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17 novembre 2007

making mischief is such fun for young theatre goers

Children of all ages will be making merry at Nottingham Playhouse later this month as the theatre hosts a night of sheer Mischief. It's a new dance show specially created for young people. Children's theatre specialists Theatre-Rites and rising choreographer Arthur Pita have combined their talents to make Mischief, a mix of dance moves with visual art, clowning, puppetry, music and song. The show is described as "bursting with energy, creative play and magical silliness" and is aimed at children aged between three and 12 and their families.

After travelling the country and gaining rave reviews, including five stars in The Times, Mischief concludes its tour at Nottingham Playhouse on Thursday with a child-friendly start time of 7pm. In the show, the cast inhabits a rainbow world of weird shapes and forms in which visual artist Sophia Clist has transformed simple materials like foam into jaunty characters and mythological creatures; dark forests and magic caves; and much more besides. Feats of theatre and puppetry are interspersed with dancing and forays into the audience.

Composer and musician Charlie Winston accompanies the dancing with all manner of music, songs and sound effects live on stage. The support act on Peter Gabriel's tour earlier this year, Winston is an outstanding one-man band in his own right and marries sound to the visuals in engaging fashion. Mischief is the brainchild of Sadler's Wells and innovative producers Dance Touring Partnership. For both, this is the first commission specially created for children and families where contemporary dance is firmly at the heart of the theatrical experience.

Tickets are £12 (£10 concessions). Family ticket are £36 (two adults and two children). To book, call the box office on 0115 941 9419 or visit

16 novembre 2007

First acts for WOMAD 2008

The first acts have been announced for world music festival WOMAD, which takes place at Charlton Park, near Malmesbury in Wiltshire, from 25-27 July.

They are Michael Brook with special guests including Djivan Gasparyan (USA/Armenia), Altai Kai (Altai Republic, Inner Mongolia), Bedouin Jerry Can Band (Egypt), Kid Creole and the Coconuts (USA/Haiti), David D'Or (Israel), Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan (India), Dulsori (South Korea), Ernest Ranglin (Jamaica), Toumani Diabate (Mali), and Andy Palacio and Garifuna Collective featuring Umalali (Belize).

'Early-bird' tickets have just gone on sale, priced £115, but if you went to last year's mud fest you can get a further reduced ticket for £100. Disabled festival goers can also buy a £100 ticket which lets their carer in for free. Buy HERE.

WOMAD have also released a statement explaining some of last year's problems HERE.

Expect many more acts and entertainment to be announced over the coming weeks and months.

* Event Information
* WOMAD 2008

Senegalese Pop Star Youssou N’Dour Debuts at the Kimmel Center Performing Afro-Pop in Philadelphia November 20

"Youssou N’Dour is now one of the best loved voices in the world." —Peter Gabriel

"The finest example yet of the meeting of African and Western music: wholesome, urgent and thoughtful" —The London Guardian

Senegalese pop star Youssou N’Dour and the Super Étoile de Dakar elevate Afro-Cuban world rhythms to a new level at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall on Tuesday, November 20, 2007. Hailed as "the West African Sinatra" by New York Newsday and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Time Magazine (2007), Youssou N’Dour has crossed mbalax—Senegal’s indigenous percussion, griot singing, and Afro-Cuban arrangements—with other musical cultures throughout the world. A cultural ambassador of West Africa, Youssou N’Dour illustrates a fusion between world and pop music at its best. His collaborations include Peter Gabriel, Sting and Wyclef Jean (Joko release, 2000), among other contemporary rock musicians; his band has toured throughout Africa, Europe and the Far East for over twenty years, recently reaching notoriety in North America. His latest 2007 release of Rokku Mi Rokka (Give and Take) shows Youssou N’Dour staying true to his roots, as it reveals the evolutionary indiosyncratic edginess of Senegalese pop music.

This concert is the sixth concert in the World & Pop Series scheduled for the Kimmel Center Presents 2007/2008 season. The next concert in the series will be the Mazowsze performance at the Kimmel Center on Saturday, November 24, 2007 at 3pm. (...)

"...The one African moving inexorably toward the world-pop fusion everyone else theorizes about..." (Robert Christgau, The Village Voice)

Youssou N’Dour has successfully conveyed the intercontinental appeal of mbalax, capturing the attention and affection of a diverse, multi-ethnic, genuinely international audience beyond Senegal. One commentator has said N’Dour’s music "encourages you to think globally while dancing locally." A blend of indigenous Senegalese dance rhythms, traditional griot percussion and praise-singing with Afro-Cuban flavors, mbalax has flourished in West Africa since the 1950’s and 1960’s. Modernized in the mid-1970’s mbalax began to evolve into more complex indigenous Senegalese dance rhythms, melodic guitar and saxophone solos, talking-drum soliloquies and Sufi-inspired Muslim religious chant.

N’Dour began his career as a teenager playing gigs in the parking lots of clubs in Dakar, Senegal’s cosmopolitan city. His distinct voice earned him live amateur-hour slots on national radio. Early in his career, N’Dour delivered performances that made mbalax famous, filtering in pop and rock influences, while staying true to its storytelling roots. Critically acclaimed albums include Set (1990), Eyes Open, (1992) and The Guide (1994). The 1990 album, Set, was one of the top world music albums of all time on Billboard; His lyrical music that year also greatly influenced young Senegalese people to create an urban ecological movement known as "Set-Setaal" (Be Clean), that involved the cleaning, painting and refurbishing of ghetto neighborhood homes and improvement of water-supply and sanitary conditions—all without governmental assistance.

"If any Third World performer has a real shot at the sort of universal popularity last enjoyed by Bob Marley, it’s Youssou, a singer with a voice so extraordinary that the history of Africa seems locked inside it." —Rolling Stone magazine



Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | 8pm
Verizon Hall
World & Pop Series

Youssou N’Dour
and the Super Étoile de Dakar


Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | 6:30pm and Post-show
Commonwealth Plaza
ACANA Showcase
Arrive early for the Youssou N'Dour concert for a showcase of the best African musicians in the region, featuring Princess Fatu Gayflor. And stay late for a post-show dance party! Presented in conjunction with the African Cultural Alliance of North America.

15 novembre 2007

Martin Scorsese, Youssou N'Dour Join International Arts Initiative

At a star-studded gala last night at Lincoln Center hosted by CEO Patrick Heiniger, Rolex announced the six master artists who will serve as mentors in the fourth cycle of its international philanthropic program, the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative. The 2008-2009 mentors, spanning six disciplines and hailing from five countries, are: American filmmaker MARTIN SCORSESE; German artist REBECCA HORN; Senegalese musician YOUSSOU N'DOUR; Nigerian writer WOLE SOYINKA; American actress KATE VALK; and Czech choreographer JIRI KYLIAN. (...)

MUSIC: Youssou N'Dour (Senegal) is an internationally celebrated composer, singer, and percussionist whose music focuses on world issues while staying close to his Senegalese roots. Blending the musical traditions of his native Africa with eclectic influences of Cuban samba, jazz, and hip-hop, N'Dour has collaborated with other renowned musicians such as Peter Gabriel, Sting, Paul Simon, and Tracy Chapman. A charismatic musician, N'Dour is also a humanitarian and advocate of children's rights, participating in the Amnesty International Human Rights Now! tour in 1988 and serving as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 1991. He has won numerous awards for his music, including the UNESCO International Music Prize (2004) and a Grammy (2005).

FILM: Martin Scorsese (U.S.) is one of the leading filmmakers of our time. Influenced by his childhood in New York's Little Italy, Scorsese achieved early acclaim for Mean Streets (1973); Taxi Driver (1976), winner of the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or; and Raging Bull (1980), which received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Among his other celebrated films are The Last Temptation of Christ (1988); Goodfellas (1990); Gangs of New York (2002), winner of a Golden Globe for Best Director; the much-awarded The Aviator (2004); and The Departed (2006), which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and top directing honors from the Director's Guild of America (DGA) and other organizations. Scorsese has received numerous accolades for his contributions to cinema, among them the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award in 1997 and the DGA's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. A champion of film preservation, he is the founder and chair of The Film Foundation. Scorsese's latest film, Shine a Light, a documentary about the Rolling Stones, will open in April 2008. (...)

B&W Gathers Up ‘Society of Sound’ for Its Website

Loudspeaker manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins has enlisted musicians, producers and product developers as 'fellows' in its informative musical society.

Bowers & Wilkins is looking to add a little bit of audiophile to anyone who owns or is interested in reading about its loudspeaker products. The company is embarking on an educational, resourceful and fun area of its website for those who want to read more about the loudspeaker and audio industry.

B&W’s “Society of Sound” caters to all types of people in the industry, as evidenced by the company’s “fellows” who will help spread their passion for sound through articles, interviews and other means of inspiration.

Just to name a few, the fellows include renowned artists such as Peter Gabriel, “Live from Abbey Road” producers Peter Van Hooke and Michael Gleason, and music professer Tod Machover. You can watch interviews with many of the fellows already posted on the B&W site.

The first article in the Society of Sound is in the category of the Future of Sound, and it’s called “Beyond the Optical Disc” about the digital music format. It culminates with thoughts on a “digital music player” like a CD player, only it’s essentially a straight-to-component type of player, with among its capabilities would be sending broadband downloads right to it for safekeeping or burning. Kind of a more streamlined PC for just audio. Some of us are well on our way there.

November 13, 2007 | by Arlen Schweiger Via: Audio Junkies

13 novembre 2007

Pop musician Peter Gabriel launches "YouTube for human rights"

Founded in 1992 by musician Peter Gabriel, Witness organisation with its slogan "See It Film It Change It" aims at denouncing and providing evidence for human rights violations through video footage. To achieve this aim, human rights activists were given cameras and taught how to use them. Web accessibility simplifies this process by facilitating the media-independent global distribution of information and videos recorded on film or mobile phone cameras.

Witness has now gone one step further and set up The Hub web page, a test version for a portal which is to become the "YouTube for human rights". With its motto "Upload It: See It: Share It. Take Action", the portal enables human rights organisations, activists and individuals to publish videos, images or audio files without censorship and anonymously without registration or log files. Server security is provided by CivicActions, and protection is provided by Openwall GNU/*/Linux which only saves visitors' IP addresses, but not those of the people who upload files. Contributors' IP addresses are only to be checked to see whether the Internet user is in a high-risk country, in which case a secure Internet connection is recommended. The project is supported by numerous human rights organisations like Amnesty, Human Rights Watch or B'Tselem.

The Hub does not assume responsibility for the accuracy or authenticity of its contents and advises users that its contents can be trusted no further than those of any other source on the Internet. This could damage the portal's credibility, for example if it is abused for political purposes. However, the organisers state that contents will be monitored for possible copyright violations and will be withdrawn if a violation is suspected. Users are advised to publish contents under a creative commons license.

Peter Gabriel emphasised that technology had caught up with the Witness project's original idea of "giving cameras to the world" through the rapid spread of mobile phones. At the end of 2007, three billion people would have mobile phones which changed the ways they organise themselves and interact with others. Together with digital cameras and notebooks, they would allow anyone to become a "human rights defender". It had never been easier to record evidence of human rights violations, but so far there had been no means of publishing this evidence through the Internet easily and without censorship. The Hub would change this, promised Gabriel.

The legacy continues

Vibrant: Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali will be performing qawwali music in the Celebration Series on Nov 20 and 21.

Dewan Filharmonik Petronas presents a rare offering of Pakistan’s vibrant qawwali music on Nov 20 and 21 at 8.30pm. Under its “Celebration Series”, the performances will be presented by Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali as a tribute to the legendary Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

When he died in 1997, Nusrat Fateh left a musical vacuum into which stepped his two teenage nephews, who formed the group Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali. Despite their youth, they were determined to continue their uncle’s pioneering efforts to transcend cultural, language and religious barriers and bring to the world the devotional qawwali vocal music of the Sufi mystics of Islam.

The word qawwali simply means “utterance” and the music and style of performance it describes has been a feature of Islamic culture since the 12th century. It is religious music that uses the human voice as a vehicle for enlightenment.

Due to its strong folk and classical traditions, qawwali has evolved and become one of the great classical musical genres of world music.

The group’s third album, Day of Colours, finds them coming into their own with new-found maturity in their voices and approach. Not only does it maintain a family tradition but it also demonstrates their identity as singers and breathes fresh life into a centuries-old style which has become one of the glories of modern world music.

Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali inventively reinterprets spiritual love songs based upon classical Islamic and Sufi texts.

The two brothers who lend their name to the group, Rizwan Mujahid Ali Khan and Muazzam Mujahid Ali Khan, come from a direct line of qawwali singers that can trace its pedigree back over five centuries. Their grandfather was an uncle of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who taught him the art of qawwali vocal music.

They themselves studied under their father and were tutored by Nusrat. A decade into their career, the musicians of Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali are already proving to be masters of Sufi devotional music.

The broadening of qawwali’s appeal was central to Nusrat’s mission and it is an approach shared by the group. Its debut album, Sacrifice to Love, released in 1999, was an entirely traditional album. So was its 2001 follow-up, A Better Destiny. It has also released a remix fusion album with Temple of Sound. The group is a mainstay on Peter Gabriel’s influential Real World record label.

Rizwan and Muazzam lead five back-up singers in repeated chanting, usually to the accompaniment of rhythmic handclapping, percussion and harmonium music. The lead singer adds elaborate vocal lines, and the tempo and volume are gradually increased with each singer trying to outdo the other in terms of vocal acrobatics as the piece progresses to a heightened trance-like state.

NATAS Hands Out Humanitarian, Public-Service, Community-Service Emmys

(Broadcasting & Cable) _ The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Friday gave out its Emmy Awards for humanitarian, public-service and community-service campaigns.

The awards are for programming from the media and nonprofits that "advances the public good," as judged by a panel of civic and community-service leaders.

And the winners, unveiled at a luncheon in New York, were:

MTV, for its broadband campaign, "Think: MTV's think HIV"; BET and The Kaiser Family Foundation for "Rap it Up"; The Sierra Club for its "Big Fun with Global Warming" broadband campaign; the Employee Benefit Research Institute for "Choose to Save"; and double winner Kaiser for "Marvelyn Brown: That Night/Finding Out/Denial."

In addition, Peter Gabriel's human-rights organization, WITNESS, received the first-ever humanitarian award.

Podcast: Touring with Peter Gabriel

Richard Evans shares his experiences from the road

Between the months of June and August,in the Summer of 2007 – anyone remember it? Peter Gabriel was on tour in Europe. Covering Germany, UK, Holland, Belgium, Italy, France, Switzerland and Denmark, the band played a number of festivals and one-off concerts, playing songs from So, US, OVO and others. Richard Evans, who you can hear on a number of our Sonic TALK podcasts, is a member of the touring band, and has a long history of involvement in Peter Gabriel projects, having worked at Real World Studios for several years under such luminaries as Daniel Lanois, Trevor Horn, Stephen Hague, Bob Ezrin, John Leckie and Brian Eno, before striking out as a successful solo collaborator and putting his skills as a talented multi-instrumentalist, arranger, producer and engineer to effective use.

In this audio diary taken from a portion of the tour, Richard takes us through his touring setup and also gives a fascinating insight into the world of touring at this level.

Richard is currently in Los Angeles working on a new album for Michael Brook, who he has worked with on several projects.

Thanks to Edirol UK for the loan of the R-09 personal recorder which Richard uses to record his diary entries.

11 novembre 2007



Une nouvelle et quatrième édition !

Motives Festival n’est pas un festival traditionnel. A l’occasion de cette quatrième édition il présentera donc à nouveau un visage très personnel. En sa qualité de forum international pour le jazz innovant, le festival propose un programme débordant de musiques actuelles et créatives. L’affiche propose une expérience musicale contemporaine d’une qualité inouïe, et le plus souvent associée à des stimuli visuels puissants. Le public du Motives Festival est particulièrement gâté par la succession de créations exclusives et de concerts uniques pour la Belgique. Nous invitons tout le monde à parcourir un chemin peu ordinaire, en compagnie de tous les artistes. (...)

JEUDI 15.11

Le compositeur et trompettiste Jon Hassell est un visionnaire. Il est l’inventeur d’un style musical qu’il définit lui-même comme étant le « quatrième monde » : une musique hybride, mystérieuse et originale, à la fois ancienne et digitale, composée et improvisée, orientale et occidentale. Il a travaillé avec des monuments de la scène pop tels que Brian Eno et Peter Gabriel et il a enregistré plusieurs albums solos qui exerceront une influence sur la musique contemporaine. En 1999, son album “Fascinoma”, produit par Ry Cooder, ouvre un nouveau chapitre dans la carrière de Hassell. En plus de Ry Cooder, il s’entoure aussi du pianiste de jazz Jacky Terrasson. Cet album va inspirer la nouvelle génération de trompettistes européens comme Erik Truffaz, Paolo Fresu et Nils Petter Molvaer. Hassell est sans aucun doute un millepatte musical, mais surtout un extraterrestre dans l’univers du jazz... (....)

Concert ARONA N'DIAYE ROSE Bakh Yaye

Arona N'DIAYE ROSE, fils de Doudou N'DIAYE ROSE et percussionniste de renom, doublé d'un danseur hors pair, est aussi professeur dans plusieurs universités européennes. Il a participé, musicalement parlant, à l'enregistrement de l'album de Peter Gabriel,«Us», et à l'enregistrement de l'album de Zazie, "Sucré salé".

Il est sollicité à travers dans le globe, pour ces talents de percussionniste, professeur & de coordinateur artistique et chorégraphe. Arona N'DIAYE ROSE vous présentera son nouveau spectacle, accompagné de danseuses et musiciens sénégalais. Ils vous transporteront vers l'effervescence des rythmes Sénégalais.

Le 11/11/2007 Havana Café, Ramonville, 31

De Jajouka à Montréal au Festival du monde arabe

Ils ont inspiré Paul Bowles, Brion Gysin, Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Aerosmith, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Ornette Coleman, Sonic Youth, Peter Gabriel, les Sex Pistols et Talvin Singh, pour ne nommer que les plus célèbres. Après plus de 1300 ans de pratique ancestrale, les Maîtres musiciens de Jajouka résident toujours dans ce village marocain du même nom.

«Notre musique est l'une des plus vieilles de l'humanité, elle existe depuis des milliers d'années. Dans notre monde moderne, le simple fait de la maintenir en vie et d'en faire la promotion la rend d'autant plus singulière. Cette musique est transmise oralement et n'a de fonction que de rassembler les humains et de célébrer la paix», soutient Bachir Attar, joint au Maroc il y a quelques jours.

Le village de Jajouka est situé dans les montagnes du Rif marocain. Pendant des siècles, la confrérie de musiciens qui en est issue a officié à la cour royale jusqu'à ce que les colons européens la repousse dans ses montagnes.

L'art musical de Jajouka est typique des sociétés traditionnelles; usant de modulations répétitives voire hypnotiques, il peut mener à la transe et on lui attribue des vertus de guérison à travers les différents rituels auxquels il se prête - mariage, deuil, circoncision, etc. On dit que cette musique très ancienne proviendrait de lointaines traditions de la Perse antique qui auraient voyagé au sud de la Méditerranée - notamment avec les Phéniciens. Cette musique de Jajouka se fonde sur la ghaïta (hautbois arabe), la nira (flûte de bambou), le gumbri (instrument à cordes), les percussions et le chant - pas moins de neuf instrumentistes et chanteurs seront sur la scène du Théâtre Maisonneuve, demain soir.
«Ma famille, explique Bachir Attar, a conservé la connaissance de cette musique. Je proviens d'une tradition orale malheureusement en voie de disparition. Après des siècles de stabilité, les temps ont changé. Nos enfants vont à l'école, les considérations monétaires et économiques l'emportent sur la tradition. J'ai peur que nous soyons la dernière génération de musiciens Jajouka.»

On sent l'inquiétude traverser le directeur artistique, fils de feu Hadj Abdesalam Attar qui fit connaître les Maîtres musiciens de Jajouka dans le monde entier. «Je rêve de fonder une école de musique, à défaut de quoi cette tradition va disparaitre. Cette école serait ouverte à tous, bien au-delà des citoyens du Maroc. Vous savez, les jeunes musiciens du Maroc sont davantage attirés par le star system que par la protection de leur patrimoine», déplore-t-il.

N'en demeure pas moins que les rock stars ont déjà trouvé très cool les Maîtres musiciens de Jajouka. Brian Jones, le défunt Stones, avait craqué pour leur musique à la suite de son fameux congédiement. Bachir Attar en conserve un vague souvenir.

«J'étais alors un petit enfant. Les plus anciens se rappellent qu'il avait été revivifié par notre travail qu'on n'incluait pas encore dans la catégorie world music. Le monde du rock s'était ensuite enthousiasmé à notre endroit mais il a eu tôt fait de nous oublier. Bien sûr, nous avons été très heureux de collaborer avec les Stones dans l'album Steel Wheels à la fin des années 80...»

«Une des rares relations qui durent est celle que nous entretenons avec le saxophoniste de jazz Ornette Coleman. Lorsque nos coffres sont vides, nous lui demandons de partir en tournée avec lui, il accepte immanquablement. Nous lui portons le plus grand respect. Un autre lien durable est celui que nous entretenons avec Lee Ranaldo du groupe Sonic Youth, un véritable ami.»

Quoi qu'il advienne des Maîtres musiciens de Jajouka, Bachir Attar ira jusqu'au bout de l'expérience. «Nous ne voulons pas être riches ni célèbres, nous voulons simplement partager notre culture avec tous les humains qui s'y intéressent.»

De Jajouka à Montréal, donc.

Alain Brunet/La Presse