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31 mai 2008

WOMAD's May 2008 newsletter

The quintessential music festival returns the picturesque surrounds of Charlton Park, Wiltshire, from Friday 25 July to Sunday 27 July. Over seventy world-class artists from forty different countries will perform across seven stages in the English countryside. Easily accessible by road: just seven miles from Junction 17 (Chippenham) of the M4, one hundred miles due west of London, less than thirty miles from Bath, Bristol and Swindon.

In readiness for what many regard as an annual pilgrimage, the crew at WOMAD have been busy redesigning the site at Charlton Park. Busy doubling the amount of trackway so that to-ing and fro-ing is direct and hassle-free. Relocating the open air stage and main arena to a large robust field with a gently sloping incline. Installing permanent stone track ways around the main arena to ensure smooth and swift servicing of all areas without vehicles ever crossing this central space. Moving the vintage fairground, a beloved and popular WOMAD institution - next to a hard and handy stone track.

The camping area now comes with an extra 35 acres - and there's more space for parking. There is an enticing array of accommodation options, from deluxe boutique camping in Royal Maharaja Shikar tents and VIP camping to oh-so-comfy tipis, yurts and plywood Podpad hobbit-houses. Camping phobic? The Tangerine Fields Crew will assemble a 2, 4 or 6 person tent ready for your arrival (complete with airbed and brand new sleeping bag) and pack it up again once you've gone. And because we all deserve peace of mind, a subtle but alert police presence will ensure that the camping area is, indeed, as safe as houses.

Communication has been similarly improved: stewards are savvy, plentiful, on-message. Information boards positioned at key points across the site will deliver up-to-the-minute information on everything from who's performing where and with whom to workshop timings and traffic conditions; festival goers can leave messages on designated boards as well. WOMAD Radio - will be broadcast over a 20mile radius, offering a 24 hour mix of music, artist interviews and site-specific updates.

With its arboretum, open lawns and rolling fields, the idyllic Charlton Park is now more accessible than ever: frequent shuttle buses will run from both Kemble and Chippenham stations, and into nearby Malmsbury. On-site, Fair Mobility Scooters are available - complete with training and full instructions - for those who may need them.

More than 250 stallholders in the Global Village will be ready with their food and drink; their arts, crafts and merchandise. A full programme of dance and percussion workshops has been designed for both adults and children. Look out for cookery sessions in the Taste the World Cafe. Late night dance music sessions with the cutting edge DJs. A Sufi Night. An Irish Ceilidh. The irrepressibly gorgeous children's procession on Sunday.

WOMAD is looking forward to welcoming you under hundreds of dreamy coloured flags - ideally ruffled by a summer breeze - that mark WOMAD out as a sort of three-day Utopia.

Full festival details
Buy Tickets on-line

Warm wishes, The WOMAD Festival Team.

Wychwood festival, Cheltenham Racecourse

Family-friendly festival kicks off with style, and even avoids the floods

When it comes to festivals, it pays to be first. Getting a jump on the big guns of Glastonbury, V and Reading, as well as local rival Cornbury in neighbouring Oxfordshire, has been the ace in Wychwood's hole. That, and its setting at Cheltenham Racecourse, with green, lush, rolling hills around the track, but also all the amenities expected at a venue more commonly associated with the sport of kings.

When Sunrise down in Somerset is cancelled because of flooding and its refugees make their way to Wychwood, it makes sense to be on higher ground where the going might be soft but everything else goes to plan. It's therefore no wonder that Wychwood, now in its fourth year, has won so many awards and become the family-friendly three-day event par excellence.

Artists enjoy the festival too and keep returning like homing pigeons, most notably Eliza Carthy, who will make it four Wychwood appearances in a row tomorrow when singing with the Imagined Village, Simon Emmerson's folk history in the making project.

The festival kicked off in style last night with sets by Robyn Hitchcock and Dreadzone, two acts who have also played Wychwood before, and headliners The Proclaimers, who brought singalong goodwill from Leith to Gloucestershire.

Find of the day earlier on the Wickwar Stage were The Maladies of Bellafontaine, a psych-folk group who, despite an unwieldy moniker, seemed to bridge the gap between the Cowboy Junkies and Belle and Sebastian. Hitchcock keeps changing the name of his band – they're now called The Psychedelic Trams – but gets better the greyer his hair. He didn't bring John Paul Jones, with whom he recently supported REM at the Royal Albert Hall, but an impressive batch of covers to match his suitably skewed compositions.

Best described as Syd Barrett's true heir, wearing violet trousers and a black-and-white polka-dot shirt, the former Soft Boys frontman looked and sounded like the Pink Floyd founder might have done if he'd thrown up a dose of caustic wit rather than swallowed a dodgy tab of acid. His surreal stage introductions were a match for warped songs like "Brenda's Iron Sledge" and "Kingdom Of Love" though sterling versions of the Elvis Presley standard "Mystery Train", with fellow Soft Boy Kimberley Rew making like Scotty Moore on lead guitar, and Beatles curios "Within You, Without You" and "Old Brown Shoe" shone like crazy diamonds.

Dreadzone, perennially described as festival favourites, lived up to their reputation with their heady mixture of dub and dance, which sounds as fresh as it did when first heard on the John Peel show more than a decade ago. As the sun set and hit the sunrise depicted on The Independent stage backdrop, the clarion call of "Little Britain", Dreadzone's biggest hit, had everyone smiling, parents bouncing kids on their shoulders in time to the beat.

Short of the east end of London, it would be hard to find a more unlikely place for The Proclaimers to appear than Gloucestershire but the Scots twins went down a storm. It helps that they have quite a catalogue of hits – "I'm On My Way", "Letters From America" and "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"– and that their voices can be as soulful as Kevin Rowland. Indeed, there is more than a hint of Dexys Midnight Runners about them but less of a second-hand element about their music. At times, as on "Restless Soul" and many of the selections from the current album, Life With You, they really sounded like The Band. Their cover of Wreckless Eric's "Whole Wide World" became the festival anthem it was always meant to be.

You can go to festivals all over the world but none will be quite as homely as Wychwood.

By Pierre Perrone

Fringe Festival At a Glance: Soul of the party

When Jon Morgan Launches the programme for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this Thursday, he'll be full of positive PR. The new director will sing the praises of an event that bursts out of every backroom, basement and broom cupboard to generate not only a huge economic boost to the city but a validation of the capital's status as one of the world's artistic hotspots.


Indeed, just look at the fabulous international line-up that's blossoming at St George's West the moment Assembly has relinquished it. Director Toby Gough has filled the void with the World Festival, bringing a round-the-clock programme of Tibetan sacred dance, Brazilian capoeira, Cuban mambo, Tanzanian thumb pianos and, with the support of Peter Gabriel, Cambodian child temple dancers.

"The spirit of the Fringe is taking risks, showcasing new writing, presenting world culture and coming up with ideas that are only valid for the Edinburgh Fringe," says Gough, who is known for his Fringe First-winning shows in the Royal Botanic Garden. "We're flying the flag for original events that are designed for a festival audience. This is not a stepping stone on some other project. These people are coming to the Fringe believing it will change their lives. The festival becomes a lifeline – a real possibility for change."

This is closer to the spirit in which Morgan is approaching the Fringe than the doom and gloom the headlines often suggest. "I am optimistic about the state of affairs," says Morgan, looking forward to next year when Scottish companies on the Fringe could benefit from the government's Expo Fund. "The Fringe is an ecology. One branch dies and another one grows. That's not to say I'm complacent about Aurora Nova going – that's a real shame – but it's what happens on the Fringe. It shifts and changes. It's a hugely successful event and audiences and artists have a fantastic time, but it would be irresponsible of me not to point out the weaknesses in the ecology."

• The 2008 Edinburgh Fringe programme is launched on 5 June.

By MARK FISHER / Scotsman

Big Blue Ball on Myspace

On Myspace :

Limited Edition Blue Vinyl Double LP - US Release Date 5/27/08 CD and Double LP - US Release Date 6/24/08

“One week in the middle of summer this craziness exploded in our Real World Studios. We had this week of invited guests, people from all around the world, fed by music and a 24 hour café. It was a giant playpen, a bring your own studio party. There’d be a studio set up on the lawn, in the garage, in someone’s bedroom as well as the seven rooms we had available. We were curators of sorts of all this living mass. We had poets and songwriters there, people would come in and scribble things down, they’d hook up in the café. It was like a dating agency, then they’d disappear into the darkness and make noises – and we’d be there to record it.”

- Peter Gabriel, producer and performer

30 mai 2008

Womad takes performers to school

The World Of Music And Dance festival (WOMAD) is to hold a week of workshops and master classes overseen by a number of the performers at this year’s UK event.

Taking place during the week following the festival, which is held in Wiltshire from July 25 to 27, the Summer School will cover a number of disciplines.

Holding classes will be Chris Difford of Squeeze, Egyptian percussionist Hossam Ramzy, West African kora and guitar player N'Faly Kouyate, dummer Billy Cobham and guitarist Justin Adams.

By Christopher Barrett

A Lot More Joseph Arthur Music On The Way

Joseph Arthur has been a busy guy. The New York City-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer has been working diligently on a series of four EPs for his Lonely Astronauts label. The first two, Could We Survive and Crazy Rain, are already available online.

Vagabond Skies will be released on June 10 and Foreign Girls will follow on July 8. The EPs precede the Sept. 16 release of Arthur's seventh full-length album, Temporary People. The LP (originally titled All You Need Is Nothing) features his band, The Lonely Astronauts.

If five releases in six months isn't enough activity for Arthur, the 37-year-old has launched a blog called Bag Is Hot that features his music, paintings, poetry and photography. He's also featured on two tracks on the Peter Gabriel and Karl Wallinger-curated Big Blue Ball compilation that will hit stores on June 10.

Arthur has managed to find time to squeeze in some solo acoustic shows in support of the EPs. Here are the confirmed Canadian dates:
* July 4 Montreal, QC @ Club Soda
* July 5 Quebec City, QC @ Imperial De Quebec
* July 6 Peribonka, QC @ Auberge Ile-Du-Repos
* July 24 Vancouver, BC @ The Media Club
* July 26 Guelph, ON @ Hillside Festival

Here are the tracks on Vagabond Skies:
* "Slow Me Down"
* "Even When You're Blue"
* "Pretty Good Company"
* "She Paints Me Gold"
* "Second Sight"
* "It's Too Late"

Here are the songs on Foreign Girls:
* "Foreign Girls"
* "Candy And Cars"
* "Lovely Cost"
* "Stay"
* "The Killer"
* "New Satisfaction"

Here's what you'll find on Temporary People:

* "Temporary People"
* "Faith"
* "Say Goodbye"
* "Dead Savior"
* "Look Into The Sky"
* "Sunrise Dolls"
* "Heart Is Wider"
* "Heart's A Soldier"
* "Turn You On"
* "Winter Blades"
* "Drive"
* "Good Friend"

—Zack Vitiello

Daby Touré à Champ-Fleuri

Ne ratez pas le concert de Daby Touré qui a lieu ce vendredi à Champ-Fleuri. De retour à la Réunion, le chanteur sera sur la scène de Champ-Fleuri ce soir à partir de 20 heures.

Accompagné de ses musiciens l’artiste donnera le tempo durant une heure pour le plus grand bonheur de ses fans. D’une culture éparpillée entre la Mauritanie, le Sénégal et la France, Daby Touré, avec des chansons au format pop-folk, un charisme vitaminé, des paroles en Soninké, Pular, Wolof et Anglais, imprégné d’une sérénité acoustique, tourne le dos aux conventions, loin d’un trad’ appliqué.

Issu d’une famille de musiciens (son père n’est autre que le frère aîné et chanteur des Touré Kunda), Daby Touré a d’abord fondé avec son cousin le groupe Touré Touré avant de se lancer dans une aventure solo. Ce jeune prodige mauritanien, découvert par Peter Gabriel dont il fait la première partie des concerts et ayant réalisé un sublime duo aux côtés de Souad Massi, subjugue par ses mélodies inédites et séduisantes, pleines de fraîcheur. Après le très joli succès de Diam, Daby revient avec nouvel album baptisé Stereo Spirit et mixé avec l’aide de Bob Coke, l’ingénieur du son de Ben Harper.

À la tête de tous les instruments, il distille une musique résolument moderne teintée de rythmes traditionnels. Ce pourrait être une rencontre océanique entre Cat Stevens, Jack Johnson et un Youssou N’Dour affranchi du m’balax. Un vrai régal !

29 mai 2008

Rock in Rio: power chords against climate change

Don’t be a part of any energy [r]evoultion you can’t dance to

Lisbon, Portugal — Anyone who has ever thrown on a pair of headphones when pondering a problem knows that music can induce inspiration. Our politicians aren't very inspired at the moment, so we're asking the musicians and crowd at the Rock in Rio festival in Lisbon to compose a small symphony of musical encouragement to help them to crack the climate protection conundrum. Want to join in? (...)

Logic isn't working

The logic behind the need for an energy [r]evolution is impeccable. But when it comes to the G8 leadership, it doesn't seem to have been loud enough to be heard or to lead to action. So it's time to crank up the volume. To ELEVEN.

Music has been a powerful motivator for Greenpeace over the years. Our first voyage was funded by a concert - a benefit that Joni Mitchell and Phil Ochs threw in Vancouver, bringing along surprise guest James Taylor. A rock compilation album, Breakthrough, with artists Talking Heads, Belinda Carlisle, REM, Pretenders, Eurhythmics, Grateful Dead, Thompson Twins, Bryan Adams, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Hornsby, Dire Straits and Sting launched our first office in the Soviet Union. Green Day and Michelle Shocked have been helping promote our efforts to convert the guitar industry to sustainably-sourced wood.

U2 has taken action with us against the Sellafield nuclear complex, Gianna Nanini has been arrested with us protesting nuclear weapons testing, Bryan Adams has gone seat to seat in a stadium in Tokyo with other Greenpeace volunteers leafletting against whaling at one of his concerts, and countless others have dedicated royalties and time to singing out our message.

At Rock in Rio, we’ve decided to enlist the help of a musical revolutionary, Ludwig van Beethoven, in trying to reach the G8 leaders with our message.

From 1804 to 1808, Beethoven wrote the score for one of the most stormy, elaborate and magnificent compositions ever to startle and inspire the world: the 5th Symphony. (That’s the one that goes dit-dit-dit-DAH.) Two centuries later, it is still having an impact. Research suggests that the pattern of notes in the 5th actually helps our brains work better and promotes creative thinking. During Rock in Rio in Lisbon, we are hoping this inspiring piece of music will inspire world leaders to take action against climate change at the next G8 summit. (...)

Soundcheck: Feed Your Head

From the first track, listening to Mawwal's this is all there is, there is no other place is like absorbing some bizarre hallucinogenic compound through your armpits in a Waziristan sweat lodge. Drawing heavily on traditional Middle Eastern/South Asian music and academic icons like Joe Zawinul and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the contemporary arrangement of these rooted-in-tradition pieces is, well, seriously cool.

Stringed-instrumentalist/vocalist and Mawwal mastermind Jim Matus has gathered a band of musically-possessed individuals that includes deep, entrancing subsonic fretless bassist Joe O'Brien, semi-tone vocalist Jill O'Brien and violinist Rohan Gregory. Percussion is provided (in the form of drums, tablas, djembes, dumbeks and many other instruments) by a host of schooled professionals and world travelers including Harshal Tole, Mike Keyes, Shane Shanahan and the ever-present Tony Vacca.

Mawwal's old/new fusion has overtones of Peter Gabriel's or Paul Simon's mining of African and South American musical paradigms, though it seems to incorporate mostly Pakistani and Afghani influences. There are elements of aboriginal chant as well; though there is nary a didgeridoo on the record, there are droning, Tuvan throat-singing vocals that simulate the trance-like qualities of that instrument.

It is music that breathes, and quite palpably, like the walls of my dorm room did one day many years ago, in an isolated Vermont boarding school. The whole seems heavily influenced by the psychedelic, in the intense, spiritual sense of the term. This is evidenced not only by the CD's cover art—photos of freak rock formations called "fairy chimneys," from the Cappadocia region of Turkey—but also by their quoting Terrence McKenna on the CD's insert. McKenna theorized worlds that were all but imperceptible without the aid of psychedelics, and had some pretty smart stuff to say about it all: "Right here and now, one quanta away, there is a raging universe of active intelligence that is transhuman and hyperdimensional. The true situation in which we are embedded is an organism, an organization of active intelligence on a galactic scale."

Mawwal have certainly captured this vibe, and if it's one you like to connect to, you'll dig the hell out of these folks. Catch their release party June 1 at the Iron Horse at 7 p.m.

Daniel Lanois, producteur de U2 et de Bob Dylan, évoque sa passion pour la musique

Lorsque Daniel Lanois parle de processus musical, c’est avec la révérence et la crainte d’un mystique religieux. Sa passion pour la musique le consume et en retour ses conseils et sa production ont aidé Bob Dylan à créer Time Out of Mind et U2 à réaliser Achtung Baby.

Daniel Lanois sera au Town Hall Theatre le samedi 1er juin à 22 heures pour y donner un récital de 45 minutes accompagné par le batteur Brian Blade. Ce concert sera suivi par la projection en avant-première à Galway du film/documentaire d’une durée de 90 minutes de Daniel, Here Is What Is.

"J’ai séjourné à Galway, il y a longtemps, dans les années 1990", me dit Lanois au téléphone depuis Dublin, où il travaille en ce moment avec U2 à leur prochain album. "Ca fait si longtemps que ce concert sera comme une première fois."

Ce soir là, Lanois jouera des titres de ses divers albums en solo sur une guitare que lui a donné récemment l’un des membres de U2. "Je vais jouer sur une toute nouvelle Les Paul qu’Edge m’a donné", précise Lanois. "Ca vient de sa Music Rising Foundation. Elle est magnifique mais j’aurais aussi pour m’accompagner ma vieille Telecasters ainsi qu’une Pedal Steel Guitar."

Lanois possède tout une série de Fender Telecasters des années 1950 et 1960 ainsi que de nombreuses guitares acoustiques de collection, mais sa préférée reste sa Gold Top Les Paul de 1956. "C’est celle dont j’extrais le son le plus profond et elle est une amie sur laquelle je peux compter", souligne-t-il. "J’en joue avec de grosses cordes de sorte qu’elle semble être acoustique entre mes mains."

Lanois est né en 1951 à Québec et est fier d’être un Canadien français. "Mon identitié franco-candienne joue un rôle dans mon songwriting." "J’ai écrit des chansons en français, grandi en parlant français et anglais. J’apprécie la mélodie tout comme mes père et grand-père qui étaient violonistes et jouaient des standards du pays et j’ai les mélodies dans la peau."

Bien que Lanois soit un songwriter et un musicien du plus gros calibre, il est mieux connu et reconnu pour son œuvre en tant que producteur sur les albums de U2, Bob Dylan, Emmoylou Harris, Peter Gabriel, etc. Son statut actuel, l’un des plus grands producteurs de disques, a débuté au milieu des années 1970 au côté de son frère, dans la cave de la maison de leur mère.

"Ca a commencé comme une industrie artisanale et c’est né de la passion et de l’amour de la musique." "Nous opérions en dehors de l’entrainement classique et ce qui aurait pu être un désavantage est devenu un avantage alors que nous étions forcé de créer notre propre son bien distinct. La rumeur s’est bientôt répandue que les frères Lanois avaient développé leur propre son et depuis je me lève chaque matin et essaie de faire quelque chose de novateur."

Et pourtant l’homme qui a produit Wrecking Ball pour Emmoylou Harris et Time Out of Mind pour Bob Dylan ne raffole pas du titre de "producteur". "C’est une étiquette que m’a collé l’industrie", dit-il. "J’aime aider les gens et je comprends l’harmonie aussi je suis en mesure d’aider quelqu’un."

En un sens, l’Irlande a fait du nom de Lanois celui d’un producteur et il est heureux de reconnaître que sa production — au côté de Brian Eno — sur The Unforgettable Fire pour U2 en 1984, l’a catapulté dans la major league (ligue nationale).

"Je bossais avec Brian Eno au Canada et j’ai reçu cette K7 d’Irlande", se souvient Lanois. "Brian l’a écoutée, l’a trouvée bonne et qu’il était possible d’en faire quelque chose, mais il m’a dit ne plus produire. Je lui ai dit que j’aimerais la produire et lui ai demandé de me recommander. Je me suis envolé pour l’Irlande, j’ai rencontré les gars et nous l’avons fait."

The Unforgettable Fire a été un succès artistique et commercial. C’est à partir de là que U2 a déployé ses ailes créatrices et qu’a débuté une longue collaboration avec Lanois qui allait également produire The Joshua Tree et Achtung Baby. Chacun de ces albums produits par Lanois était marqué du sceau de l’ambition artistique et de l’audace qui sont devenus les éléments clefs de l’évolution de U2.

"Le studio était plein de cœurs innovants", dit Lanois au sujet de la conception de ces albums. "J’aime faire des disques que j’aimerais écouter aussi je n’opère pas selon les critères du marché. Je tente d’accéder aux rêves des personnes qui se trouvent dans le studio d’enregistrement et fait ainsi des disques qui sont spéciaux pour chacun d’entre nous. Lorsque je bossais avec Bob Dylan sur Oh Mercy, je me suis élevée à un certain niveau de qualité. Ce qui revient à dire : je joue mieux au billard lorsque j’affronte Alex Higgins !"

Duquel de ces trois albums qu’il a produit est-il le plus fier ? "Je dois dire Achtung Baby", réplique-t-il. "C’était un tour de force et ca a franchi de nouvelles barrières sonores dans son expression de l’innovation et de l’engagement."

Pour l’heure, Lanois est retourné en studio avec U2, il travaille au 12e album studio du groupe.

"Nous avons presque fini", dit-il. "Ca marche plutôt bien et Bono chante comme un oiseau. Une fois encore le contenu est guidé par les aspirations et les rêves qu’ont les gens. Dans son noyau, c’est toujours le même U2 mais les tons et les textures prennent parfois certaines directions différentes pour donner une tournure à la chanson et une complexité vers laquelle les auditeurs reviennent. C’est ce que nous en tant qu’êtres humains apprécions dans l’art, les recoins cachés qui se révèlent au cours du temps."

Lors de son concert au Town Hall, Lanois projettera son long documentaire Here Is What Is qui donne une vision de l’intérieur fascinante de ses méthodes de travail et de son approche musicale.

"L’idée de ce film m’est venue d’une invitation d’un ami qui consistait à mettre une caméra dans un studio d’enregistrement et je n’avais jamais filmé aucune session auparavant", précise-t-il. "Nous avons essayé durant une session et ça a marché. je veux montrer comment ça s’est fait et je veux présenter la réalisation filmée de chansons de grandes personnalités. Ca commence par Garth Hudson, l’un de nos grands pianistes canadiens. Brian Blade est présent et nous nous rendons dans l’église baptiste de son père. Nous avons essayé de rester fidèles aux plans longs et pas aux coupes rapides. Aussi avons-nous laissé la caméra fixe sur une personne qui chante au piano comme le ferait l’œil humain en face de cette même personne."

Par Kernan Andrews

Traduit pour U2 France par "Corinne/Dead"

Manu Katché, si vous étiez...

Son dernier opus, Playground, a fait un tabac. Reconnu par les plus grands, de Sting à Souchon, ce batteur exceptionnel part en tournée tout l'été.

Si vous étiez... un livre de chevet

Le Joueur d'échecs, de Stefan Zweig. Un auteur magnifique et un sujet universel : le dépassement de soi.

Un tableau

N'importe quel Basquiat ! A travers son oeuvre tourmentée, je retrouve un peu la sensibilité et les émotions de Miles Davis. Je me demande si Basquiat n'écoutait pas ses disques lorsqu'il peignait. Allez savoir ! Ils restent tous deux d'une incroyable modernité.

Un pays

Asiatique ! Je suis un fan du Japon, du Vietnam et du Laos. J'aime tout de cette culture : la nourriture, le sens de l'esthétique, le perfectionnisme. Et je sais de quoi je parle, car je travaille depuis plus de vingt ans avec des Japonais ! Ils sont pros et dotés d'une écoute des autres exceptionnelle.

Le seul objet sur une île déserte

Un couteau suisse, pour survivre. Le côté « perdu au milieu de l'océan » ne me fait pas du tout rêver. Je n'aime ni la mer ni le bateau.

Un paysage qui suscite le rêve

La montagne. C'est vraiment mon élément. J'adore marcher, skier, dormir dans un refuge et contempler les sommets. Cela m'apaise énormément. Ces paysages me font cent fois plus voyager que les océans. A la montagne, il y a d'ailleurs une qualité sonore incroyable, un son ouaté unique.

Un mot qui serve de devise

Ténacité. C'est l'un de mes traits de caractère. Je suis non pas têtu, ni borné, mais pugnace. J'aime aller au bout d'un projet... le seul moyen de savoir si l'on s'est trompé !

Un animal

Un félin. Je préfère m'imaginer en jaguar plutôt qu'en serpent. C'est un animal racé, rapide et combatif ! Quand il a repéré sa proie, il ne la lâche pas.

Un personnage historique

Victor Schoelcher. Il contribua à faire adopter le décret sur l'abolition de l'esclavage.

Une saison

L'automne. Sa lumière est plus dorée, plus subtile que celle de l'été.

Une rencontre que vous espérez

Je n'espère rien. Je suis assez fataliste. Néanmoins, je serais ravi de discuter avec Patrick Modiano ou Nelson Mandela.

Un musicien ou un chanteur

Miles Davis. C'est mon maître et une référence absolue. La puissance de sa musique est universelle. J'ai eu la chance de le rencontrer une fois, à la fin de sa vie, aux Etats-Unis, à l'occasion d'un concert pour Amnesty International. A l'époque, je jouais avec Peter Gabriel. Cela reste l'un de mes plus beaux souvenirs. J'espère que l'on se retrouvera dans l'au-delà et que l'on fera un boeuf !

Propos recueillis par Sylvie Wolff, l'Express

27 mai 2008

Q Track Of The Day: Gotye

Gotye – Hearts A Mess

Gotye (pronounced go-tee-yay rather than not goaty, go-tie or got-yer) is basically Bruges-born Wally De Backer who laboured away on his music as a bedroom project while working away through a series of unfulfilling day jobs.

Now based in Melbourne, his hard work paid dividends when he landed the Australian equivalent of the Mercury last year after initially drawing attention with a promo copy of his tracks which he circulated.

Piecing his material together from samples the sparse new single Hearts A Mess lulls you in with harp, strings and Hammond before it all goes a bit Peter Gabriel-meets-Bjork on the chorus.

The track is constructed around a rebuilt loop from Harry Belafonte’s Banana Boat Song (although you would probably be hard-pushed to spot the source) and is released on June 2.

Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara Soul Science

(World Village)

Soul Science is a slow-burning album that reveals its many surprises and innovations gradually. It is a collaboration between Justin Adams — the guitarist in Strange Sensation, Robert Plant’s backing band — and Juldeh Camara — a griot from Gambia who plays a rifti (a one-string fiddle). Its 11 songs provide some of the tastiest gut-bucket blues this side of Muddy Waters’ early material. The music is, at once, reassuringly familiar and utterly exotic and strange. Embedded within the album’s subtext is a commentary on the history of blues’ and rock’s African origins that is as alluring, enticing, and challenging as anyone is ever likely to hear.

Over the past several years, Adams has become something of a cultural ambassador for music that is fomenting in West Africa’s desert region. A veteran of the post-punk scene in Britain, Adams worked as a session guitarist with the likes of Sinead O’Connor, Jah Wobble, and Peter Gabriel before he issued Desert Road, his solo debut in 2001.

On the album, which he recorded in his home studio, Adams conjured a series of gentle electronica-inspired, percussive soundscapes, which echoed the desert rhythms of the Tuareg people. With tasty blues licks, which he superimposed over the basic tracks, Desert Road offered listeners a chance to enjoy the similarities among ancient desert rhythms, gospel music, and early rock ’n‘ roll. On a subsequent trip through Mali with Plant in 2003, he encountered the swirling melodies and hypnotic grooves of Tinariwen and Tartit at the Festival in the Desert. Adams’ subsequent collaborations with Tinariwen produced a pair of fine albums: Amassakoul and Aman Iman.

Each of the songs on Soul Science represents an equal collaboration between Adams and Camara. The yearning insistence of Camara’s rifti playing defines the melodies, which range from the searing Bo Diddley-inspired distortions that are captured on Yo Ta Kaaya to the lovely, lilting, desert-born dreamscapes that are offered on Yo Lay Lay.

Working within a blues structure, Adams uses his guitar to help the listener find and ride the dominant rhythms by making a bridge between African traditional grooves and the rock, funk, and soul that since have grown out of them. Many of the tracks on Soul Science are supported by the muscular percussion of Salah Dawson Miller, an Algerian-influenced hand-drummer. Together, the trio has created one of the most unusual and interesting collaborations to be issued this year. It might take a little patience, but if it is approached with open ears, fans of Led Zeppelin, Ali Farka Toure, Blind Willie McTell, and Muddy Waters will find a lot to enjoy on Soul Science.

Written by Douglas Heselgrave

Joseph Arthur concert unique en France à Rouen !

27-05-08 - Découvert en 1995 par Peter Gabriel et 1er artiste US à être signé sur Real World, Joseph Arthur a construit sa réputation sur des lives uniques et des tournées qui n'en finissent plus.

Après être venu en décembre dernier avec ses Lonely Astronauts à Paris, il revient pour une unique date en France en 2008. Joseph Arthur donnera un concert exceptionnel à Rouen le 20 Juin prochain à la salle Emporium Galorium.

Pour plus de liberté, Joseph Arthur a créé son propre label, Lonely Astronaut, il offre ainsi des dizaines de morceaux inédits à ses fans via ses myspaces et ses blogs et va bientôt sortir son 10ème EP ('Foreign Girls' en juillet) et son 7e album 'Temporary People' (à paraître en septembre).

C'est entre deux tournées, une en Angleterre et l'autre en Amérique du Nord qu'il viendra jouer à Rouen spécialement pour ses fans.

26 mai 2008

Legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Nephews To Enthral Qawal Lovers

SURREY - Qawaali tradition continues as Qawal legend Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's nephews are coming for a traditional Qawaali concert on Father’s Day, June 15 at the Massey Theatre, New Westminster.

Muazzam and Rizwan Mujahid Ali Khan and party are bringing centuries old tradition of their families which originated at Faisalabaad, Pakistan and since has played to appreciative audiences from London to Toronto and Paris to Vancouver over and over again.

Muazzam, the younger sibling has been compared to late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan by all experts and his incredible range has led to collaborations with greats like Peter Gabriel and resulted in four CDs under world series label of the duo already.

Promoted by Kamal Sharma of Kamal's Video Palace, who earlier introduced the group in 2004 to sold out performances in Vancouver and Surrey, Qawaali fans are in for a treat as the 10 member group perform at Massey Theatre, New Westminster on Sunday, June 15 at 7pm with tickets at $25,35 & 45 available at Main Video,Tasleem's Video, Shaaz Video and Kamal's Video Palace.

To sponsor the show or for more information, please call Kamal Sharma at (604)592-9777 or (604)833-1977.

Daniel Lanois on his passion for music

U2 and Bob Dylan producer Daniel Lanois on his passion for music

When Daniel Lanois speaks about making music, it is with the reverence and awe of a religious mystic. His passion for music consumes him and in turn his guidance and production helped Bob Dylan create Time Out Of Mind and U2 make Achtung Baby.

Daniel Lanois will be in the Town Hall Theatre (Galway) on Sunday June 1 at 10pm where he will give a 45 minute performance, accompanied by drummer Brian Blade. The concert will be followed by the Galway premiere of Daniel’s 90 minute movie/documentary Here Is What Is.

“I was in Galway a long time ago, about 1990,” Lanois tells me over the phone from Dublin, where he is currently working with U2 on their new album. “It’s so long back that this show will feel like the first time.”

On the night Lanois will perform songs from his various solo albums on a guitar recently given to him by a member of U2. “I’ll be playing a brand new Les Paul The Edge gave me,” says Lanois. “It’s from his Music Rising Foundation. It’s beautiful but I will also have my old Telecasters with me and a Pedal Steel Guitar as well.”

Lanois owns a range of Fender Telecasters from the 1950s and 1960s as well as numerous vintage acoustic guitars, but his prize axe is his 1956 Gold Top Les Paul. “It’s the one I get the deepest sound from and it seems a reliable friend,” he says. “I play it with fat strings so it has an acoustic feel to the hands.”

Lanois was born in 1951 in Québec, and is a proud French Canadian. “Being French Canadian plays a part in my songwriting,” he says. “I have written songs in French, grew up speaking French and English. I appreciate melody as my dad and grandfather were violinists and they used to play country classics and the melodies got under my skin.”

While Lanois is a songwriter and musician of the highest calibre, he is best known and most acclaimed for his work as the producer of albums by U2, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel, etc. His present status as one of the greatest of all record producers began in the mid-1970s with his brother, in the basement of their mother’s house.

“It started out as a cottage industry and was born out of passion and love for music,” he says. “We operated outside the formal training and what might have been a disadvantage was an advantage as we were pushed to create our own distinct sound. Word of mouth got around that the Lanois brothers had developed a sound of their own and from then I get up each morning and try to work out how to do something innovative today.”

Yet the man who has produced Emmylou HarrisWrecking Ball and Bob Dylan’s Time Out Of Mind is not keen on being called a ‘producer’. “It’s a banner placed on me by the business,” he says. “I like helping people and I understand harmony so I can give someone a hand.”
In a sense, Ireland made Lanois’ name as a producer and he is happy to acknowledge that his production - along with Brian Eno - of U2’s The Unforgettable Fire in 1984, catapulted him into the major league.

“I was working with Brian Eno in Canada and I got this tape from Ireland,” recalls Lanois. “Brian listened to it, thought it was good and something could be done with it, but he said he wasn’t producing anymore. I said I’d like to produce it and would he make an introduction? I flew over to Ireland and met the guys and we hit it off.”

The Unforgettable Fire was an artistic and commercial success. It was the start of U2 truly spreading their wings creatively and began a long association with Lanois who would also produce The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. Each of those Lanois produced albums was marked by a surge of artistic ambition and daring and became major turning points in U2’s evolution.

“The room was always filled with innovative hearts,” Lanois says of the making of the albums. “I like to make records I would like to listen to so I don’t operate by the guidelines of the market place. I try to access the dreams of the people in the recording room and so make records that are special for all of us. When I was working with someone like Bob Dylan on Oh Mercy, I was elevated to a place of quality. Put it like this, I play better snooker when I play against Alex Higgins!

Of which of the three U2 albums he has produced is he proudest? “I’d have to say Achtung Baby,” he replies. “It was a tour de force and broke new ground sonically with its expression of innovation and commitment.”

Lanois is currently back in the recording studio with U2 working on the band’s 12th studio album.

“We’re just about done,” he says. “It’s going pretty good, Bono is singing like a bird. Again the content is very much driven by the aspirations and dreams people have. At the core it is the same U2 but the tones and textures sometimes take a slight different turn sonically to provide a slant on the song and a complexity that listeners will keep coming back to. That’s what we as human beings appreciate in art, the hidden corners that reveal themselves over time.”

At his Town Hall show, Lanois will screen the feature length documentary Here Is What Is which should provide a fascinating insight into his working methods and approach to music.
“The idea for the film came from the invitation of a friend to bring a camera into the recording studio as I’d never filmed any sessions before,” he says. “We tried it on one session and it worked. I want to show how it was done and present the filming of songs by the greats. It opens with Garth Hudson, one of our great Canadian piano players. Brian Blade is there and we take a trip to his father’s Baptist church. We’ve tried to remain loyal to long shots and no fast editing. So we leave the camera on a person singing at the piano looking at them just as a human eye would if you were there in front of them.”

By Kernan Andrews

Djivan Gasparyan to lead duduk ensemble at Royce Hall

The master of the Armenian oboe will team with composer-producer Michael Brook and family members.

On Friday night, Royce Hall will resonate with the quivering sound of the duduk, an Armenian oboe, as played by its reigning master, 79-year-old Djivan Gasparyan. He will be accompanied by Michael Brook, inventor and performer of the "Infinite Guitar" and a composer and producer who has worked with such musicians as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Brian Eno, U2's Edge and Jon Hassell.

The additional ensemble of musicians will include Gasparyan's grandson, also named Djivan, playing duduk, and Brook's wife, violinist Julie Rogers.

Brook produced Gasparyan's album "Moon Shines at Night" in 1993, and the pair decided on a full collaboration five years later for the album "Black Rock." Released on Peter Gabriel's Real World label, it generated considerable critical acclaim -- Gasparyan's slow, meditative phrases beautifully complemented Brook's dreamy, sustained and heavily processed guitar.

"The process when trying to work with people from other countries is to create a simple backing track, giving a bit of atmosphere, pitch and tempo. [Djivan overdubs], then I develop the frame around the picture," Brook said. "I take what he does, what is beautiful and magical, and provide a framework."

Their work, individually and together, has appeared on soundtracks for such films as "Gladiator," "Black Hawk Down" and, most recently for Brook, "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Into the Wild."

"Music is a real-time thing for me," Brook said. "There's very little planning -- it's a purely experimental process. I learned to feel comfortable with the glory of the accident."

A new album, "Penumbra," is scheduled for a fall release, and the Royce concert will include much of the new material. Brook and Gasparyan also are recording more traditionally based Armenian music.

Casey Dolan

Daby Touré remet ça

Vous n’avez pas pu voir le fantastique Daby Touré lors de son dernier passage à la Réunion en 2005 ?

Voici une belle occasion à ne pas manquer puisqu’il revient sur l’île le 30 mai, accompagné de ses musiciens. D’une culture éparpillée entre la Mauritanie, le Sénégal et la France, Daby Touré, avec des chansons au format pop-folk, un charisme vitaminé, des paroles en soninké, pular, wolof et anglais, imprégné d’une sérénité acoustique, tourne le dos aux conventions, loin d’un trad’ appliqué.

Issu d’une famille de musiciens (son père n’est autre que le frère aîné et chanteur des Touré Kunda), Daby Touré a d’abord fondé avec son cousin le groupe Touré Touré avant de se lancer dans une aventure solo. Ce jeune prodige mauritanien, découvert par Peter Gabriel dont il fait la première partie des concerts et ayant réalisé un sublime duo aux côtés de Souad Massi, subjugue par ses mélodies inédites et séduisantes, pleines de fraîcheur.

Après le très joli succès de Diam, Daby revient avec nouvel album baptisé Stereo Spirit et mixé avec l’aide de Bob Coke, l’ingénieur du son de Ben Harper. Daby Touré en profite pour nous livrer ses sentiments, en écrivant sur les relations amicales et amoureuses et sur la puissance de l’esprit. À la tête de tous les instruments, il distille une musique résolument moderne teintée de rythmes traditionnels. Ce pourrait être une rencontre océanique entre Cat Stevens, Jack Johnson et un Youssou N’Dour affranchi du m’balax.

• Daby Touré le 30 mai à 20 heures au théâtre de Champ-Fleuri. Rens. 0262 300 800

CLICANOO.COM | Publié le 26 mai 2008

25 mai 2008

WOMAD wonder

Former Seagry school head teacher James York Moore, whose giant paper sculptures Eilmer and the Mighty Jackdaw caused a stir at last year's Malmesbury carnival, has taken his talent to Spain for the WOMAD team.

He and fellow artist Hilary Cox were recruited by the worldwide organisation to run a workshop for the festival in the ancient town of Cacares.

The association began when Hilary's husband Steve, who is chairman of the carnival committee, approached the Charlton Park event organisers and suggested sculptures made by Mr York Moore and the pupils at Lea School could feature in the children's parade.

Because of the appalling weather and the knee deep mud, the parade was cancelled. But the artwork was displayed in the children's tent and caught the imagination of the WOMAD foundation.

As a result Mr York Moore, a Malmesbury School community governor and one of the editors of the Jackdaw, was asked to run workshops at festivals in the Canary Islands as well as in the world heritage site, Cacares.
"It is a very interesting organisation to work for," he said. "Having WOMAD on our doorstep gives the town a wonderful opportunity to make the most of the talented artists and performers who visit the area.

"As a former local head teacher, who has worked closely with the WOMAD Foundation the educational benefits for local schools are limitless."

In Spain he and his Cactus Crew helped local children create banners, totems and a giant lizard on a desert theme before leading a procession through the narrow medieval streets.

'The special chemistry' of an awesome supergroup

The way they were: The band (from left, Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford) pictured in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1975

Tony Banks : 'I don't think any of us would rule out doing another tour, but it would have to be something special. Something like what we originally set out to do this time, performing The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway and the earlier material with Peter and Steve Hackett. Funnily enough, I spoke to Peter on the phone a few weeks ago and he's still not ruling it out. But when I asked him when, he just laughed. So don't hold your breath...'

ANGELIQUE KIDJO: ‘I have deep connection with the music of my root’

It doesn’t matter to this Benin-born songbird that her listeners might not understand all the words she sings. What’s important is understanding the feel of it, she says.

“I truly believe that music is a common ground where we can all meet,” writes Angelique Kidjo via e-mail. She’s a busy lady trveling to promote her latest album. Djin Djin. “I have played in so many countries all over the world and it does not seem to me that we are so different. There is one humanity and the emotions that link us together are not always expressed by words but by melodies, grooves and music.”

Kidjo performed with Ziggy Marley during a 2005 Ethiopia concert. Her latest album features duets with artists as vared as R&B songstress Alicia Keys, Latin guitar legend Carlos Santana, contemporay classical phenom Josh Groban and eclectic superstar Peter Gabriel.

She grew up listening to everybody from Bob Marley (who is ultra popular in Africa) to Jim Hendrix. Nine albums and one Grammy later (for Djin Djin–as Best Contemprary Wold Music Album), she is now as sought-after as those she admired in her childhood.

“My notion of ‘Black music is very very broad,” writes Kidjo, 44, who is married, has one child and lives in New York. “Even as a little girl, learning all those songs in my bedroom, without understanding the lyrics, I heard a deep connection with the music from my country.”

“I was too young to understand the whole history of slavery and how Afrian music spread in the Americas, but I knew these grooves shared so many things in common. A lot of my recordings through the years have triedto revive this broken link and let me tell you: It works!”