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16 octobre 2007

Un concert bénéfique pour le sida en Afrique du Sud

Peter Gabriel et Annie Lennox s’unissent pour une bonne cause, le temps d’un spectacle.

La Journée mondiale du sida, le 1er décembre prochain, sera marquée par un concert, l’International 46664, qui se déroulera au stade Ellis Park de Johannesbourg en Afrique du Sud.

Plusieurs artistes ont déjà confirmé leur présence et souhaitent contribuer à cette cause : Peter Gabriel, Annie Lennox, Razorlight, Corrine Bailey Rae, Jamelia, Ludacris et les Goo Goo Dolls.

C’est l’ex-président sud-africain, Nelson Mandela, qui a dévoilé les détails de ce spectacle unique.

La campagne 46664 fait référence au numéro de détendu qu’a eu Mandela pendant son séjour de 18 ans dans la prison de Robben Island.

Lennox et Gabriel s’impliquement énorméments dans la cause 46664. La chanteuse britannique a enregistré la pièce Sing avec une chorale de Treatment Action Campaign et a choisi de la diffuser sur son récent album, Songs of Mass Destruction.

D’autres musiciens risquent de s’ajouter à cette brochette au cours du prochain mois.

14 octobre 2007

Canadian performers' unions to honour Robert Lepage

Quebec actor and director Robert Lepage will be honoured in a gala celebration in Quebec City hosted by three Canadian performers' unions for his cultural contributions as an artistic pioneer.

"Mr. Lepage is an impressive ambassador for Canadian culture, for our artists, and for Quebec. He speaks to the world through his art, and in doing so, brings a part of Canada to a global audience," said Allan Teichman, president of the Canadian Actors Equity Association, an organization representing professional theatre, opera and dance artists working in English Canada.

Robert Lepage, pictured here in 2001, is recognized for being an artistic visionary who has dabbled in nearly all the performing arts: drama, opera, film and musical theatre. Robert Lepage, pictured here in 2001, is recognized for being an artistic visionary who has dabbled in nearly all the performing arts: drama, opera, film and musical theatre.

Equity is hosting the event on Sunday night with ACTRA, which represents film and television performers in English Canada, and Union des artists (UDA), which looks after French-language performers in all media.

Richard Hardacre, ACTRA national president, praised the 49-year-old actor, director and screenwriter for his abilities to "push the boundaries of performance and art."

Lepage has worked with circus troupe Cirque du Soleil as well as cementing a reputation as a theatrical pioneer in almost every performing art genre: drama, opera, film and musical theatre.

His films include Le Confessional, Le Polygraphe and Possible Worlds, while his theatre productions include The Seven Streams of the River Ota, The Dragons' Trilogy and The Far Side of the Moon.

Lepage has worked both in Canada and in Europe, often garnering critical acclaim for his directorial prowess.

He was artistic director of The National Art Centre's Théâtre français in Ottawa from 1989 to 1993.

In 1997, he founded La Caserne Dalhousie, a multidisciplinary production centre in Quebec City that is also home to his Ex Machina company.

He worked with the Canadian Opera Company on Bluebeard's Castle and Ewartung and then in Japan and Paris for The Damnation of Faust.

Lepage has also made forays into the music world, taking on the role of stage director for Peter Gabriel's 1993-1994 Secret World Tour and then again on the singer's Growing Up tour in 2003-2004.

The Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil approached him to create its permanent Las Vegas show KA in 2005.

Lepage received The Europe Theatre Prize earlier this year along with Peter Zadak.

The prize, worth €60,000 (about $91,000 Cdn), honours individuals or drama institutions whose dramatic works have "furthered understanding and insight between peoples."

Dub Qawwali

Gaudi + Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan | Six Degrees Records

At the time of his 1997 passing, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was widely recognized as a transcendent and eternal-sounding vocalist, and as the world’s premier Qawwal, a singer of traditional Qawwali music--spiritual music from Pakistan with ancient roots in Sufism. Khan’s voice even appeared in progressive “western” music such as Peter Gabriel’s work on 1988’s The Last Temptation of Christ) soundtrack.

Many miles and cultures removed from Khan, London-based composer/producer Gaudi has released eleven solo albums and soundtracks, plus 80 remix albums, in his personalized, flowing techno-reggae style called “gaudi-dub.” But in 2005, Gaudi began conceiving a new production--composing original music for new Khan recordings that had just been discovered in Pakistan--and released Dub Qawwali to coincide with the tenth anniversary of Khan’s death.

“Stylistically, I’m trying to fuse different cultures, genres and sounds while keeping the unifying element of love,” Gaudi explains.

Little distinguishes individual tracks from each other on an album which unfurls as one continuous, lushly-piled musical tapestry. Quite often, as in the opening “Bethe Bethe Kese Kese,” tabla percolates within the thick and stately foundational rhythm, while violin follows to doubles Khan’s voice. When the instrumentation drifts off elsewhere, Khan’s ethereal vocal always grounds and returns it to the groove. Khan’s introduction to “Jab Teri Dhun Main Raha Karte They” seems to fly out of its surrounding echo like a soul departing the body, as does his first verse to “Ghamgar Bare Ne,” so yearning and plaintive.

This unique cross-cultural combination of modern technology and ancient spirituality can sometimes feel incongruous, as when Gaudi incorporates features of Kraftwerk’s “The Model” into the chanted prayer “Dil Da Rog Muka Ja Mahi.”

Even if Dub Qawwali is the result of a collaboration between two artists who never met, Gaudi can still enthuse, “After 26 years of music activity, I have to say that this is the most important production I have ever done.”

Track Listing: Bethe Bethe Kese Kese; Tera Jana Kere Rang Lawe; Jab Teri Dhun Main Raha Karte They; Dil Da Rog Muka Ja Maji; Ghamgar Bare Ne; Abhi Apna Abhi Paraya Hai; Ena Akhiyan Noo; Kahin Mot Se Bhi Na Jao; Mainoo Ole Bai Ke Pee Lain De; Othe Mera Yar Wasda.

Personnel: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: vocals, harmonium; Gaudi: production, programming; Style Scott: drums.

The Holmes Brothers : Roots rock, blues and dash of gospel

For more than 25 years, guitarist Wendell Holmes, bassist Sherman Holmes and drummer Popsy Dixon -- Virginia natives known as The Holmes Brothers -- have been knocking out a part-blues, part-gospel, part-rock harmony-driven brand of American roots music.

The Holmes Brothers have shared the stage and studio with Joan Osborne, Willie Nelson, Odetta, Roseanne Cash and Levon Helm. But Peter Gabriel gets the nod as the one guy who gave the group its biggest boost.

"Peter Gabriel did a lot for us," Wendell Holmes said by phone from his Maryland home. "He gave us the opportunity to record with him and Van Morrison."

The 10th entry on The Holmes Brothers' discography is this year's "Saving Grace," an eclectic mix of originals and covers. Perhaps the coolest song is Wendell's own "Gasoline Drawers."

"Everybody likes that song," he said. "If you didn't know, you'd think it was a sleazy porn song. But it's a love song. It talks about loving someone so much that you'd run through hell with gasoline drawers on. Now that's real love."

Much of The Holmes Brothers' music has a good beat and is easy to dance to. But Wendell wants everyone to know what's at the heart of the music.

"A typical set list is a mix of blues, some country and always some gospel. . . . Gospel is always important, so look out guys -- you're going to get some gospel with the blues."

Publishers fight for War Child

Publishers are locked in a bidding war for the autobiography of Emmanuel Jal—the child soldier who has risen to become Kenya's biggest music star.

War Child is agented by Ivan Mulcahy of Mulcahy and Viney, and UK rights attracted "strong five figure bids" from Macmillan, Little, Brown, Transworld and John Murray. The auction went to sealed bids yesterday afternoon and was due to be settled as the Bookseller Daily went to press.

The book will be released in the US and the UK in early 2009, a year on from the launch of Jal's first global album through Universal Records in February. US rights were sold to St Martin's Press for $200,000 ahead of the fair, with Atrium as the under-bidder. In Italy, Diogenes' paperback arm TEA took the book off the table with a "strong preemptive offer".

War Child follows the 26-year old hip hop star as a child soldier in the Sudanese civil war, which saw him using AK47s when he was just eight years old. "[Emmanuel] was one of the lost boys of Sudan—as they have become known by aid workers—who did the 1000 km trek in the midst of the war, during which 300 boys died and only about 20 made it," said Mulcahy. "They starved to death and many of them turned to cannibalism to try to survive." Jal did not turn to cannibalism, but the book will tell of his experience lying by the side of the corpse of one of his friends and praying to help him resist the temptation.

He was eventually smuggled into Kenya, where he went to school for the first time and launched his music career. Jal has since become the country's biggest music property and earned rave reviews at Live 8. He is also a spokesman for Save the Children and Oxfam.

"He has an extraordinary voice and an extraordinary stage presence. He's stunning looking and very articulate—very bright," Mulcahy said. "It just needs this global album to make him into a major star." He added: "I think he could be really big. When Peter Gabriel met him he said he felt he had met the new young Bob Marley."

Katherine Rushton

About Epop International

Above & Beyond Co-creator and Executive Producer David Clark founded EPOP in 2000. Also led by Executive Producer Chad Brokaw, EPOP is unique, as it is solely dedicated to creating and producing cause-related properties in all forms of media. In 2002, EPOP worked with President Nelson Mandela to create the "46664" HIV/AIDS concert in South Africa. Globally broadcast on MTV, the landmark event featured performances by Bono, Beyonce, Queen, The Corrs and Peter Gabriel. In 2005 EPOP created the "Anne Frank 75th Birthday Tribute" with Anne's cousin and only living family member Buddy Elias. Miep Gies, 97, the remarkable woman who hid the Frank family for over two years and later found Anne's diary, participated as an event Chair, along with President's Clinton and Carter, as well as Senator's Clinton, Obama and Dole. Performers included Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Gere, Natalie Portman, Cindy Lauper, Lou Reed, Laura Linney and more. For more info visit:

British folk legend in the making

...Unfazed by the pop set, he claims that the best part of playing at Glastonbury was meeting Peter Gabriel, whose production techniques Lakeman has always admired.

However, in a rather sweet moment Lakeman lets slip that his list of musical heroes doesn't just include the cult folk figures of fiddler Tom McConville, Richard Thompson and Irish singer Paul Brady, but also stems to Kate Bush (again "in a production sense") and the Prodigy.
"I used to be a big fan of dance music ten years ago. A really big fan," he says unashamedly, suggesting that some people may be able to detect the influence House has had over his on rhythmic style of fiddling.

His hopes for the future stem a European tour sometime in April, with Lakeman's main concern just getting his new songs out there. Like a true artist, as opposed to a popstar, he doesn't care for a number one record, but just wants to "get out there and get a reaction".

"I think we just want to spread the word as much as possible, obviously that's an important thing for us, and [for] myself as an artist. I'm itching to get it out."

Seth Lakeman will be playing at the Shepherds Bush Empire on October 18th and 19th. An EP of tracks from the forthcoming album will be released on October 15th, with the full album expected to follow in early 2008.