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09 mai 2008

Beth Orton, Pama International, and The Imagined Village for Big Chill

The Big Chill which happens at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire has announced more acts performing in front of audiences over the weekend of Friday 1st until Sunday 3rd August.

Big Chill have announced that Beth Orton will be giving a rare acoustic performance accompanied only by multi-instrumentalist Rob Moose from Antony and the Johnsons. Other musical additions to the bill include Pama International, Lykke Li, Camille, The Imagined Village, Gong Gong, and Afro Funk All Stars featuring JB Horns, Tony Allen, Manu Dibango, and Cheikh Lô.

There are also more musical acts in the Rizla Arena with Greg Wilson, Justin Robertson, Annie Nightingale, Kid Acne, and the Rizla Arena Invisible Players all added to the bill.

In the comedy tent there is The Singing Dentists, Mitch Benn, Richard Morton, Matt Blaize, Tony Law, Greg Davies, Danny Bhoy, Silky, and John Fothergill who are all new additions to the line-up.

Underbelly presents has added Greg Davies, and Perverse Universe, featuring WanDan Human Beatbox, the Top Bananas 5-piece Stilt Band, a Strongman, Lazlo the Gender Blender, The Tragic Loungeabout and more.

Plus there's some new additions for the entertainment to keep the children happy in the Kids' Tent with Lolly Jangles, Live to Tell the Tale, Herefordshire Library Van, and Carnival Arts 3D Sculpture Workshops.

Artists already confirmed for the festival include Leonard Cohen, Bomb The Bass, Fujiya & Miyagi, Roisin Murphy, Alabama 3 (acoustic), Bill Bailey, Jilted John, Plaid, Rachel Unthank & the Winterset, Trentemøller, Buzzcocks, Hot 8 Brass Band, Fat Freddy's Drop, The Mighty Boosh, Norman Jay, Portico Quartet, Thievery Corporation, Random Dance, Shaanti Sound System with DJ Krush, DJ Manga, DJ Joe Claussell, and Benji B, Roots Manuva & DJ MK, DJ Luke Vibert, DJ Vadim,Daedalus, DJ Joe Claussell (Body & Soul, NY), Ron Trent (Chicago), Ame (Germany, Sonar Kollectiv), Rap Saunders, and Kartel DJs. With more promised over the next few weeks. Expect a mix of chilled beats from live bands and DJs, plus the media mix, a body & soul area, kids area, workshops, visuals, etc. For the line-up details as available please click here.

Dreamforce Europe: Benioff, Cloudy CIOs and sophisticated Europeans's inaugural European user summit landed in London this week. It was an important gig for the software as a service firm and attracted over 2,000 attendees. So how did it fare?

It was always going to be an interesting one to try to pitch. For the past six years, has hosted its global user gathering, Dreamforce, in San Francisco. That event has grown from being one held in a handful of ballrooms in a downtown hotel to nowadays occupying a sizeable chunk of the city's enormous Moscone conference facility.

This week the next logical development occurred: Dreamforce headed for Europe, landing at London's Barbican Centre, where 2,200 attendees turned up on the first day to hear from CEO Marc Benioff and attend a selection of the 50+ individual conference sessions (as well as hearing from a modest, but inspirational Peter Gabriel on issues of philanthropy and a perhaps slighly out of place Stelios on why we should all fly EasyJet and not BA).


By Stuart Lauchlan, news and analysis editor

Québec : Angélique Kidjo au festival d’été

Rendez-vous attendu

La chanteuse béninoise Angélique Kidjo était de passage à Québec en début d’après-midi pour promouvoir son prochain spectacle au festival d’été le 5 juillet prochain. Elle avait apporté son précieux trophée, le Grammy Awards 2008 qu’elle a obtenu pour son dernier album Djin Djin, vibrant hommage au Bénin, à la culture africaine, à la femme africaine et à l’universalité de la musique.

Djin Djin est un album soigné et musicalement excellent qui regroupe de grandes pointures musicales, dont Carlos Santana, Peter Gabriel, Alicia Keys, Joss Stone, Amadou et Mariam, Ziggy Marley.

«J’ai appelé cet album Djin Djin qui veut dire le son de la cloche pour donner aux gens l’envie de changer, explique Angélique Kidjo. Il y a trop d’inertie dans le monde et je dis qu’il ne faut pas baisser les bras. Mon album est aussi un hommage à la femme africaine qui travaille dur et un hommage à la solidarité humaine. Nous sommes tous embarqués dans cette société où domine le profit. Je pense qu’on peut faire bouger les choses pour que le monde soit meilleur. La vie est plus importante que le profit et tant que nous ne l’aurons pas compris, nous deviendrons nous-mêmes des marchandises.»


Peu importe devant qui elle se trouve, Angélique Kidjo dit demeurer toujours entière et sincère, abordant la vie avec une simplicité toute naturelle. Et si le succès ne lui est pas monté à la tête, «c’est parce que j’ai du succès depuis que je suis gamine», dit-elle. Mme Kidjo, affirme par ailleurs être très heureuse de venir chanter au Québec, «un pays à part, dans cet hémisphère».

Si elle considère le Québec un pays à part, c’est qu’on y parle français et que la francophonie est son cheval de bataille. «Nous, les francophones, sommes très ouverts. Nous possédons une force et une richesse dont nous pouvons être fiers et que nous devons cultiver. Le français est la première langue avec laquelle j’ai appris à lire et à écrire», déclare la chanteuse.

Moment magique

Dans Djin Djin, chanson phare de l’album, Angélique Kidjo donne la réplique à la diva du r'n'b, Alicia Keys. «Nous nous connaissons depuis à peu près cinq ans et Alicia Keys a toujours adoré ma musique. Elle m’a demandé si elle pouvait écouter mes chansons. Je lui ai envoyé ce que j’ai écrit et elle est tombée amoureuse de Djin Djin. Elle m’a dit, soit je la chante avec toi, soit je la récupère pour mon album», raconte Angélique Kidjo en précisant que tous les grands noms présents sur l’album ont choisi les chansons qu’ils voulaient interpréter.

Cette reine de l’afro-funk, personnalité forte et attachante, convie le public le 5 juillet prochain, sur la scène de la place Métro pour un concert qu’elle voit comme «un moment magique» où elle passera en revue les chansons incontournables de son vaste répertoire.

Reine-May Crescence / Canoë

08 mai 2008

Gabriel about The Filter on Reuters TV

Musician and digital entrepreneur Peter Gabriel talks about the 'discovery service' aimed at simplifying life in the age of unlimited choice.

Originally a music recommendation service, The Filter is widening its scope to include films and web videos when it completes the beta stage in May 2008. Reuters Technology Correspondent Matt Cowan visited Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in Box, England to hear the vision behind the service.

Featuring the television debut of recommendations algorithm expert/wizard Jon Hobley:

Peter Gabriel's website is back

Peter Gabriel's website and the website and ticket buying site for Womad, the world music festival he founded, are back online today after their servers and routers were stolen at the weekend

Opal Telecom, which hosts the servers in High Wycombe, was unwilling to comment, but a spokesman for Gabriel's music company Real World said thieves got into the data centre on Sunday night/Monday morning.

He said: "We've got pretty much everything back online now including Peter's site and ticketing for Womad. And we can reassure people that all the financial details were stored elsewhere in a secure location and are safe. The thieves took servers and some core networking kit - routers. Despite the conspiracy theories we don't think we were targeted, it was just a hardware theft."

He thanked the tech team for doing such a good job of getting the site back online despite the Bank Holiday and for emailing all customers to reassure them their data was safe.

Robbers have targeted data centres before. Last year, thieves tricked security guards at a London centre by dressing as police officers. CI Host in Chicago was also hit.

Thieves are typically after hardware rather than data.

By John Oates / the Register

Emmanuel Jal Joins All Star Mandela Bday Bash

Former child soldier turned hip-hop artist Emmanuel Jal has been invited to perform at the concert event, "46664 Concert Honoring Nelson Mandela at 90," which will play to a gathering of 46,664 friends and supporters at London's Hyde Park on June 27. The concert is one event in a three-day period of celebrations that will pay tribute to one of the world's most loved leaders, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and icon of freedom, Nelson Mandela, who turns 90 later this year.

With Mr. Mandela in attendance, Jal will perform songs from his brand new album, "Warchild," due out in the U.S. on May 13. The 13 songs on "Warchild" are rooted in Jal's extraordinary life as a Sudanese child soldier. "Nelson Mandela is one of my biggest inspirations," said Jal. "It's a great honor for me to be given this chance to celebrate his birthday on the stage and then to attend his dinner birthday party. I cannot wait for the day."

Jal will join Royalty and politicians from both sides of the Atlantic, leading names from business, sports, film and entertainment - and some of the most successful musicians of the past twenty years. Queen + Paul Rodgers, Annie Lennox, Simple Minds, Leona Lewis, as well as South African and African artists such as Johnny Clegg, Sipho Mabuse, and the legendary Papa Wemba will perform at the concert. The concert will also feature numerous surprise appearances by major artists. In addition, President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, actor Will Smith, Oprah Winfrey, Robert de Niro and Forest Whitaker are among those who will attend some of the celebrations over the three-day period.

Emmanuel Jal, who doesn't know when he was born or exactly how old he is, learned how to fire a machine gun before he could ride a bike, and lives with the nightmares of the unspeakable things he had to do as a child soldier. When he was about 13, he, along with some 400 other "child soldiers," courageously deserted the rebel lines. Only sixteen made it to the relative freedom of a refugee camp. Jal was one of them.

Music is what kept him going after returning to "the real world." On "Warchild" (Sonic360/Fontana), Jal mixes hip hop with world music rhythms to tell his incredible story in songs like "Forced to Sin," "Many Rivers to Cross," "Baaki Wara," and the title track. A feature documentary on Jal's experience, also entitled "War Child," just won the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival Cadillac Audience Award, and will screen later this month at the Cannes Film Festival. In addition, Jal is writing his autobiography for St. Martin's Press. Over the past several years, Emmanuel has befriended artists like Peter Gabriel, Bono, Moby and Sir Bob Geldof who have helped him in countless ways, whether with his music or his Gua Africa foundation that helps educate former child soldiers.

For more information on the "46664 Concert Honoring Nelson Mandela at 90," log on to

Pan African Orchestra Thrills Fans

The Pan African Orchestra, one of Africa’s most remarkable pop groups, has made a dramatic re-emergence, after a long absence, as a result of what its conductor, Nana Danso Abiam attributed to ‘budgetary and resource shortfalls’.

Last Friday at the British Council in Accra where a comeback gig was held, the Orchestra gave innovatory renditions, to which, most fans that thronged the occasion were left awestruck. Prominent in the performances were sounds from locally made drums, gong-gong and flute among others which brought to the fans, rhythms of neoclassical Africa music. Occasionally fans applauded while others nod their heads in appreciation.

The show, which saw the patronage of highly-placed persons, was chaired by New Patriotic Party (NPP’s) flagbearer, Hon. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and proudly supported by the Akosombo Textile Limited and Coca Cola Nigeria & Equatorial Africa Limited. The night was also heated with other solo performances from Atongo Zimba and Nii Yartey as well Zozu, a Togolese international performer among others. Each of these artistes gave a first-class performance as did the orchestra.

The Pan Africa Orchestra was founded in 1988, to explore the classical foundation of Africa’s musical heritage. Since then it occupied a preeminent position in the international music arena as a leading exponent of neoclassical African music. It was the first orchestra or musical group in the country to ever top a musical chart in the USA- the New World Music Chart.

It as well turned out to be the only group in the country whose music is distributed worldwide by Virgin Records following a record deal with Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Box, UK. The group is thus expected to step up its work having returned after a long recess.

Story from Ghanabase.Com News

Norma Winstone cover Here Comes The Flood

Instead of the vocalese voice-as-an-instrument approach of Azimuth, Winstone here has put together a “songs band.”

Norma Winstone - Distances - ECM 2028, 52:06 **** [Release date: May 6, 08]:

(Norma Winstone, voice; Klaus Gesing, soprano sax & bass clarinet; Glauco Venier, piano)

This is the first ECM album from noted English jazz vocalist Winstone in a decade. She is well known for her five CDs with the trio Azimuth (with John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler). Instead of the vocalese voice-as-an-instrument approach of that group, Winstone here has put together a “songs band” for some very chamber music-like interpretations of songs. In fact, for a clear demonstration of this, check out her cover version of Cole Porter’s Every Time We Say Goodbye; accompanied only by bass clarinet, she presents Porter’s lyrics in a low-key, affecting style whose purity and depth place it alongside any Schubert lieder.

Winstone performed originally as a guest with her two new collaborators eight years ago and was impressed with their skills as both unusual performers and imaginative composers. Four of the tracks on this CD are collaborations with one of the other of them, Winstone having been responsible for the poetic lyrics. Reed man Gesing has a unique sound on bass clarinet and has been influenced by Bulgarian music. Pianist Vernier has played with many Italian jazz and international performers and has the chops to draw on classical and folk influences as well as jazz. Winstone has selected a wide range of songs involving connections to John Coltrane, a free calypso, an Erik Satie song combined with a Pasolini film theme, and even one by Peter Gabriel. I tend to be drawn to wordless vocal work, but Winstone’s lyrics and delivery are so compelling that she has me just as captured by her sensitive songs as did the best of the Azimuth albums.

Every Time We Say Goodbye
Giant's Gentle Stride
The Mermaid
Here Comes The Flood
Remembering The Start Of A
Never Ending Story
A Song for England

John Henry, audiophile audition

Segregated museums

‘The world cup will be our chance to make our voices heard’

The Apartheid museum is halfway between Johannesburg and Soweto, on the motorway that links the city with its emblematic township. The imposing concrete structure, emblazoned with the words Freedom and Respect, stands in a natural park that looks like the veld. Visitors receive an entry card – white or non-white. Arbitrarily given a non-white pass, I had to follow an arrow down a corridor to the right, between metal grilles, until the two paths merged again, 10 metres on.

After this, there was a short respite in which to reflect on that legal and mental aberration, the doctrine of separate development. A poster evokes the merry-go-round of 1985 in which 700 people of mixed race legally became white, 19 whites became mixed race, one Indian became white, and 11 mixed race were transformed into Chinese. No whites became blacks or vice versa. Then the video monitors started and I was surrounded by symbols of violence: images of segregation, racist speeches, popular resistance, attacks on crowds, torture, prisoners’ testimonies – and eventual victory.

On display at the centre was a Casspir, the terrifying armoured personnel carrier that used to patrol the townships. The feeling of oppression intensified as I entered a prison-like space in which 121 nooses, suspended from the ceiling, represented activists who are said to have killed themselves in police custody. The final emotion was of catharsis. From the images of the struggle and the sound of political leaders’ speeches, I emerged into a room where a display of current daily newspapers symbolised the victory of democracy; that day, the headlines announced the scandals shaking the government.

The museum is strikingly effective. It provokes violent emotions: fear, disgust, identification with the heroes of the struggle, relief at a moral outcome. Apartheid itself is an abstract shape, displaying both the Nazi imagery of oppression and the heroism of martyrs and liberators. That may be the museum’s problem: the scenario is like a Hollywood spectacle – epic and affecting, but frozen in the past. No wonder then, in that respect, that the song being played in a temporary exhibition devoted to Steve Biko is Peter Gabriel’s international hit, Biko.

The District Six museum, in a former church in central Cape Town, takes the opposite approach. Former residents meet to describe daily life in their community before the government destroyed it. The forced displacement of blacks from this district, with its mixed population of freed slaves, artisans, local entrepreneurs and workers, began as early as 1901. In 1966 it was declared a white area under the Group Areas act of 1950. But until 1982, when the bulldozers moved in and its 66,000 inhabitants were dispersed among townships, including Khayelitsha, meaning “our new home” in Xhosa, children of every colour played in the streets, jazz bands performed through the evenings and people went to the hairdressers or played dominoes.

By bringing this vividly to life, the museum shows what segregation and the bulldozers destroyed: the vitality of a community that refused to surrender without a struggle and which, when the battle was lost, left on its walls the goodbye graffiti: “You are now in fairyland.”

Here, memory lives and develops as visitors write their own comments on the walls, and former residents come to recall the past, to write their names on places where they lived or identify photographs of old neighbours. This process of inscription has become an international reference: the museum was the model for London’s Museum of Immigration and Diversity.

Why are these museums so different? The District Six museum was set up in 1989 by former residents keen to restore their community and the area of 40 hectares overrun by greenery. It may evoke the past, but it looks towards the future and fresh solidarity, particularly with the victims of relocations throughout the world.

In Johannesburg, the Apartheid museum was commissioned as part of a larger deal involving the establishment of a casino. Planned from the top and built at a distance from the city and its citizens, it reflects Johannesburg’s harshness. It suffers from being a national monument designed to attract tourists.

By Philippe Rivière Le Monde Diplomatique

Le serveur web de Peter Gabriel volé du data center /Server theft knocks Peter Gabriel off the web : Entre dimanche soir et lundi matin, le site web de Peter Gabriel disparait de la toile. Pourquoi? Comment? Simple piratage ou maladresse d'un webmaster? Non, pire que cela, c'est le serveur qui a été dérobé. Vous avez bien lu, une personne s'est introduite dans le data center qui hébergeait le serveur de Peter Gabriel et est tout simplement parti avec le serveur sous le bras. Le serveur était hébergé chez Rednet LTD, une filiale de la société Opal Telecom qui est elle même filiale de Carphone Warehouse. La nouvelle a rapidement fait le tour de la toile mais un nouveau serveur a déjà été installé et les services proposés par le site sont petit à petit remis en place.

The Register : Peter Gabriel's online music empire is reduced to a holding page, following the theft of servers from his web host over the weekend. According to the web monitoring firm Netcraft, Gabriel's servers are hosted by Rednet Ltd, although that appears to be a defunct brand of a UK company called Opal Telecom, which in turn is a wholly owned subsidiary of Carphone Warehouse. But details are sketchy and as it's a public holiday in the UK, we'll fill in the gaps tomorrow. In the meantime here is the message posted at time of writing on the web-savvy musician's site,

Text on " We'll be back soon - apologies for the lack of service." Real World, Peter Gabriel and WOMAD web services are currently off-line. Our servers were stolen from our ISP's data centre on Sunday night - Monday morning. We are working on restoring normal service as soon as possible.

Tony Levin et California Guitar Trio au New Morning

Concert Unique en France, le mercredi 14 mai 2008 au New Morning Paris, 7/9 rue des Petites Ecuries à Paris

extrait du blog de Dany sur :

Tony Levin est un bassiste américain très influent. Il a participé à de centaines d'albums de centaines d'artistes (Laurie Anderson, Joan Armatrading, David Bowie, Cher, Tracy Chapman, Alice Cooper, Al Di Meola, Peter Frampton, Mark Knopfler, John Lennon, Phil Manzanera, Liza Minelli, Pink Floyd, Shankar, Paul Simon, Tom Waits...).

Il a joué dans de nombreux groupes, le principal étant le groupe de Peter Gabriel, mais aussi King Crimson, Alice Cooper, John Lennon, Seal, Cher, Paul Simon, Lou Reed, Bruford Levin Upper Extremities, Liquid Tension Experiment. Il est très recherché par les groupes de rock progressif, comme Pink Floyd ou Yes ou le California Guitar Trio. Il a également sa propre formation « The Tony Levin Band ».

Tony Levin est en partie responsable de la popularisation du Chapman Stick et il a aussi conçu, au cours d'un enregistrement avec Peter Gabriel, les funky fingers, des baguettes que l'on glisse au bout des doigts pour faire de la basse un élément percussif.

Tony Levin est né à Boston, dans le Massachusetts, et a grandi dans la banlieue de Brooklyn.
Il commence à jouer de la basse à 10 ans. Il s'inscrit à la Eastman School of Music de Rochester, N.Y. et joue dans l'Orchestre philharmonique de Rocheste. Ses bases musicales sont principalement classiques.

Peter Gabriel By Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

The Time 100

The World's Most Influential People

Our fifth annual list of the world's most influential people: leaders, thinkers, heroes, artists, scientists and more...

Heroes & Pioneers :

I did not know Peter Gabriel from a bar of soap when I met him for the first time on his friend Sir Richard Branson's Necker Island in the Virgin Islands. But within moments, he had charmed me. I heard him sing his Biko, which still moves me to tears each time I hear it, as we stood round the piano he was playing. He volunteered to give me my first swimming lessons and was a great hit with two of my grandchildren who met him there.

Photo by Armando Gallo / Retna

What is his secret? He has a heart—in our part of the world, we would give him our highest accolade and say, "He has ubuntu." It is that marvelous quality that speaks of compassion and generosity, about sharing, about hospitality. Peter founded WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance), presenting 50 festivals in more than 40 countries and conducting workshops in schools around the globe. He is a passionate human-rights advocate who participated in the 1988 Human Rights Now tour, and he co-founded Witness, which provides cameras and computers to activists.

In 2007 he and Branson co-founded the Elders, which Nelson Mandela and his wife Graça Machel launched in Johannesburg on Mandela's 89th birthday. With our world battered by so many problems—ethnic conflict, oppression of women and children, climate change—their idea was that a group of eminent people would serve as Elders for our global village. A dozen of us—including Kofi Annan, President Jimmy Carter and Fernando Cardoso (with an empty chair for Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma)—have accepted their offer and challenge.

Peter, 58, has received many awards, including the Man of Peace award given by Nobel Peace laureates. He has ubuntu, and he deserves this latest accolade richly.

Bishop Tutu, the former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984

04 mai 2008

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba

The bands of summer

Some of this year's music festivals have come under fire for being unadventurous, but don't panic - Britain still has the best outdoor shindigs in the world. We talk to 10 of the most exciting bands preparing to hit the circuit, and ask which of their tracks is most likely to set the summer crowds alight (...)

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba

Small Nations, Big Day Out, Womad, Cambridge Folk Festival, 7 Songs

Time was when you were unlikely to hear a plucked kora or rapped djembe outside of Womad. But this summer, emerging star Bassekou Kouyate will be one of a range of African musicians lighting up festivals around Britain.

Kouyate is celebrated in Mali for his performances on the ngoni - a traditional African lute - and features on albums by some of the country's best-known musicians. But it is his own music, lush, mesmeric and bluesy, which is gaining international acclaim and he has developed a reputation for exhilarating, heavily improvised live performances with his band Ngoni Ba. Kouyate says that festivals are the ideal setting for his sound. 'Everyone is dancing and shouting and if they move well it helps you play,' he said. So British audiences are forewarned that, to ensure a great performance, they'll need to work on their moves.

Killer festival tune 'Jonkoloni': 'It's similar to a song that my ancestors would perform between the 13th and 19th centuries, so when I play it, it's as if I'm playing with my grandparents.' (...)

Ally Carnwath, The Observer

Patrick McKenna takes £100m from Ingenious Media

Patrick McKenna, financier to Britain's showbusiness elite, has paid himself more than £100m from the profits of his privately held company, Ingenious Media.

McKenna, an accountant and former chief executive of Lord Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, is chair and sole owner of Ingenious, whose clients have included Robbie Williams and Peter Gabriel.

Last year McKenna did not collect his usual dividend, but instead left £162m of cash in the bank, according to records filed at Companies House in March 2007. As part of a recent restructure of his shareholding it is understood he has now paid himself from the cash reserves.

Ingenious Media Ltd is being replaced as the main holding company by Ingenious Media Holdings Plc, and McKenna's fellow directors have joined him on the new board. They include former Capital Radio boss David Mansfield, showbusiness lawyer Michael Simkins, the head of Ingenious' corporate finance division Nick Harvey and head of its management consulting business Kip Meek, previously a high-flier at Ofcom.

It is understood that ingenious has a scheme under which staff own shares in the business, but none of these holdings attract dividends or are attached to voting rights. However, the company is expected to seek a public listing, at which point staff will be able to cash in their shares. A spokesman for Ingenious declined to comment.

founded Ingenious 10 years ago as a specialist media investment advisory business. Its clients have included RDF Media and Shed Media, whom it helped to list on Aim in 2005. (...)

By Juliette Garside 03/05/2008