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23 mai 2008

How Human Rights Groups and "Hacktivists" Are Using Internet Technology to Buck State Censors

A woman walks into an Internet café in Beijing, knowing what she is about to do is illegal. But by using a proxy server -- connecting her computer to another one abroad -- she hopes to evade the state censors. She has done this many times before. It takes longer this way, but it's free and easy to use, and she has plenty of time.

The young man at the computer next to her is using a more sophisticated method -- a VPN or virtual private network. It creates a private, encrypted channel that runs along with the regular Internet. Through his VPN, he is connecting with another server overseas. It's much faster than a proxy server, but it costs roughly $40 a year.

This sounds like the stuff of spy movies and suspense novels, but in China, it's fairly commonplace to evade government censorship -- breaching the Great Firewall -- to access forbidden websites, send information out and do it without any of China's army of censors being any the wiser. (Official figures aren't available, but the number of censors is said to be in the tens of thousands.)

Now, thanks to the efforts of human rights groups, forward-thinking news organizations and "hacktivists," more and more voices from around the globe are finding a place on the Internet -- even in countries where Web filters and censorship are the norm.

"Now you can't say you didn't know," says Sameer Padania. "Human rights abuses have fewer and fewer places to hide." Padania was discussing the website he runs, The Hub, following a panel discussion at the recent 2008 PEN conference in New York. According to its website, The Hub is "the world's first participatory media site for human rights." A kind of human rights version of YouTube, it allows users from all over the world to upload audio, video and photographs, provide written context for them, or simply watch and listen. Users can connect with other groups, post an event, and, perhaps most importantly, decide how much other visitors to the site can see about them. The Hub doesn't even log IP addresses, which means it can't track how many individuals use the website every day, or where they come from. The videos on the site range from cell phone camera footage of protests to slideshows with voiceovers and more sophisticated, edited mini-documentaries and public service announcements (PSAs). The Hub is a project of the human rights group Witness, which was founded by musician Peter Gabriel in 1992. It's mission was to give cameras away to the world.

The story of Witness is a lesson in the power of video as a medium. Suvasini Patel, communications and outreach manager at Witness, recounts its history:

"Peter Gabriel had gone on this tour organized by Amnesty International. He came face-to-face with survivors of human rights abuses, and he began filming them. He was carrying a first generation video camera, and he found there was something cathartic in them being able to tell their story, to have a platform, and not have anyone be able to deny it."

At first, Witness had fundraising problems. Then came the the Rodney King episode in Los Angeles in 1991, when a black motorist was viciously beaten by four white LA police officers. The assault was captured by amateur photographer George Holliday; as the images made their way around the world, they put the issue of racial profiling both inside and outside the black community, on the map. Still, Patel says, "I don't know whether it was a success or not, because the video was used as evidence both by the prosecution and the defense. Perspective is important."

Witness soon realized that cameras alone weren't enough. So it began doing training in the use of video, providing strategic support of the distribution of video, and envisioning The Hub.

"The Hub is just a different platform," Patel explains. "People don't necessarily need cameras, but they need a platform, a community to engage with, and strategic guidance on how to use video to create change."

Carroll Bogert, the associate director of Human Rights Watch, is experienced in the use of video to effect change. One of the organization's videos, about child soldiers, was produced for Senator Dick Durbin so that he could show it to his colleagues at Capitol Hill. Thanks in part to the footage, Durbin managed to get several co-sponsors for a bill he introduced, The Child Soldier Prevention Act Of 2007.

Video, says Bogert, "gives the written reports more emotional impact." Of course, there are also boundaries. For instance, "we don't take pictures of rape victims, and are careful about using images of children," she says. "There are delicate questions to confront so that the images aren't exploitative. Also, it confuses the authorities and victims about whether you are a human rights activist or a journalist." Bogert feels that still photography can be every bit as important, less intrusive, and sometimes has just as much impact as video.

Breakthrough, another human rights organization, uses video in an entirely different and innovative way. Their latest multimedia offering is a video game, ICED -- a play on the acronym of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement department (ICE) -- about detention and due process. In it, players answer questions and make choices between good and bad deeds to gain points. The game ends in one of four ways: deportation; indefinite detention; voluntary deportation; or citizenship.

"Anybody Can Be a Human Rights Defender"

Ben Carduss, a senior researcher with the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), knows how valuable video can be, in rejecting the official government line and in advocacy work. "Raw footage, any kind of evidence is incredibly useful," he says. "In Tibet, cell phones are being confiscated, because they are used to send text messages to relatives in China and India. Very basic technology is being used to get the information out." Much of the footage of the monks' protests was shot on cell phone cameras.

Before posting video online, ICT takes care to blot out people's faces and electronically modify their voices to protect them from government retaliation. But Carduss often comes across the same footage released by other organizations that haven't made similar efforts. There have been several protesters, especially in Eastern Tibet, who have been arrested for tearing down the Chinese flag and putting up the Tibetan flag in its place -- protesters who have been identified by videos circulating online. Despite the dangers for the photographers, Carduss is "incredibly frustrated not to have more footage. A picture paints a thousand words," he says.

Citizen Lab -- an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto, Canada -- has several programs designed to help citizen journalists. One project, called Psiphon, allows citizens in uncensored countries to provide open access to the Internet via their home computers to those who live in countries where the Internet is filtered or censored.

The people who develop these programs are known as "hactivists." One hacktivist site describes itself as a "think tank" of electronic civil disobedience and hactivists as those who "use modern technology against those that exploit and oppress the people."

Says Patel, "It's harnessing the power of technology to create social change." She's speaking of The Hub, but it applies equally to the citizen journalists who snap forbidden pictures, and the hacktivists who work to support them. "The footage we're seeing from Burma, Tibet, the London bombings, by regular citizens -- that's revolutionary. Anybody can be a human rights defender at this time -- it's not solely in the purview of experts anymore."

By Jayati Vora, AlterNet

B&W Launches Music Community

The audio manufacturer partners with Peter Gabriel to offer lossless music downloads.

Music Club launches at Real World Studios with live performances from featured artists, including blues guitarist Skip McDonald’s Little Axe collective.

Who knew the guy that dressed up as a giant flower some 30-plus years ago would become such a driving force behind the music?

Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios has partnered with Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) to launch the B&W Music Club. Designed for audiophiles, the online community will offer some exclusives, as well as lossless tracks, boasting CD-quality sound.

Memberships are available in 6- ($39.95) or 12-month ($59.95) increments, which will score you one DRM-free “specially commissioned album each month, recorded in dedicated live sessions at Real World Studios in Bath.”

Artists are invited to come in and recorded sessions, which will be available to Music Club members. Two months after, the artists will retain all rights.

Other features include blogs, articles, podcasts, video interviews, and plenty of good old conversation—via message boards, that is.

This collaboration with B&W is unique as far as I know and it’s going to allow a lot of interesting projects to happen,” said Gabriel. “For artists, Music Club is a dream proposition because they get some great time in the studio, access to really good recording facilities and can experiment without being committed to anything or anyone beyond a month with B&W.”

by Rachel Cericola

Le joujou musical du futur

Björk, Peter Gabriel, The Chemical Brothers et Kraftwerk, pour ne nommer que ceux-là, seraient déjà tombés sous le charme. Et la rumeur veut que le groupe Arcade Fire ait récemment passé sa commande.

Yamaha, célèbre fabricant japonais, a présenté son premier instrument de musique "intuitif". Baptisé Tenori-On, l'objet se présente sous la forme d'une ardoise carrée couverte de petites lumières. Il est capable de séquencer rapidement des arrangements musicaux complexes. Les manipulations sont beaucoup plus rapides qu'avec un logiciel de composition sur ordinateur.

Musiques et lumières se mêlent pour permettre aux artistes, débutants comme confirmés, de créer rapidement des mélodies. En pratique, le compositeur assigne aux 256 touches de l'instrument des échantillons sonores, modifiables par la suite. Il lui suffit ensuite de créer des boucles musicales superposables pour créer une musique.

En somme, cela revient à la superposition de plusieurs pistes dont l'enregistrement aurait nécessité plusieurs jours voire semaines. Avec le Tenori-On, en se familiarisant avec l'instrument une vingtaine de minutes, l'utilisateur peut composer une musique en une dizaine de minutes.

"Il ne faut guère plus de 20 minutes pour apprendre à se servir de cet instrument", a affirmé un chercheur spécialisé dans les technologies sonores innovantes de Yamaha, Yu Nishibori, concepteur de l'objet avec un compositeur électro-acoustique japonais, Toshio Iwai.

L'ardoise intègre déjà 253 sons. Le musicien peut y ajouter 48 échantillons personnels grâce à l'emplacement réservé à l'accueil d'une carte mémoire SD. L'instrument est vendu avec tous les câbles nécessaires pour le relier à un ordinateur ou à des hauts-parleurs.

"Le Tenori-On" propose six modes de performance et de son/lumière différents, vous offrent tout un éventail de possibilités lors de votre interprétation" explique le site Internet dédié au produit. "Ces modes peuvent par ailleurs être combinés et utilisés simultanément pour créer une expression musicale à la fois riche et complexe".

Le développement de cet instrument, que possèdent déjà quelques artistes renommés comme la star nippone de la création électro-acoustique Ryuichi Sakamoto ou Björk, a demandé six ans et la fabrication de quatre prototypes.

Les consommateurs peuvent se le procurer à partir de 750 euros.

Site :

22 mai 2008

Gabriel, pals trumpet new high-quality download club

Mp3s are the Hot Pockets of the digital age; consumers are devouring them by the gigabyte.

But thanks to a deal struck between rock star Peter Gabriel and digital pioneer Bowers & Wilkins, Britain’s leading manufacturer of high-end loudspeakers, digital-music downloaders are about to experience a gourmet alternative.

Launching this week, the online Bowers & Wilkins Music Club will offer an exclusive, full-length, digital-only new release each month featuring artists cherry-picked by Gabriel and recorded at his Real World Studios complex in Bath, England.

What’s more, they will be so-called DRM-free (digital rights management) files that carry no copy protection and can be moved freely between devices and easily burned to CD. They’ll come complete with artwork and, best of all, in an audiophile-quality lossless format for a sound experience beyond that of even top-shelf mp3s.

Music Club subscriptions (available at cost $59.95 annually and trial offers are available.

“People don’t realize that when you encode sound files, you’ve got choices,” Bowers & Wilkins’ Danny Haikin said by phone from the United Kingdom. “Up until this point there’s been an emphasis on width rather than depth. In other words, mp3s take up very little (hard drive) room, but in the process of compressing a file down to such a tiny size, the music’s finer nuances are lost. The beauty of a lossless file format is that the compression system doesn’t depreciate the music in any way.”

But a promise of much-improved sound quality may not be enough to bend the public ear away from the standard mp3 format. To do that, the Club plans to offer not merely exclusive recordings, but accessible ones.

Mike Large, director of operations at Real World Studios, dreamed up the venture with Haikin over drinks one night. He says Music Club will offer a wider scope of styles than the world music for which Gabriel’s studio and its Real World label are known.

“Our only criteria is that the music be good,” said Large.“Sure, you can see Peter’s taste coming through. But we’ve also had to go about this in a way that makes commercial sense.”

The club’s introductory offering is “Bought for a Dollar, Sold for a Dime,” an urban-blues affair by Little Axe, also known as Skip McDonald, an original member of the Sugar Hill house band who played on “The Message,” “White Lines” and other classics. Plans call for future releases by indie-rockers Grindhouse (featuring Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood’s son Jesse), big-voiced Brit singer/songwriter Gwyneth Herbert and guitar virtuoso Tom Kerstens. Large and Haikin also would like to release live sessions and remastered classic recordings.

Large says the Music Club has had a positive side effect on Gabriel, whose fans have been waiting since 2002 for him to release a recording of non-film-related new material.

“The fire has been lit,” said Large. “Peter is working on a new record. The working title is ‘Input/Output’ and the CD will likely see a 2009 release date.”

Peter Gabriel: the future of music

As well as being a rock superstar, Peter Gabriel has been a key player in the rapidly developing musical digital world. I talked to him about his latest project and the future of music in today’s Telegraph. An idealist with a sharp mind and a huge interest in new technology, he has interesting opinions on how digital technology can change not just music, but also the world, for better.

An idealist: Peter Gabriel

A newspaper article could only skim the surface of such a broad ranging discussion, so for anyone interested in a Gabriel’s (slightly more technical) thoughts on the radical changes affecting the music business (and, he argues, politics), I thought I would offer some further highlights of a fascinating interview.

Are you broadly optimistic about the future of the music business?

I am hugely optimistic. You are getting artists big and small that are building direct relationships through a database to their fans, and that’s never been possible before. Once you have that you have means of sustaining musicians. The Incredible String Band came to Real World studios and got 120 fans to pay £60 each. With that money they booked the studio time, made the record, did a web broadcast, and suddenly they were in business based on 120 people. In the old model, A&R would say you have to have 100,000 sales just to justify signing an artist. So what that should mean is that maybe 100 times more music gets made.

Recording studios costs are way down, cause people can do so much more of it at home. Therefore you are seeing people doing various projects, a growing number of artists like Damon Albarn who don’t have to just do one thing. There should be all sorts of different collaborations, one offs, experimental music and a creative renaissance that is economically enabled by the digital revolution. I think that’s beginning but I don’t think we’ve really seen it yet.

The burning issue is who is going to pay for it in a download environment where people increasingly expect music to be free.

I can see albums being released in three or four different formats, simultaneously, from free to hand made customised versions. The precursor of that was the Radiohead model, because sixty per cent paid nothing but I and 400,000 other people wanted the double vinyl collectors edition. At forty quid a throw, Radiohead were fine. That’s a big act doing it, with a name and a guaranteed audience, but I think it does show you can have free running alongside paid for quite happily. And no one has really got comfortable with that idea yet. But you do need to make sure that what you are asking people to put their hands in their pockets for does feel like value for money.

Yet with collapsing album sales and the emphasis on single download tracks, does the long playing album have a future at all?

I think the album won’t die in terms of a collection of songs that an artist wants to put together and assemble in a certain way, but it wont have the dominance that it has had, and it will be maybe in a supporting role rather than a lead role. It was the financial model on which the music industry was based. So that has gone, I think. But there are these other forms emerging, and I think its great when people are willing to try a bit of everything and see what works for them.

If power moves increasingly to the artist, what is the future for record companies?

I would argue that there is a case for record companies, but as a service industry not as an ownership industry, where, if they do things well, whether it is banking, A&R, marketing, promo, distribution, that those things could be offered to artists separately. The complication is when an artist requires a lot of investment from a record company, and that has always been the key moment at which the Faustian contract is signed.

As a small record company, I also see that it is fair. If someone puts out the money and takes a gamble on an artist, they should have a good chance of getting something worthwhile back if it works. Because a lot of them don’t. But I would rather treat artists as adults and provide services to them, rather than this sort of parental role that the music business has traditionally held, where they can actually stop artists from doing a lot of stuff.

Live is becoming more important than ever, because it is the last remaining area of the musical experience you can’t really digitally duplicate. You have to be there, to interact with the human being...

I’ve got a friend, an Italian designer called Gaetano Pesci, and he said something which I relate to: that beauty in the future will rely on imperfection. Because in the world where everything can be copied a million times over perfectly, it is the humanity in the imperfections that suddenly become more interesting and more unique. The great thing about a live performance is that people screw up from time to time, and you know the difference between a good night and a bad night, and you can feel when stuff is working and when it isn’t. So I do think the digital world has made live more special.

Is taxing music at the device or ISP level the answer?

I have absolutely no faith in any blanket agreements, because artists are right at the bottom of the trickle. I remember when MTV started paying record companies for use of videos. Our royalties had been taken back by record companies for the production of videos, but we weren’t the owners of the videos and received nothing. The music business has a history of dubious dispersal of income, with a tendency for payments to be siphoned off before they reach the artist. Some of the payments in the digital world at the moment, the record companies are getting the money and its not trickling back to the artist, or very small amounts are. Most artists who have struck these new fifty fifty agreements, where people have invested in them and worked hard, they don’t feel bad about that. But if it goes to 80/20, or 90/10 or 100/zero, then they are not going to be so happy.

Are mobile devices going to be the new record shops?

Well currently the advantage of mobiles is that people are used to paying. They pay silly amounts for these dumb ringtones when the same people won’t pay any money to download the whole song. It’s a much more controlled system and actually the future of the internet. As part of the Elders project, Muhammad Yunus has developed this Grameen Phone, where they brought the price of ownership of a phone way down in Bangladesh. So out of a population of 110 million, they now have thirty million people with a phone, and that should move to 50 or 60 million within 18 months. So the digital divide is being eradicated.

Phone manufacturers are starting to put external screens and qwertys on to phones, so that will be the universal PC, I think. When 6 or 7 billion people will have access to phones one way or another, that must be the central means of communicating any electronic data in the future, including music.

So the future of music looks good to you?

I do think we are living in an extreme new time in our evolution. Its possible for any one person on any part of the planet to communicate directly with almost any other person, and exchange data about anything. That is a fundamental evolution that is only just beginning to affect not just the way we are entertained but the way we are governed. Like with Avaaz, an organisation that campaigns on line. When the killings happened in Tibet, within ten days they got 1.5 million people signing a petition to the Chinese government. Now, I think that could easily translate to 150 million in ten years. Democracy is about people getting votes, but its really democracy every four years or so, and then you have to trust the team you have elected. So this is a way of letting people express themselves in all sorts of ways, not just creatively but politically, that we have never had before. The top down / bottom up reversal is huge. It think it is bigger than people realise.

by Neil McCormick

Peter Gabriel: rejoin Genesis? Don't rule it out

on :

"At my age, you don't give a s--- about a lot of things, and you care less about pleasing people,"
says Peter Gabriel.

Somewhere between art and science: Peter Gabriel

"You just want to have an interesting life."

At his idyllic Real World studios in Somerset, the rock superstar is presiding over the launch of a new download music club with hi-fi company Bowers and Wilkins. "With the explosion of the digital world, which is really flourishing on the corpse of the music industry, the only thing that people haven't noticed is that we have taken a giant leap backwards in terms of sound quality," he says.

"From a musician's point of view, we spend a lot of time trying to get things to sound good, so it seems a pity that we have all accepted these super-compressed MP3s as the standard, which just kick the s--- out of what you've recorded. There has been a huge access to quantity at a sacrifice of quality."

Starting this week, the B&W music club will offer a specially recorded album a month as an uncompressed, "lossless" file, for a small annual subscription fee. The idea is that the club will act as a connoisseurs' music forum supportive of minor but musically gifted artists (the first release is from virtuoso Sugar Hill guitarist Little Axe).

Gabriel admits he got involved partly to keep his recording studio busy but also because he is fascinated by the rapidly developing future of the music business. "I am naturally curious, and I love technology. So I get excited about some of these new inventions and their potential."
A founding member of Seventies prog-rockers Genesis and an adventurous multi-million-selling solo singer-songwriter, Gabriel, 58, has carved out a space for himself between art and science. He may be known primarily as a rock frontman, but he has been an innovative player in the business itself.

He was a pioneer of digital distribution through his company OD2 (On Demand Distribution), which he sold for £40 million in 2004 (it is currently owned by Nokia). Last year he launched The Filter, a sophisticated internet recommendation engine of his own devising. "If you are drowning in a sea of information, you need a navigation system that will get you to where you want to be."

Gabriel has been a leading player in the recognition and development of world music (through the Womad festivals and his Real World label). He enthuses about "the idea that anyone born anywhere on the planet's surface who does good stuff can get a shot at being heard".
Filtering and taste-making technologies, he believes, will lead to a more level playing field, giving access to "stuff you might like without the marketing machine, where who has got the biggest dollars is the key to who has got your ear."

So, even as the music business goes into convulsions, with collapsing sales and shrinking profits, Gabriel declares himself optimistic. "Technology generally comes in waves, and the first wave builds the dreams and the dreamers. But it tends to crash. The second wave, which comes through slower and harder, sustains better."

He thinks a variety of new business models, free and paid for, will gradually be established, leading to "a hundred times more music getting made". He envisages "a creative renaissance economically enabled by the digital revolution".

He is encouraged by the possibilities of interactivity and direct business relationships between artists and fans. "Whenever anyone asks what do you say to a young artist today, I say. 'Build your database. Because that's your future.'?"

What of Gabriel's own musical future? "I am trying to organise good music time, too. It's difficult. No dream comes without a price tag. Its been a major distraction." Indeed, he has been so busy with non-musical activities (including his philanthropical involvement as a member and financial benefactor of The Elders, a group of global statesmen dedicated to good works) that he was forced to turn down a mooted Genesis reunion (the group toured last year without him).

"Because I am a perfectionist, once I start doing something I want to do it properly. If I had done Genesis, I couldn't have just turned up, sung for a couple of hours and pissed off. I would have been in there working on the show and the lights and everything else. It was a bigger chunk of time than I could commit to."

Some people would be surprised that such a forward-moving artist would even consider a reunion with a band he left in 1975, but Gabriel does not rule it out. "It's a bit like a child:however far you move on, you still love your children. On a good day."

In the end, I suspect the thing that consumes Gabriel is not whether music is a product, or a service, or how musicians and consumers are going to negotiate a changing landscape. It is where is he going to get his next fix.
"I think it's a drug, really," he says. "You use it to stimulate your emotional response and make you feel one way or another. And, on a good day, it is inspirational."

Bonobo Kids

Bonobo Kid's Book and Website Bring Environmental Action to Children and Help to Endangered Species

Vineyard Haven, MA (PRWEB) May 21, 2008 -- Jane Goodall provided the afterword and stunning backdrop for a new children's book and interactive website that connects children to endangered bonobos and the environment through awareness and action. Author Mathea Levine and photographer Marian Brickner introduce the world to a young bonobo who lives in the Jacksonville Zoo in I'm Lucy: A Day in the Life of a Young Bonobo. All profits from the book benefit the Bonobo Conservation Initiative (BCI) and Jane Goodall's youth organization, Roots and Shoots, when bought through the Bonobo Kids interactive website, Bonobo Kids (

"I'm Lucy and the Bonobo Kids website extend the work we're doing at BCI to the next generation of stewards for the Earth and its creatures," says Sally Jewell Coxe, president and co-founder of the Bonobo Conservation Initiative. "Mathea and Marian have captured all that make bonobos so special - their human likeness, their playfulness and their capacity to love. They are making a wonderful way for kids to learn, to get involved and to really make a difference."

Bonobos share 98.7% of human DNA and are distinguished from other great apes by their matriarchal and cooperative society. While over 100 bonobos like Lucy and her family currently live in zoos, wild bonobos are found only in the Democratic Republic of Congo where they are often hunted and their habitat is at risk from human encroachment and environmental destruction. In recent years, the bonobo population has dropped drastically, placing these endangered creatures devastatingly close to total extinction.

"It's wonderful that the lives of our Zoo's bonobo family, one of the most endangered species, were communicated in such way that children and adults alike can enjoy and learn," said Janet Johnson, Director of Guest Operations and Marketing at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. "If you weren't in love with these primates before seeing them and reading about them in this book, you surely will be afterwards."

At the Bonobo Kids website, kids and their adults find expanded information about bonobos, great apes, other endangered species and the environment. On the inside cover of I'm Lucy, readers find a secret password that allows them to garner detailed information about specific bonobos around the world. The Bonobo Challenge Blog keeps kids involved and in the know while also hosting contests, setting creative challenges and highlighting Bonobo Kids who perform extraordinary green, humanitarian and animal rights acts.

Bonobo Kids will be featured at the Bonobo Benefit for BCI sponsored by Peter Gabriel's organization, Inter-Species Internet, at Jivamukti Yoga School, May 31st 8:00-10:30pm, 841 Broadway, Manhattan featuring music by Tony Levin and Wynne Paris and a presentation for Sally Jewell Coxe.

B&W Music Club competition

Bowers and Wilkins Music Club membership competition

Win one of five memberships of the new B&W music club. Peter Gabriel's studios have been used to record the music for the club Exclusive new music, outstanding sound quality – these are the two main principles behind the Music Club.

Becoming a member allows you to download a specially commissioned album from a wide range of exceptional artists, some well known, some undiscovered, introducing you to a whole new world of music.

Available to download for one month only, each exclusive album is recorded at Peter Gabriel’s state-of-the-art Real World recording studios, and brought to you in super hi-fidelity. This is a chance to hear truly brilliant, original music by outstanding artists, which you’ll hear first – and sometimes only - through B&W’s Music Club.


The Daily Telegraph in conjunction with Bowers and Wilkins are offering you the chance to win one of five free memberships of the music club. For your chance to win membership, please answer the following question.

With which established music festival is Peter Gabriel closely involved?

a) Glastonbury
b) Reading

Click on the link below and email your answer, along with your name, address, daytime and evening telephone numbers and email address.


The deadline for entries is midnight on May 28, 2007.

Peter Gabriel lance une plateforme de téléchargement

Afin de permettre aux fans de musique de télécharger leurs titres préférés moins cher, Peter Gabriel a lancé sa propre plateforme de téléchargement. Le chanteur britannique - qui a déjà lancé le site de téléchargement We7 – s’est en effet associé à la firme Bowers And Wilkins pour mettre en place une plateforme de téléchargement légal qu’il a baptisé Music Club.

Outre le téléchargement moins cher, Music Club donnera également la possibilité aux artistes d’enregistrer leurs propres morceaux live dans les studios de Peter Gabriel à Bath en Angleterre. Leurs titres seront disponibles au téléchargement durant un mois.

« Pour les artistes, Music Club est une proposition de rêve, parce qu’ils peuvent passer du temps en studio, et ont accès à des bonnes conditions d’enregistrement, et peuvent travailler sans être engagés dans quoi que ce soit ou avec qui que ce soit, à l’exception du mois de contrat avec B And W.»,a indiqué Peter Gabriel.

ZUCCHERO : "La France a été le premier pays à m'ouvrir les bras"

ZUCCHERO - Le "bluesman blanc" qui musarde entre gospel, rythm and blues, soul, et ballades tendres, et qui a signé de nombreux duos à succès avec les plus grandes stars internationales parmi lesquelles Paul Young, Sting, Luciano Pavarotti, John Lee Hooker, Johnny Hallyday, et même l'étonnant Gérard Depardieu, est de retour avec All The Best qui réunit tous ses tubes, et pour un concert exceptionnel qui aura lieu le 27 mai au Palais des Sports de Paris avant une tournée en France pendant les Festivals d’été. Un artiste majuscule, souvent méconnu, et l’un des musiciens les plus atypiques de la scène blues rock international. N’hésitant pas à flirter avec tous les styles musicaux et les mariages des voix, l’artiste offre une vision radicalement différente de ce que l’Italie nous offre habituellement. Le bluesman, avare en interviews, se dévoile en exclusivité pour notre journal, revient sur ses 25 ans de carrière, ses souvenirs, et nous ouvre les portes de son univers à quelques jours de son grand concert parisien. (...)

Vous faites de nombreux concerts caritatifs ou humanitaires. C'est important pour vous cet engagement au travers de la chanson ?

C'est primordial. Je profite de mon micro pour aider des associations ou des causes qui me touchent dès que je le peux. Je me suis produit, par exemple, au Gala de Charité de Pavarotti à Modène ainsi qu’à Munich au concert de Charité pour la Croix Rouge aux côtés de Michael Jackson ou au concert New York Net Aid, diffusé partout dans le monde. De passage à Paris, j'ai même participé à l’album Solidays avec notamment Johnny Hallyday, Peter Gabriel et Youssou N’Dour, destiné à récolter des fonds pour la lutte contre le SIDA en Afrique. En 2003, j'ai été invité par Brian May et Dave Stewart au concert 46664 give one minute to your life to save AIDS, organisé par Dave Stewart et Queen en soutien à la campagne de Nelson Mandela. Enfin, j'en passe. Il ne s'agit pas d'établir une liste. Je n'en tire aucune gloriole mais dès que je peux contribuer à mon petit niveau à faire avancer les choses, je le fais en toute modestie. (...)

20 mai 2008

Peter's May 08 Update

Peter talks about the mystery of our disappearing servers, the final edit of Wall e, music from the Bowers and Wilkins Music Club, new Real World signings Dengue Fever, Big Blue Ball and additions to Real World Remixed.

Peter gabriel va lancer un site de telechargements moins cher

PETER GABRIEL va lancer un nouveau site sur Internet qui permettra aux fans de musique de télécharger pour moins cher.

Le chanteur – qui a fondé le site de téléchargement We7 – va s’associer avec Bowers And Wilkins pour offrir un site de téléchargement des albums à un prix défiant toute concurrence : le Music Club.

Le Music Club permettra aux artistes d’enregistrer des albums live exclusives aux studios Real World de Peter Gabriel à Bath en Angleterre. Ces albums seront alors disponibles en téléchargement pendant un mois.

Peter Gabriel confie "Cette collaboration avec B And W est unique et ça va permettre de se tenir au courant des projets intéressants à venir. Pour les artistes, Music Club est une propositions de rêve, parce qu’ils peuvent passer du temps en studio, et ont accès à des bonnes conditions d’enregistrement, et peuvent travailler sans être engagés dans quoi que ce soit ou avec qui que ce soit, à l’exception du mois de contrat avec B And W.»

"Womad's" Electric car wins TRC award

A man who built his own electric car and Womad's recycling efforts are among winners of Taranaki's Environment Awards.

Seventeen Taranaki businesses, farmers, community groups and individuals have been recognised by the Taranaki Regional Council awards, which were announced yesterday. Among the more eyecatching efforts was one by New Plymouth man Gavin Shoebridge, who has converted a petrol car to run on batteries. His story featured in the Taranaki Daily News in January.

Inglewood High School also won an award for generating its own power through a wind turbine. The 17 honours given out is the highest number since the awards began in 1993. TRC chairman David MacLeod says the awards reflect a special relationship between the people of Taranaki and their environment.
"It was heartening to have a bumper crop of nominations from which we could make so many awards," he says. "Environmental issues are the top of everyone's agenda these days, of course, but I believe these awards also demonstrate something special about Taranaki. We enjoy healthy rivers, a rich landscape, clean air, and a quality coastal environment but this is not simply by good luck."

Mr MacLeod says the level of grassroots community involvement is a positive sign for the future of sustainability in Taranaki. Yesterday, Suzanne Porter, chief executive of the organisation that runs Womad, the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust, said it was great to get the environmental award. She said the waste minimisation they introduced for the three-day festival this year was quite a leap of faith for organisers, but it worked. "It really sets a benchmark for waste minimisation in event management," Ms Porter said.

About 75% of the almost 15 tonnes of waste left at the Womad site was either recycled or composted. Forty volunteers were the public face of the system, as well as sorting rubbish and assisting backstage. Ms Porter said several event management groups outside the region were interested in what they did at Womad. She said it was becoming more common for performers to have "green clauses" in their performance contracts.

WOMAD bid for Ashbourne

ASHBOURNE - Ashbourne could be thrust into the festival spotlight in a few years if the WOMADelaide Foundation decides to purchase the 250 acres of land it has been eyeing off in the area.

WOMAD wishes to use the land to create a new October "Earth Station" festival from October 2010 that would become an annual event.

It would be a performing arts festival, with a strong focus on issues of environmental sustainability.

The WOMADelaide Foundation is the presenter of the hugely successful WOMADelaide festival in Botanic Park in Adelaide since 1992, with this year's crowd reaching 18,000 over the three-day event. WOMAD stands for the World of Arts Music and Dance and is an international festival organisation based in the UK which co-presents such festivals internationally.

Director of WOMADelaide, Ian Scobie, was a guest speaker at Monday's Alexandrina Council meeting, and told elected members he and his team envisage the Ashbourne event to be of a much smaller scale than the Adelaide event.

The Adelaide festival has eight performance stages in total, whereas the proposed festival would only start with one stage, and potentially grow to just three.

A community meeting was held in Ashbourne on April 24, where residents were able to ask questions and voice any concerns.

The WOMADelaide Foundation has looked at approximately 16 possible sites for the Earth Station site, and narrowed it down to two, Ashbourne, which is their preferred site, and a site in Eden Valley.

Mr Scobie said it was the natural beauty of the site at Ashbourne that had attracted the foundation.

"It is a beautiful area of land, plus the proximity to the environment of the Murray is of interest to us, and relative closeness to the city is a also plus," Mr Scobie said.

He said the foundation expected crowds of between 3,000 and 4,000 for the first five years of the event, with growth after that.

"Then we would expect between 10,000 and 12,000 realistically, it's never going to be as big as the Adelaide festival, and it is our intention to have a much lower key activity."

The block currently only has one access to the site, and the aim would be for the foundation to create a second road into the site, at a cost of about $400,000.

The ambition is to make the site sustainable, with no need for connection to mains water at all.

Before the foundation proceeds with the purchase of the land, the it needs to complete its financial model and put it to the State Government for funding and also to lodge a development application for permission to use the site as a festival venue.



This title will be released on June 24, 2008.

Track Listings :

1. Put On Your Sunday Clothes Performed by Michael Crawford
2. 2815 A.D.
3. Wall-E
4. The Spaceship
5. EVE*
6. Thrust
7. Bubble Wrap
8. La Vie En Rose Performed by Louis Armstrong
9. Eye Surgery
10. Worry Wait
11. First Date
12. Eve Retrieve
13. The Axiom
14. BNL**
15. Foreign Contaminant
16. Repair Ward
17. 72 Degrees and Sunny
18. Typing Bot
19. Septuacentennial
20. Gopher
21. Wall-E's Pod Adventure
22. Define Dancing*
23. No Splashing No Diving
24. All That Love's About
25. M-O
26. Directive A-113
27. Mutiny!
28. Fixing Wall-E
29. Rogue Robots
30. March of the Gels
31. Tilt
32. The Holo-Detector
33. Hyperjump
34. Desperate Eve
35. Static
36. It Only Takes a Moment Performed by Michael Crawford
37. Down to Earth*** Performed by Peter Gabriel
38. Horizon 12.2

*Composed by Thomas Newman and Peter Gabriel
**Written by Bill Bernstein and Thomas Newman
*** Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, Lyrics by Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel lance un nouveau site Internet

Peter Gabriel offre des téléchargements de musique à prix cassés!

Le nouveau site proposé par Peter Gabriel sera bien sûr musical ! Le chanteur s’est associé avec ” Bowers and Wilkins», il sera donc copropriétaire du site “Music Club”.

Ce site musical permettra aux fans de musique de télécharger des albums à prix dérisoire. Les albums des artistes seront enregistrés aux studios ” Real World” qui appartienne au chanteur. Ils seront alors disponibles pendant une période d’un mois en téléchargement. Ce système va permettre de se tenir au courant de toutes les dernières nouveautés et laisser du temps aux artistes de travailler tranquillement en studio. Ils ne seront tenus par aucun contrat mis à part celui du mois de téléchargement.

Déjà fondateur du site “W7″, Peter Gabriel est bien décidé à mettre la musique à portée de toutes les bourses.

19 mai 2008

Colonel charged with the murder of musician Victor Jara

On Freemuse "freedom of musical expression"

35 years after the torture and murder of the renowned Chilean folk singer and composer Victor Jara, a retired army colonel has been charged with the killing, reported the Associated Press

Judge Juan Fuentes has ended an investigation and charged the retired colonel Mario Manriquez in the case, saying the colonel was "responsible" for the murder of the Chilean folk singer Victor Jara in 1973 – a murder which transformed Jara's music into a symbol of struggle against repression across Latin America.

38-year-old Victor Jara, “the Bob Dylan of Chile”, was arrested shortly after a military coup led by general Augusto Pinochet. He was taken to a soccer stadium in Santiago, Estadio Chile (renamed the Estadio Víctor Jara in September 2003), which was used as a detention camp for 5,000 prisoners. His hands were smashed with rifle butts so that he was unable to play his guitar, and his ribs were broken. On 15 September 1973 he was shot to death.

The Chilean army troops also destroyed master tapes of Jara's recordings and concert appearances. They managed to find and destroy almost half of his recordings, and for much of the next 17 years, Jara's music was in effect blacklisted. Fearful fans felt compelled to hide their albums and cassettes. His recordings could not be bought in stores, and his music was rarely if ever heard on radio.

Investigation and lawsuit

Democracy was restored in Chile in 1990. An official report issued after the restoration of democracy in Chile in 1990 found that 3,197 people died or disappeared during military rule.

In August 1999, Victor Jara's British-born widow Joan Turner Jara filed a lawsuit against her husband's killers, which after 26 years had still not been identified. The lawsuit was lodged with a Chilean judge, Juan Guzman, who interviewed a number of senior military figures in an effort to determine who was in command at the stadium on that day.

In 2004, the former military ruler Augusto Pinochet was asked to testify in writing in the murder case.

Judge Juan Fuentes took over the investigation in 2005. A lawyer for the Jara family, Nelson Caucoto, said he intends to appeal the decision to close the probe with no other people charged than the colonel.

Victor Jara

Victor Jara was among the founders and best-known members of Chile's "New Song" folk movement of the 1960s and 1970s (Nueva Canción Chilena). He was also a theatre director, and a Communist Party political activist who backed Chile's elected socialist president, Salvador Allende. While Victor Jara was still alive, American folk artists like Joan Baez, Judy Collins and Pete Seeger recorded or performed songs written by or associated with him.

Victor Jara Foundation

His wife and widow, Joan Jara, started the Victor Jara Foundation which spent the 1990s trying to track down high-fidelity versions of Jara's songs that could be remixed and remastered, and a result nine attractively packaged CDs, available as a box set and individually along with a two-disc anthology, was published in 2003, 30 years after the coup.

Sponsors of the Victor Jara Foundation include prominent contemporary performers like Bono, Peter Gabriel and the actress Emma Thompson.

Festival brings Arab pop musicians to Brazil

Bridgestone Music Festival, to take place in the city of São Paulo in June, is going to present stars of the so-called 'world music' like the Algerian Souad Massi and the Mauritanian Daby Touré.

São Paulo – International pop music stars that are little known in Brazil are going to play in São Paulo in June, during the three days of Bridgestone Music Festival. Among them are Arab musicians like the Algerian Souad Massi and the Mauritanian Daby Touré, both singers, composers and guitar players.

"The idea is to bring people who are not known in Brazil to the country to do something new and shake up the music scene," said to ANBA the artistic director and producer of the event, Toy Lima. According to him, Bridgestone Music is inspired on the European summer festivals, which bring together artists of several nationalities. "We want to diversify a little. In Brazil there is great presence of music in English and Portuguese," he added.

According to him, Souad Massi should be the main star of the event, as she is currently considered one of the main names in "world music" on the European continent. Souad sings her own songs and songs by other songwriters in Arabic and French, mixing modern and classical music.

Lima wants to attract Arabs and descendants who live in Brazil to the show, as traditional Arab music is part of the repertoire. "At her shows Arab audiences sing together with her. The songs should be translated on a screen, but the audience makes the show even hotter," he said. "In Brazil, although there is such Arab influence, music in the language does not play on radio stations," she pointed out.

Born in Algiers in 1972, Souad has been living in France since 1999. Before that, according to the organizers of the event, she was already successful in her homeland, where she also attracted protest from those most conservative when she was the lead singer of a heavy metal rock band called Atakor. A member of a family of musicians, her first musical influence was Flamenco, although she now has her own style with touches of several genres.

She is compared, according to the organisation, to artists like Joni Mitchell, Tracy Chapman and Joan Baez. In Lima's opinion, in Brazil she brings to mind Marisa Monte.

Daby Touré also comes from a family of musicians. Born in Mauritania and brought up in Senegal, he has been living in France since 1989. His style, according to Lima, is pop rock and brings to mind Gilberto Gil. Touré is sponsored by rock musician Peter Gabriel.

The festival should also include pianist Rachel Z, from New York, North American keyboard player Lonnie Smith, Indian pianist Vijay Iyer and singer and percussionist Dobet Gnahoré, from Ivory Coast. The genders, according to Lima, range from jazz to world music.

This is the first edition of the festival. Next year, Lima wants to promote it simultaneously in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. "This is an idea that I have been considering for a long time and we have now managed to get sponsorship from Bridgestone," he said.

Alexandre Rocha / ANBA

Bacs sitting on a goldmine

A British Academy-backed record label is poised to unleash a goldmine of new and previously unavailable material by some of the country’s leading songwriters. The move comes as Bacs’ chief executive Chris Green readies himself to step down from the role he has enjoyed for the past decade.

Academy Recordings is a joint venture between Bacs and online distributor and aggregator The Orchard, and will launch an album at this Thursday’s 53rd Ivor Novello Awards. Volume 1: Songs from the British Academy will assemble more than a dozen songs, many unreleased, from former Ivor winners including KT Tunstall, Cliff Richard, The Pretenders, Robin Gibb, Brian May, David Arnold and Peter Gabriel.

It is likely to be the first of a raft of recordings made available by the organisation’s members to reflect the “huge range” of talent Bacs represents and promotes. On his own personal situation, Green says he is ready to move on after recently celebrating his 65th birthday and wanting to spend a little more time with his family.

For more, see this week’s issue of Music Week, out today.

By Robert Ashton Music Week

NME : Peter Gabriel announces online music project

Genesis veteran promises free studio time for new bands

Peter Gabriel
and speaker makers Bowers And Wilkins have teamed up to provide cheap album downloads in a new subscription service. The music club is set to record exclusive albums live at Gabriel's Real World Studios in Bath, which will then be available to download for a month as MP3s.

One album will be offered each month to those who subscribe to the service, which will provide free studio time to the artists involved and also return their rights to the music after two months. Artists so far set to be involved include Skip McDonald's Little Axe Collective and singer-songwriter Gwyneth Herbert.

Explaining his involvement in the project, said: "This collaboration with B And W is unique as far as I know and it's going to allow a lot of interesting projects to happen. For artists, Music Club is a dream proposition because they get some great time in the studio, access to really good recording facilities and can experiment without being committed to anything or anyone beyond a month with B And W."

Peter Gabriel Launches Online Music Club

An online music club which is being given recording support by Peter Gabriel has been launched. Music Club members will receive monthly albums from new acts such as Gwyneth Herbert and Little Axe.

Each album will be available for download for a month and all the tracks will be DRM-free, meaning they are not restricted to being played on a specific type of player. The albums will be recorded in Peter Gabriel's Real World studios in Bath.

The singer and WOMAD festival founder said he wanted to be involved in the Bowers and Wilkins service because so much online music is of poor quality.

Ruth Barnett Technology producer/ Sky News

18 mai 2008

TOP 100 & BIO

Le magazine "TIME" vient de consacrer Peter GABRIEL, "l'une des 100 personnes les plus influentes de la planète".

Honorable et pertinente distinction. Mais diantre, pourquoi donc ? Peter GABRIEL complotiste mondialiste ? Man in Black ? Activiste judéo-maçonnique ? Terroriste islamiste ? Crypto-communiste universaliste ?

Vous le saurez bientôt en lisant "PETER GABRIEL BIOGRAPHIE", 250 pages, LULU PUBLISHING ENTERPRISES, 26-28 Hammersmith Grove, LONDON W6 7BA.

Très bientot en vente en ligne. Sortie mondiale : 15 JUIN 2008 !!!

The Intruder

Peter Gabriel and B&W launch high-quality download club

Speaker manufacturer B&W has teamed up with Peter Gabriel and his Real World Studios, to create Music Club, a new download service dedicated to high-quality digital distribution and the promotion of new artists.

At the exclusive launch at the Real World Studio complex in Bath, Gabriel and B&W's Dan Haikin (above) set out the thinking behind the new service, as well as introducing some great live performances from featured artists.

Music Club, which will go live this week, is a subscription service. For £23.95 for six months – or £33.95 for the whole year – members will receive a complete downloaded album every month.

The albums will be downloaded DRM-free and using the high-quality Apple Lossless format, offering users a way of accessing music through digital distribution without making any compromises in terms of sonic quality.

Some of the artists to be featured include Grindhouse – also known as Mondo Cane who played a fine acoustic set at Music Club's launch party. The band includes Dominic Greensmith from Reef, as well as Ronnie Wood's son Jesse.

Little Axe also played a set, and is the first act to be offered by Music Club as a high-quality download. The driving force behind Little Axe is Skip McDonald, a legend of the Sugar Hill house band, and who played on early hip-hop classics like The Message and White Lines. Little Axe played a great set, a gospel-tinged blues/dub fusion with seismic basslines underpinning McDonald's acoustic blues stylings.

The new service also represents an alternative, artist-friendly way of distributing tracks. Music Club subscribers will get a diverse range of downloaded albums with artists selected by Peter Gabriel and his team at Real World. B&W will then exclusively offer the album as a high-quality download, but after two months the rights to the recordings will revert back to the artist, who may then exploit them in any way they wish.

On What Hi-Fi?