Articles review on the net, revue d'articles sur la toile

Inscription : feeds, flux :
(Atom) Gabriel Real World News

23 juin 2007

Clean-up begins after rain brings flooding chaos

A massive thunderstorm that struck the Dublin area between 3pm and 4pm resulted in flash flooding, lightning strikes and leaky roofs in some parts of south Dublin. The Dublin airport weather station recorded 9mm of rain falling within the hour. Up to 20mm of rain was reported to have struck parts of Rathfarnham, leading to heavy congestion as roads were either impassable or down to one lane due to flooding.

Flooding was also reported around Blanchardstown, Castleknock and Lucan, as well as around the Strawberry Beds and Chapelizod. Some residents found themselves knee-deep in water around Rathfarnham after a tributary of the Dodder River burst its banks during the deluge. Parts of the M50 and the N7 were also flooded leading to traffic chaos and long tailbacks. Firefighters were kept busy as they were dispatched all over the city early yesterday evening to pump out houses inundated with rainwater.

There were no reports of any serious flooding, but pressure on the drainage system lifted manhole covers in numerous flashpoints around Dublin. A row of artisan cottages on Mount Brown in Inchicore was also flooded. The storm also led to a brief power outage in the Citywest and Tallaght areas after lightning struck a 110,000 volt ESB substation, but electricity was restored within 10 minutes and there were no serious problems elsewhere, according to the ESB.

The rain, however, did not dampen the spirits of 10,000 music fans who bore the brunt of the deluge at Marlay Park which hosted a concert by Peter Gabriel and Aussie rockers Crowded House whose hit 'Weather With You' whipped them into a soaked but happy frenzy, according to organisers.

Mudbaths and mudfights were also the order of the day for 140,000 festival-goers at Glastonbury in Somerset, England, despite the efforts of organisers to improve the drainage system. The deluge has become almost an annual event at the festival which experienced massive washouts in 1997, 1998 and 2005.

Racing enthusiasts were also ducking for cover at Ascot as the skies opened and drenched the largely well-heeled crowd, thanks to a low pressure system over much of the UK, Ireland and Wales bringing with it hot, humid weather. But the picture was much brighter for anyone living outside Leinster and parts of Munster yesterday. Most of the rest of the country experienced dry, sunny and relatively balmy conditions with notable exceptions in parts of counties Tipperary and Waterford. The soggy conditions are set to continue for much of the country today.

Tomorrow will see showers return with a vengeance and there may well be a repeat of yesterday's heavy thunderstorms, while Monday may seem more like a day in October with cool, windy and showery conditions, according at Aidan McNulty of Met Eireann. "Next week will seem more like late autumn but we still have July and August, so just because it's bad now doesn't mean the summer is over," he said

Allison Bray

22 juin 2007

WOMAD announces more acts

WOMAD, which is moving to a new site at Charlton Park, near Malmesbury in Wiltshire this year for its 25th anniversary, and is happening from Friday 27th to Sunday 29th July, has announced more acts.

The newbies confirmed are Asian Dub Foundation, Charlie Winston, Christopher of the Wolves, DJ Andy Smith, Dulsori, Guo Yue, Jewels Vass, Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls, Mor Karbasi, N'Faly Kouyaté, Niki Stevens, Russ Jones, The Silk String Quartet, and Trilok Gurtu.

WOMAD has over 70 world-class artists from 40 countries performing over the festival weekend, including The Blind Boys Of Alabama playing a special Thursday night concert. Also playing over the three days of the festival: Peter Gabriel, Baaba Maal, Toots and the Maytals, Isaac Hayes, Seckou Keita Quartet, Taj Mahal, Ben Taylor, Chambao, Tinariwen, Candi Staton, Clube Do Balanço, Calexico, Dhol Foundation, DJ Shantel, Steel Pulse, Seth Lakeman, and more!

2007 is also a very special year for WOMAD, as festival co-founder Peter Gabriel will be headlining Friday night as the event celebrates 25 years by returning to the West Country after 17 years at Reading. To commemorate this milestone WOMAD will be releasing a three CD box set that will bring together some of the many highlights from the past quarter-century. The release will also include a 96-page book and is due out at the end of July to coincide with the festival.

WOMAD Charlton Park will feature seven stages and workshop areas, including a children's village, many more activities and festival features, all in the idyllic environment of Charlton's open lawns and rolling fields.

Tickets are on sale, 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.

Gabriel is a better father the second time around

British singer Peter Gabriel insists he's a better father to his children as an older parent - and is prepared to sideline his career for fatherhood. The former Genesis frontman has a son, Isaac, five, with his second wife Meadbh, as well as two grown daughters, Anna, 32, and Melanie, 30 from his first marriage. But Gabriel admits things have changed since the birth of his youngest child. He says, "I have a different perspective as a 57-year-old. I hope I give up more time to it. I know what my priorities should be. Tomorrow, Isaac is trying a day at this new school in London and I will be late for rehearsals to take him in. I wouldn't have done that the first time round."

World Music Day: The sounds of the planet

Let’s cut through the chase. The term World Music, no matter how much it has caught on today among the cognoscenti of Delhi University and beyond, was a marketing invention by the music industry in the 1980s to describe traditional music of any culture. Which means that it includes Celtic music from Irish band Lunasa and Chhebi music from Moroccan group Lemchaheb to the baul songs of Madan Bairagi from Bengal and the qawwali of the Sabri Brothers from Pakistan.

World Music is basically the kind of music that does not fall into the multitude of categories that is mainstream in the West. If other kinds of music across the world — and the accompanying instruments and styles of playing and singing — came under the spotlight, it was because of Western musicians, whether in classical music or pop or rock, bringing them closer to Western ears, introducing Western listeners to different kinds of sensibilities.

In other words, World Music has come to mean any kind of music that can’t be easily fitted into the categories that have been around for decades in record shops in the West.

Anything that’s not on the charts

One of the earliest Western musicians to inject an overtly ‘Other’ sound into their music was 19th-20th century classical composer Maurice Ravel, whose one-movement orchestral piece, Bolero, brought the Spanish dance and musical form into the mainstream.

Sure, there had been other ‘mainstream’ composers who had been influences by different sounds from across the world.

Mozart’s opera, The Abduction from the Seraglio, for instance, is his take on contemporary Turkish music. In his Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, sometimes called the ‘Turkish Concerto’, he repeats this eastern influence that arouses the curiosity of listeners in this ‘other kind of music’. Not too dissimilar, if you think about it, from musicians in a different century presenting their audiences with sounds that intrigue and delight them.

Take Brian Jones, former member of the Rolling Stones, who is not only acknowledged as the first Western musician to introduce the sitar in a pop song (Paint It, Black in 1966, a full year before George Harrison played the Indian instrument in Within You Without Out), but also the man who produced arguably the first World Music album: Brian Jones Presents: The Pipes of Pan at Jajouka in 1971 showcasing the music from the Moroccan mountain town of Jajouka.
Our other sounds, their other sounds

But even if the term World Music — and its classification — is a Western invention, today, it has come to mean anything that is (or at least sounds) indigenous. ‘Folk’, ‘roots’ and ‘ethnic’ music just has a new name — and has a new set of listeners who give it the attention that it lacked when it was confined to a localised few.

Whether it’s Andean pan pipe music or steel drums in Jamaica or Brazil, or closer home, baul, bhatiali, bhangra, gajan, tappa, kirtan, langa, manganiar, more people are listening to these disparate sounds under the rubric of World Music.

Whether Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s qawwali is closer to Pearl Jam’s heavy R&B rock than it is to Paban Das Baul’s songs or whether Kailesh Kher’s sufi has closer sonic similarities to Robert Plant’s solo albums than the latter has to Led Zeppelin are questions that no longer bother us World Musicwallas.

But it is as a niche musical category that World Music is having its Golden Age today. It’s been 25 years since Fête de la Musique (literally Festival of Music) was initiated in France in 1982 marking June 21 as International World Music Day.

It’s another matter that the predecessors of Daler and Nusrat, Purna Das and Tejan Bai had been playing their stuff much before the likes of Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel ‘discovered’ then. If America wasn’t the world leader of music consumerism, would country star Garth Brooks been a World Music artiste? Think about it.

Ding! Dong!

Angélique Kidjo: "Djinn Djinn, c'est la cloche de l'église qui sonne et qui commence la journée. Comme un wake up call adressé aux Africains et aux Africaines pour qu'ils se sortent de leurs querelles ou de leur léthargie."

Angélique Kidjo pourra brandir le trophée Antonio Carlos Jobim qui la consacre, ici, comme un voix majeure dans le concert des musiques du monde.

C'est bien la faute à Kidjo si je me suis retrouvé sur la scène du Spectrum, il y a 12 ans, à danser avec un éminent collègue par une soirée littéralement torride! Mais que voulez-vous? Elle est comme ça. Une fille énergique qui ne tolère ni l'apathie ni l'indifférence. Et qui défend sa musique et ses mots comme pas une...

Chaque fois qu'elle nous visite, la chanteuse béninoise amène un projet et un groupe différents. Déjà Logozo, Fifa et Oremi étaient des albums quasi thématiques avec, chacun, son esthétique propre, puis Black Ivory Soul célébrait la rencontre entre Ouidah et Bahia et la douloureuse réminiscence de la traite des Noirs; enfin, Oyaya!, tout chaloupé, mettait l'accent sur les rythmes afro-cubains. Bref, une production boulimique, avec des périodes diverses, à l'image d'une artiste engagée et toujours en mouvement. Elle a chanté Hendrix et Gershwin en langue fon; aujourd'hui, c'est Maurice Ravel. Le Boléro devient Lonlon, un hymne à l'amour monumental, en langue mina, qui clôt ce nouveau disque intitulé Djinn Djinn! Titre qu'un journaliste américain se hasarde à traduire par "saisir le jour" dans un dialecte imaginaire. "Pas du tout!", rétorque Angélique avec sa répartie habituelle. "Djinn Djinn, c'est la cloche de l'église qui sonne et qui commence la journée. Un signal, comme un wake up call adressé aux Africains et aux Africaines pour qu'ils se sortent de leurs querelles ou de leur léthargie. Il y a tellement à construire. Prenons nos responsabilités! Le temps perdu ne peut se rattraper..."

Angélique parle toujours avec cette même détermination. Elle a la drive et le leadership et, pour emballer le tout, un ricanement fracassant. Déboutée récemment par la multinationale Sony-BMG, Angélique se rabat aussitôt sur l'étiquette indépendante Razor & Tie et complète son disque le plus luxueux par sa simple brochette d'invités: Alicia Keys, Brandford Marsalis, Peter Gabriel, Stephen Marley, Amadou & Mariam, Joss Stone et Carlos Santana... "Mon but était surtout de mettre en studio les percussions traditionnelles du Bénin, ce qui n'avait jamais été fait correctement avant. Il a fallu l'émergence du Gangwe Brass Band. Le tout à été fait à New York, et beaucoup mieux qu'à l'époque de Fifa, lorsque j'avais été là-bas pour enregistrer avec des musiciens qui n'avaient jamais travaillé en studio".

Au FIJM, Kidjo nous arrive avec une formation compacte sans fioriture, sans synthés inutiles, mais avec deux guitares et deux percussionnistes à l'avant-plan. De quoi faire un impact immédiat avec son afro-funk mâtiné de rock. Dix-sept ans après le choc frontal de Parakou, la plus internationale des artistes africaines aurait-elle fait le tour? "Je ne boucle jamais la boucle!" jette-t-elle en promettant d'en donner et d'en faire encore plus.

Le 28 juin à 18 h Au Spectrum de Montreal

17 juin 2007

Paula Cole sounds earnest and goopy on comeback album

COURAGE/ Paula Cole/ Decca

"Please forgive me all my seriousness/My so-called spirituality,'' Paula Cole sings on Courage, her first new album since 1999. "I'm just a mess.''

Cole has always teetered between high-mindedness and insecurity, and that hasn't changed on Courage. Neither has her voice, rich and tremulous with more than a touch of Joni Mitchell. And neither has her fondness for plush pop.

Lonely Town, with Herbie Hancock on piano, aims for the delicacy of a jazz standard. Love Light climbs like a Peter Gabriel song, with its anthem-tinged melody underpinned by a plucked Moroccan lute. Its lyrics begin with a bird thinking its reflection is its perfect mate; it dies crashing into a windowpane.

Cole made three albums in the 1990s and won the 1997 Grammy Award as best new artist after her plaintive hit Where Have All the Cowboys Gone? She completed an album after her 1999 release, Amen, but it was rejected by her label, and Cole largely dropped out of the music business, occasionally releasing songs on her Web site. She has been raising her daughter, Sky.

The songs on Courage trace a storyline from a bitter breakup -- "I stop talking and fade to bleak/Feeling insignificant, atrophied and weak'' -- to a new start: "I wanna stop the conversation/I wanna kiss you.'' While many of them were written with seasoned studio musicians, they sound heartfelt. But as the self-help bromides pile up and the arrangements thicken, all the seriousness gets mighty goopy.

Inspiration is key, says songwriter

World music singer/songwriter Angelique Kidjo said inspiration is the most important ingredient for creating good, lasting art.

Angelique Kidjo is performing Friday at the Utah Arts Festival.

"The first thing that needs to happen when you write music is to be inspired," Kidjo said by phone from New York. "You can't write music to please anybody. And don't compromise. That's what I learned when I was singing with my mother's theater troupe as a child. If inspiration comes, you can't get me out of the studio. But let me tell you once I write a piece of music, it isn't mine anymore. It becomes everyone's."

Kidjo, who will headline Friday's Utah Arts Festival performances, began her singing career at age 6 in Africa. "My mother had a theater troupe and they would come to my house to rehearse. When I came home from school, I would hear all this singing. And found that I was right in the middle of it. Everybody looked so happy doing what they were doing and I wanted to mimic them. So I did. One day my mother saw me mimicking their movements and trying to sing along and she asked me, 'Do you want to do this, too?' I told her I did and I became a part of the troupe."

Kidjo learned a lot of lessons while under her mother's professional direction. "One thing I learned was to make sure you enjoy what you are doing. If you can't feel like you can give 180 percent on stage, don't bother. You will be wasting your time, and you will waste your audience's time."

When Kidjo decided to embark on her own career, she knew she would have plenty of challenges to overcome. "One that I still face is trying to get people to see that I am an artist first and an African second. There are many people who still don't give African artists the recognition they deserve. They think we belong in a museum. And when someone like me tries to expand the boundaries of art, they don't accept us. Let me tell you, that there are many good artists in Africa. We need to be recognized. We are not monkeys in a tree. We are artists."

Earlier this year, Kidjo released her 11th album, "Djin Djin." The title is the sound a bell makes that welcomes the day in Africa. She recorded songs with Alicia Keys, Branford Marsalis, Joss Stone, Peter Gabriel, Carlos Santana, Ziggy Marley and Josh Groban, to name a few.

"Recording with those other artists is my way of reaching out to the world and calling for unity," said Kidjo who has been awarded the Prix Afrique en Creation in 1992, theDanish Music Award for Best Female Singer in 1995 and the Kora Music Awards for Best African Female Artist in 1997.

"I wrote songs, without having certain singers in mind, and just let them choose which ones they liked," she said. "It was a good thing that no two artists liked the same song. I would have been in trouble. Just you try to say no to Peter Gabriel."

After Kidjo performs at the Utah Arts Festival, she will take a jaunt up to Canada to receive another music award. "It has been announced that I am to be awarded the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award on June 28. I am the first woman to receive it. And to me, it's a big deal."

The Jobim Award honors world-music artists who influence crossover music and jazz, said Kidjo. "The award is the epitome of what I've been trying to do all my life."