all those people? Apart from anything else, what about the disruption of his bodyguards hanging around - presumably making security checks on other members - while their boss is on court."

According to members, who pay £1,000 for entry as well as an annual fee of £650, Blair has "let it be known" that he wants to join. His son Euan is a regular, courtesy of his girlfriend Suzanne Ashman, 19, who lives nearby and is a member.

"Word has filtered out that he would like to be considered," one member tells me. "People do resent the idea of queue-jumping, but probably Blair's ability as a tennis player will decide if he gets in. Usually, good players can get in after six months but average ones can be on the waiting list for years. I’ve heard Blair is not that good."

Campden Hill is one of the finest private clubs in the capital. Rebuilt five years ago, it has six artificial grass outdoor courts, four of them floodlit, plus six indoor courts, a bar and a restaurant. Club secretary Paul Holloway denies Blair has applied to join. Says another member: "It has become the talk of the club. The committee will probably allow him to jump the queue."

Singer Peter Gabriel, the founder of Genesis, was not so fortunate. He was given only a midweek membership, which prohibits play after 6pm or at weekends.

Richard Kay

Concert « 46664 » pour la lutte contre le sida

Avec ses 5,5 millions de séropositifs, sur 48 millions d’habitants, l’Afrique du Sud est de nos jours l’un des pays le plus touché par l’épidémie du SIDA.

Samedi 1er Décembre, à l’occasion de la journée mondiale de la lutte contre le SIDA, le stade Ellis Park de Johannesburg accueillait plus de 15 000 spectateurs venus assister à un concert.

Ce cinquième concert de la campagne surnommée « 46664 » en référence au matricule donné par les autorités pénitentiaires à Nelson Mandela sous l’apartheid a été organisé à l’initiative de cet ex-leader de l’ANC. Il était destiné à une collecte de fonds ainsi qu’à la sensibilisation du public sur la problématique du SIDA. Les concerts précédant s’étaient déroulés dans d’autres villes du pays mais également en Espagne et en Norvège.

Le thème de la campagne : « ton sort est entre tes mains » était illustré par un discours de Mandela ainsi que par la projection d’une vidéo retraçant son parcours : jeune avocat, combattant de la liberté, prisonnier, puis premier président démocratique de l’Afrique du Sud.

Nelson Mandela a déclaré au public que « si nous voulions arrêter le processus de développement du SIDA, nous devions rompre le cycle de nouvelles infections » et ce grâce a de simples comportements, « ce qui importe vraiment, ce sont les petits gestes de gentillesse…tel que se protéger ».

Bien que les taux de contamination aient diminués en 2007, « pour chaque personne recevant un traitement, quatre autres sont touchées à nouveau » a affirmé l’ancien président Sud Africain.

Un spectateur a déclaré « il te suffit de donner un petit peu, cela peut signifier beaucoup pour d’autres ». Une jeune femme venue assister au concert a ajouté « Nous sommes là pour la cause. Nous sommes là pour la musique et pour nous rassembler autour de quelque chose qui nous est cher. »

Des artistes de renommée internationale figuraient parmi la trentaine de musiciens. On peut citer Annie Lennox, Johnny Clegg ou encore Peter Gabriel qui a interprété « Biko » au nom de l’activiste sud-africain mort en détention en 1977.

La campagne a rapporté plus de 20 millions de rands ( soit plus de 2 millions d’euros ).

La prochaine édition d’un concert « 46664 » est prévu à Londres le 27 Juin 2008 afin de célébrer le 90ème anniversaire de Nelson Mandela.

Lina / South African News by Lycée Paul Lapie


09 décembre 2007

New exhibition celebrates struggle hero Biko

The exhibition runs until June 2008. More info: Tel: 011 309 4700 or

Holding the reigns of the ox-wagon that is pulling his father's coffin, Nkosinathi Biko sits alone and solemnly among the masses of people. Surrounded by a throng of supporters, angry and tearful, he cuts a figure of solitude. A hero of the apartheid struggle is dead.

Bantu Stephen Biko died on September 11 1977, but lives on through the work of the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.

The museum opened in 2001 and deals with 20th-century South Africa, at the heart of which is the story of apartheid. With its flowing corridors and unique architectural design, it is home to about 22 exhibition areas, one of which displays the new Steve Biko exhibition.

The exhibition will run until June. Funded by the Department of Education and the Steve Biko Foundation, it is part of a larger display installed at the department's Pretoria offices.

"Many of the youth see Biko as an iconic figure. You'll find his face on their T-shirts and so on, but they really do not know what it means. They do not see the dynamics of who Biko really was," says museum director Christopher Till. "We need to show the man behind the icon."

The exhibition deals with the broader intellectual tradition that shaped Biko, as well as Biko's life and his legacy, says Emilia Potenza, the museum's education and exhibitions consultant.

Hanging from the ceiling are 53 panels with words and photographs depicting Biko's life on red, black and white backgrounds. Scattered among them are suspended flat screens on which video clips play: one is the National Party's denial of beating Biko and the last shows Peter Gabriel performing his hit song Biko, yet the clip that stands out shows the young Nkosinathi Biko among the throng of mourners at his father's funeral.

Malcolm X, pictured on one of the exhibition panels, was among the intellectuals who shaped Biko and so helped establish the anti-apartheid Black Consciousness Movement, which started to develop in the late 1960s. This part of the exhibition is seen "to locate Biko within the broader African intellectual tradition and to show the early resistance movement" of which Biko became a part, says Potenza.

Biko's student years saw him becoming more active in opposing the apartheid government. From being kicked out of school for his political sentiments -- having to complete his matric in KwaZulu-Natal because a Catholic missionary school in Mariannhill was the only place that would take him in -- to becoming a student leader while studying medicine at the University of Natal in Durban, his life was filled with the "philosophy of black consciousness".

"Black man! You are on your own," reads Biko's words on one of the exhibition panels. "Biko's philosophy triumphed across the world and beyond the colour of one's skin, making him a powerful icon," says Potenza.

Nkosinathi Biko says the exhibition is a good foundation for a larger one. As head of the Steve Biko Foundation, he hopes that a more complete display will in future be established in his father's home town of King William's Town, where a heritage and leadership centre is to be developed.

"There were many dimensions to my father. You will find the family dimension, which is reflected in this exhibit, and the political dimension. The dimension of him as a community developer needs to be better reflected in the future," he says, adding that he admires the fact that his father had "accomplished so much" by the time he died in detention at the age of 30.

Apartheid claimed many victims in South Africa's prisons, not just Biko. Says Potenza: "That's why we added the bit right at the end; it's a video of those who died [in prisons] and their families at funerals; not all as we could not get footage of all."

Many people still treasure Biko and his legacy. At the end of the exhibit, quotes can be read by luminaries such as Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu -- and by students who attended the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Biko's death at the museum three months ago.

Advocate George Bizos's words stand out on one of the panels: "The amnesty hearings revealed that the trouble started ... because he [Biko] insisted on sitting on a chair."
Says Potenza: "Biko was beaten and tortured because he wanted to be treated as a human being."

Zahira Kharsany | Johannesburg, South Africa

Bringing to the table

The world can Rokku mi rokka with Youssou N'Dour

African superstar Youssou N'Dour's new album is called Rokku mi rokka - Wolof for "Give and take" - but that's not what Youssou had in mind when he told off Sir Bob Geldof before appearing at London's Live 8 concert back in 2005.

There was a distinct lack of African musicians at all the Live 8 concerts - so called since they were held in G8 nations to raise awareness of Third World debt - but Youssou was the only African to perform in London.

So, at the last minute, Peter Gabriel organized a simultaneous concert in Johannesburg hosted by N'Dour.

"The Live 8 concerts directly affected Africans, so we should also have been included," N'Dour told Hour this week. "I discussed it with Geldof and the [other] organizers so that this will not happen again."

African musicians are used to being treated as a mere afterthought by the West. Like Angélique Kidjo once told me about her chastising a journalist from the French daily newspaper Libération: "[That journalist's] fantasy of African women has taken a huge toll on my career. I do not want to be seen as a colonized person."

N'Dour agrees. "It is true that African audiences want to listen to modern instruments and the rest of the world wishes to listen to Africans play traditional instruments. It's a contradiction. But Westerners have a certain ideal of what they want Africans to be. So I have different versions of thesame songs."

In other words, there is an African version and one for the rest of the world. Which is why N'Dour's new album is called Rokku mi rokka. "We have received a lot from the developed world. But remember that we brought a lot too."

Youssou N'Dour and Le Super Etoile de Dakar
At the Théâtre Olympia (1004 Ste-Catherine E.), Dec. 11

Bugs Burnett

08 décembre 2007

Youssou N'Dour has music with a message

Youssou N'Dour isn't so remote a performer that he can only be heard on National Geographic's World Music Web site. The Senegal native has worked with Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Neneh Cherry (on the haunting song "7 Seconds") and Wyclef Jean.

But he is probably best known for his work on Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes." It is at the end of the sadly tender song that N'Dour releases the power and dexterity of his tenor voice.

Experience the world music superstar when he performs Saturday at Hill Auditorium with his group the Super Étoile de Dakar.

Besides being a musician's musician, N'Dour is considered a statesman of sorts. This year, Time magazine recognized him on its "Time 100" list as someone who helps "transform the world."

In an online video interview ( N'Dour says he uses music to educate those who listen.

"I think music is a language, maybe the first language. I try to use it to deliver a message and sometimes people can get the message quicker than by newspaper or politician. I am not someone to think about dreams -- I talk about reality."

Ralph Valdez, curator of cultural programming at the Arab American National Museum, says N'Dour is an important African leader like that of the late musician and father of "Afrobeat" music Fela Kuti. "He inspires social activism, which has even more impact when coupled with music of such integrity."

Thursday, December 6, 2007 Ursula Watson / The Detroit News

Rhythm: Voice of the world: Youssou N 'Dour to perform at Union Theater

Youssou N 'Dour / Wisconsin Union Theater/ Thursday

Named by Time magazine this year as one of the world's 100 most influential people, African singer Youssou N 'Dour remains a vital -- and enteraining -- world-music voice who has collaborated with several notable artists, including Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel and Branford Marsalis.

At 48, N 'Dour is several years removed from those recordings, but he still ranks among the most prominent African musicians. Ever. His concert at the Wisconsin Union Theater Thursday may be one of Madison 's most memorable shows in 2007. N 'Dour 's tenor is able to handle joyous dance to religious-influened chants. He 's also an accomplished bandleader.

His rise to international stardom is fortunate and surprising. N 'Dour grew up in a poor area of Senegalese, but he developed into an experienced performer during his teens. Gabriel saw N 'Dour in the early 1980s and by 1986, he toured as Gabriel 's opening act.

Since 2002, N 'Dour has released three albums and earned a steady stream of accolades. His show is at 8 tonight. Tickets cost $34, $28 and $18. For ticket information, go to or call 262-2201.

Tom Alesia

World Music Central : Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Shahen-Shah-e-Q_awwali (The Brightest Star in Qawwali) is a title reserved for the leading voice and spirit of qawwali, the devotional music of Sufi Islam. No other term better describes the late Qawwali master.

Born on October 13, 1948 in Lyallpur in the Punjab province of Pakistan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan made his first recording in 1973, beginning an astonishing recording career spanning over 20 years and 50 albums. As one of the Indian subcontinent's brightest talents, he incorporated elements of traditional classical khyal repertoire in his performance, producing his own unique style - and broadening the appeal of qawwali to listeners of all faiths.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's father was also one of the great qawwals of his time. With the best of intentions, the father attempted to persuade his son to become a doctor instead of following the family's 500-year tradition of qawwali performance. But, even his father's wishes could not keep the young Nusrat from the exquisite art formas a child, he eavesdropped on his father's music classes to learn the fundamentals. It was only after his father's death, when Nusrat was 17, that he began to perform in public, joining his uncle's group and before long becoming one of the most popular qawwali singers in Pakistan.

Mesmerized by one of Nusrat's live performances, Peter Gabriel invited him to perform at WOMAD during the 1980s, bringing the beauty and hypnotic intensity of the qawwali master's gift to Western audiences for the first time. The response was overwhelming and resulted in a longstanding alliance between Nusrat and Peter Gabriel's Real World label.

ShahenN-Shah, his first recording for Real World, marked the beginning of Nusrat's growing influence and celebrity outside Pakistan. In attempts to make qawwali more accessible to Western ears, he recorded Mustt Mustt in collaboration with Canada's atmospheric composer/guitarist Michael Brook, replacing traditional songs with classical vocal exercises backed by Western rhythms. A-later remix of Mustt Mustt by Massive Attack led to a surprising club hit through Great Britain and the United States.

Over the next few years, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan became an awe-inspiring and globally powerful world music force. His music has inspired some of this century's greatest filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone, and has been incorporated into soundtracks for such films as Dead Man Walking and The Last Temptation of Christ. Khan performed with music icons from all genres — including Peter Gabriel and Joan Osborne At the time of his death, he was due to record with Bjork and Luciano Pavarotti.

From archives in Nusrat's hometown of Lahore, Pakistan, Real World discovered studio recordings that were released for the very first time. The first of two high-quality archival releases came out with the title Dust to Gold. It presents the great innovator and bearer of tradition at the height of his powers.

The title Dust to Gold reflects Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's philosophy of life, as he considered himself a pinch of dust from a holy place.

In 2002, Real World released Body and Soul, a recording made in Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's hometown of Lahore shortly before his untimely death. The recording was retrieved from his family archive and much work was required to recreate the power of the original performance. The original master tapes were taken in hand by mixing engineer Stuart Bruce, who worked on them for many weeks at Real World Studios. The recorded masters were very inconsistent and it was difficult to assess the strenth of the material due to the random technical nature of the recordings. It was neecssary to re-balance the voice and instruments and correct the anomalies and distortion. The whole album was then remixed and remastered. Through this work, Real World was able to restore the energyof the original performance to enable the listener to get as close as possible to the full effect of Nusrat's singing.

07 décembre 2007

Long Way Down Compilation

New soundtrack for Ewan and Charley’s epic journey

Earlier this year, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman drove their bikes from John O'Groats to Capetown - visiting amazing places and meeting wonderful people along the way. This series, ‘Long Way Down’, is being broadcast on BBC2 on Sunday nights at 9pm - prime time slot for a prime series.

When they were planning this new journey across Africa, Ewan and Charley wanted the series to reflect the places they visited, and were delighted to get Peter Gabriel and Real World involved to provide music that perfectly fits the series and the compilation.

The result is 30 amazing tracks across two CDs, which all feature at some point in the TV show. The album is a mix of previously released tracks, some completely new, previously unavailable songs from Peter Gabriel, Dj's Sasha & BT, and from two new currently unsigned artists, Ben Onono and The Boxer Rebellion.

The first ‘Long Way Round’ TV show was shown on Sunday 28th October and the final episode will go out on Sunday 2nd December. The album ‘Long Way Round’ is released on DVD and double CD audio soundtrack on 3 December

Muizenberg longboarders at the 46664 concert

(...) The 46664 concert was on. Perfect. We could relax and move on to the second case of beer. A Muizenberg longboarder was on stage. He had a hearing aid in each ear and was strumming a guitar. "I've surfed with that dude," I said to Ted. "Nonsense," he snapped. "That's Peter Gabriel." I was shocked. "That's the ANC's chief whip in the city council?" Ted gave me the lazy eye. "The other Peter Gabriel." So it was. Between songs, the camera caught him drinking a cup of tea. The band sounded as if it were made up of people blowing on dog whistles. At one point, Pete stormed off stage. He was clearly unhappy with the sound. Ted said with all that tea he probably just needed to wee. Then he came back and played something that drove the crowd wild. Well, wildish. Okay, people clapped. Some simply stood and swayed. I would also sway if I had to smoke that awful Joburg majat. (...)