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14 juin 2008

Thomas Brooman awarded

The Bath Chronicle :

Music festival supremo Thomas Brooman, of Corsham, has been awarded the CBE for services to music and charity. Mr Brooman is the co founder and more recently artistic director of the World of Music Arts and Dance Festival (WOMAD), which he set up with singer Peter Gabriel from a base in Box. The duo also co-founded Real World Records in 1987.

Video Reuters : Peter Gabriel launches 'The Filter'

Reuters Technology Correspondent Matt Cowan reports.

Jun. 3 - The content filtering service is billed as a unique discovery portal that cuts through internet clutter to deliver customized content. The Filter aims to help users discover new music, film and web videos based on their tastes and moods.

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(02:10) Report

13 juin 2008

Peter Gabriel: “In terms of quality, music has gone back”

by Tom Porter

Former Genesis frontman and digital music pioneer Peter Gabriel has spoken out about some of the negative aspects of the internet on the music industry - naming low quality MP3s and "too much choice" as the main offenders.

It's probably no coincidence that Gabriel is currently involved in two projects - The Filter (an online discovery tool that filters music and movies according to your tastes) and Lossless Sound - a joint venture with speaker makers Bowers & Wilkins to supply a CD-quality, uncompressed album every month online.

"I think everyone thought that it (the internet) was going to democratise the music business, but it's done less of that than we would have hoped. A lot of the artists are losing one of the central sources of their income, i.e. record sales, they need to become smarter in building their own database as a means of accessing their own fans and learning and getting the feedback from their fans", said Peter Gabriel to Reuters.

"An MP3 has become the sort of new standard and it's a giant step backwards. Whereas in television now most of us are getting used to wide screen or high definition, and that's gone forwards in terms of quality, music has certainly gone back".

"I think in a world in which we are drowning in choice and have access to everything, we are going to rely more and more on good filtering".

Reuters Entertainment

LONDON (Reuters) - Grammy-winning musician Peter Gabriel believes the Internet has drowned users with too much choice, failed to democratize the pop industry as much as was hoped and eroded the quality of what people listen to. The 58-year-old producer, former Genesis frontman, world music champion and digital technology pioneer is involved in two new ventures he hopes will address his concerns.

12 juin 2008

Just a Minute With: Peter Gabriel

By Mike Collett-White / Reuter UK

LONDON (Reuters) - Grammy-winning musician Peter Gabriel believes the Internet has drowned users with too much choice, failed to democratise the pop industry as much as was hoped and eroded the quality of what people listen to.

The 58-year-old producer, former Genesis frontman, world music champion and digital technology pioneer is involved in two new ventures he hopes will address his concerns.

The first is The Filter (, which aims to produce a blueprint of an individual's taste in music, movies, news and views by analysing what the person buys online.

Users can recommend songs and films to each other, and, further down the line, may be able to customise their profiles by selecting particular directors, artists and critics.

The second is a venture with speaker makers Bowers & Wilkins which offers an exclusive album each month recorded at his Real World Studios and available online as an uncompressed file, which should ensure CD-standard quality.

Gabriel, who helps organise the WOMAD world music festival which takes place this year from July 25 to 27, spoke to Reuters about his new projects.

Q: What is the main idea behind The Filter?

A: I think in a world in which we are drowning in choice and have access to everything, we are going to rely more and more on good filtering. I think one of the ways we are trying to do this a little differently is (to) integrate the best of expert systems - best of machine and best of man. There are living, breathing people whose tastes and guidance we trust whether they be friends, experts, musicians, film directors, critics, journalists. We're trying to integrate their parameters, if you like, with "you bought this therefore you might like this". That is part of the mixer idea and it's only in its first stage of implementation. Those people whose taste is available through The Filter, you can then allocate them to the mixer. That would be the aim ideally.

Q: Has the Internet been as much of a force for good in the music industry as you had hoped?

A: I think everyone thought that it was going to democratise the music business, but it's done less of that than we would have hoped. I think if you have good filtering then that is a tool to really level the playing field. If people are starting to really like what you do, and that enthusiasm and that sort of rating is getting in there, then that will make you more visible and accessible so it would then be based on passion and enthusiasm rather than just on dollars of merchandising and advertising.

Q: Are the kind of musicians you typically support, most of whom are not household names, benefiting from the digital revolution in music?

A: Not as much as I would like yet, and as a lot of the artists are losing one of the central sources of their income, i.e. record sales, they need to become smarter in building their own database as a means of accessing their own fans and learning and getting the feedback from their fans. That's a channel through which they can sell other stuff. We do need to democratise the process of discovery.

Q: Another negative aspect of the Internet you identified is the poor quality of downloaded music many people listen to?

A: The iPod, for example, does have the capacity to hold ... what they call "Apple Lossless" files, so it's built in and available, but very few people use it and an MP3 has become the sort of new standard and it's a giant step backwards. Whereas in television now most of us are getting used to wide screen or high definition, and that's gone forwards in terms of quality, music has certainly gone back. To get as small a number of digits taken up as possible something has to be sacrificed and it's unfortunately the music.... As good as CD, which I think should be the starting point. We're just trying that out with B & W (Bowers & Wilkins) and we have a small number of acts (to record the albums) but it would be great if a few more musicians would get involved and try and put stuff out in formats other than MP3.

Q: Will you be playing at the Nelson Mandela tribute concert in London on June 27?

A: I'm not going to play at this one. I've done four of the Mandela shows now and my wife is due a baby at this time so I didn't want to have a chance of missing that by being in rehearsal or playing. But I will be, I think, going to a private dinner for his birthday party.

(Editing by Paul Casciato)

Peter Gabriel To Spread Dengue Fever Around The World

by Paul Cashmere - June 12 2008 :

Peter Gabriel has signed Cambodian rock band Dengue Fever to his Real World label, for release outside North America.

Real World will pick up with the Dengue Fever catalogue at album number three, 'Venus on Earth'.

"We have Dengue Fever coming out on Real World Records outside the USA – it's really cool stuff with a small Cambodian singer and big American guys behind!" said Real World Records Founder and Musician Peter Gabriel. "They're California-based but have taken '60's Cambodian pop as their main source of inspiration and it's done with style. Its spirited, impassioned."

The Real World version for outside North America will include the unreleased live track 'One Thousand Tears of a Tarantula', recorded in March at World Café in Philadelphia.

11 juin 2008

Songwriter looks to earn way into club of heroes

By Richard O Jones, Journal-News

It seems like every contemporary singer/songwriter is in some way simply following in the footsteps of Bob Dylan. For a time anyway, Matthew Ryan took that literally. He took his cue from Dylan himself, who famously hounded legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie until he wheedled his way into the dying man's hospital room.

Ryan, however, never got that lucky. "It's funny that even though he harassed Woody Guthrie he's pretty good at not letting anyone harass him," Ryan said. "I didn't want to steal from him, I just want to measure myself by my heroes and not by my peers, and so when I was in my 20s, I wanted his attention."

He remains vague, however, when pressed as to exactly how he set about harassing Dylan or how close he ever got, except that for his first album he rented the recording studio of Albert Grossman, Dylan's first manager.

"It's kinda like, how close did you get to Santa Claus?" he said obliquely. "There's definitely a community above and you've got to earn your way in. I love what these guys have accomplished but it's definitely otherworldly. I did meet some of my heroes, and I didn't want them to be human, thought they turned out to be."

He tells the story of having dinner once with Peter Gabriel, and all he could think about was the enchantment of the potential of that kind of event, and how Gabriel's generosity and humility came as a surprise.

"Beyond ego and all that stuff, he was human, he was in touch and there was no celebrity," he said. "He was a smart, emotional, intellectual guy."

10 juin 2008

Tech Weekly: Peter Gabriel's Filter and the 3G iPhone

The Tech Weekly podcast: a warm bath of thought for your ears

This week's half-hour of ear massage is ready for you: we talk to Peter Gabriel, discuss the iPhone, and muse on broadband speeds

Launch audio player

This week in Tech Weekly we talk to Peter Gabriel about his new web recommendation service, The Filter. It's a kind of for the whole of your cultural life - and he explains how he got involved.

We couldn't pass up Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, so we dissect the latest on the big 3G iPhone announcement. Was it as big as was expected? And is this a sign that Apple is changing its business approach.

Also in this week's show, more news of Microsoft's proxy Yahoo takeover, the BBC's moves to stream its archive live online, the phenomenon of advertising within Playstation 3 games, and whether broadband adverts will really change.

We'll also have your words of wisdom with comments from the blogs and our inbox too. Get in touch using any of the methods below, and don't forget to Skype us and join our new Twitter feed.

• Tell us what you think by calling our Skype voicemail or mail us at
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(Apologies. We wanted to find a Guardian picture of Peter Gabriel dressed as a flower, but couldn't. CC on Flickr, anyone?)

B&W Peter Gabriel's presentation and video

What’s the link between a recording studio in Wiltshire and a giant spaceship? “I was thinking about the film Close Encounters,” says Peter Gabriel, “and the way we make a connection with the aliens through melody. That may be a little fanciful. But at the Real World Studios we get musicians from all over the world, who often can’t talk to each other. We give them the technology to make noises, and they start making noises, and suddenly there’s a common language. That’s when things take off.”

see the presentation and the video !

B&W, Peter Gabriel Launch Music Club

Home Theater News By Mark Fleischmann

June 10, 2008 — British loudspeaker maker Bowers & Wilkins has teamed up with Peter Gabriel to offer subscribers exclusive music in DRM-free lossless surround.

The B&W Music Club launched last month. The online community commissions and records music in Gabriel's Real World Studios in Bath and then offers it online. It also offers blogs, feature stories, and video interviews with the likes of Gabriel, James Newton Howard, Cassandra Wilson, Dave Stewart (of the Eurythmics), and others.

This may be the most artist-friendly online venture ever. The Music Club foots the bill for studio time and mixing, but two months after the initial online Music Club distribution, the rights revert to the artists. They can then release their own CDs, set up their own download arrangements, or re-license to a record company. Initial recordings will feature Little Axe, Grindhouse, Gwyneth Herbert, Dub Colossus, and Tom Kerstens and G+.

The subscription fee is £23.95 for six months or £33.95 per year (that would be $42 or $67 at current exchange rates). That may seem a bit stiff, but we're talking about music never heard before, in lossless surround, and free of DRM, so you can convert it and use it on any device. Visit the site at

09 juin 2008

Viva la Vida Coldplay

Par Magali de Barrin Lords of rock :

Trois ans après l’excellent X&Y, Coldplay livre enfin son quatrième opus. Et autour de lui le mystère est entretenu. Si le premier single, "Violet Hill", a été offert en téléchargement gratuit sur leur site Internet pendant une semaine, le reste de l’album qui sort le 16 juin est ultraconfidentiel. Alors, est-ce qu’il en vaut la peine?

Triplement oui. D’abord parce que les producteurs sont Brian Eno et Markus Dravs. Un gage de qualité. Le premier a travaillé avec entre autres David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon. Le second est le producteur d’Arcade Fire. Ensuite, parce qu’après trois premiers albums qui se ressemblent et qui pourrait constituer une trilogie de la jeunesse, Viva La Vida est une sorte de nouvelle étape dans la musique de Coldplay.

Une sorte de remise en question, en fait. Chris Martin l’explique « le fait d’avoir écouté "Sing (To Me)", une chanson de Blur incroyable, alors que nous étions en tournée après la sortie de X&Y a constitué le point de départ de cet album. Je me souviens l’avoir écouté et m’être dit qu’il allait nous falloir devenir meilleurs en tant que groupe.»

Enfin, cet album, mélangeant de nombreuses influences - ils ont écouté aussi bien Rammstein que Tinariwen, Jay-Z, Gershwin, Radiohead, Delakota - ils offrent un set plus expérimental, dont 80% sont des live dans le studio The Bakery, qu’ils ont transformé à cette occasion. Plus expérimental, mais toujours aussi rock.

Ils explorent un nouvel univers pour le plus grand plaisir de nos oreilles. L’album s’ouvre avec un magistral instrumental intitulé "Life In Technicolor". Dès ces premières minutes, on ne peut qu’être impressionné par la nouvelle dimension que Chris Martin et ses acolytes abordent. Ils ont monté une marche supplémentaire.

Tout au long, cette impression d’ampleur se confirme, notamment dans "Lost!" introduit par un orgue d’église, et rythmé par un simple tambour. C’est mystique, presque émouvant. Avec "42" qui suit, on renoue avec un style plus avec les classiques de Coldplay, une ambiance plus intimiste, pour exploser ensuite avec une chevauchée fantastique dans "Lovers In Japan/ Reign Of Love", chanson en deux parties, au beat paradoxalement très lent, et des paroles débitées rapidement. "Yes" entre métal et cithare indienne. "Viva La Vida", plus rock malgré la profusion de cordes. "Violet Hill", le premier single, est un trait d’union entre le style initial de Coldplay et le rock expérimental qu’ils proposent dans cet album. Enfin, "Death And All His Friends" clôt comme un au-revoir ces qurante-six minutes fantastiques, comme un train qui s’éloigne lentement et qu’on refuse de voir partir.

On pouvait craindre que Coldplay ne se recycle jamais. Qu’ils conservent leur recette gagnante. Et force est de constater qu’ils se sont essayés brillamment à un genre nouveau. On ne peut qu’applaudir l’audace et le résultat.

08 juin 2008

1er Sommet Mondial des Etoiles pour la Terre

Sur Com4news

1er Sommet Mondial des Etoiles pour la Terre les 28, 29 et 30 novembre 2008 à Ouagadougou

Sauver la planete , des milliers de personnes en parlent , beaucoup essayent d'agir que ce soit en trouvant un carburant chocolat , en remplaçant les vaches par les kangourous , en évitant le gaspillage de l'eau pour une simple vaisselle , en triant ses déchets...

Rêves utopiques parfois , idées farfelues ou murement réfléchies d'autres , mais c'est en parlant que jaillissent parfois les initiatives. Croyez vous vraiment que celui qui a écrit le scénario de "retour vers le futur" et qui mettait des peaux de bananes dans le la voiture imaginait qu'un jours un paramoteur volerait vers la chine avec du carburant provenant de dechets ; pensez vous que Jules Verne croyait vraiment en son nautilus !

Alors une idée a été lancée , reunir les 100 stars élues par des votes d'hommes et de femmes du monde entier pour choisir le sportif , le chanteur , la star quoi qui représentera ce défi : se faire entendre pour que tout soit fait afin d'aider la planete

Ces stars, venues de tous les pays du monde, se réuniront à OUAGADOUGOU, capitale du Burkina Faso les 28, 29 et 30 novembre 2008 pour le Premier Sommet Mondial des Etoiles pour la Terre.

Ce ne sera pas simplement une rencontre entre artistes , experts , scientifiques mais ausi un sommet qui définira les mesures à prendre dans le monde(économiques, environnementales et sociétales)

En Clôture du Sommet, le Concert des Etoiles sera retransmis en mondovision.
Durant toute la nuit du 30 novembre 2008, 25 stars participeront à ce méga concert gratuit et en plein air, organisé par le chanteur Youssou N'Dour.

Sont invités: Bono, Diams, Peter Gabriel, Irene Grandi, Gilberto Gil, Wyclef Jean, Carlos Santana, Simon and Garfunkel, Sting, Rokia Traoré*...

*ROKIA TRAORé / chanteuse malienne que vous avez peut etre vu hier vers 23H dans le ZAP 8 de direct 8, une voix suave qui nous entraine vers les rives de l'afrique. Un morceau à écouter de cette artiste ici

Pakistan Panorama: French connection makes waves

by Kamran Rehmat -The Peninsula

Have the French taken a liking to Pakistani work of art?

There is considerable evidence if latest events are anything to go by. Recently, a book was launched at Alliance Française d’Islamabad depicting the life and works of music legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

It was like a breath of fresh air – given the connection, perhaps, French air!

Dr Pierre Alain Baud, the French author of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Messenger of Qawwali is owed profound appreciation for his accomplishment.

For Islooites – a popular term to describe the citizens of Pakistan’s capital Islamabad – the event also helped change the current mood, which is frayed at the edges with a daily diet of political soap, power outages and shortage of one essential commodity or the other.

But to return to the subject, while taking a collective bow to Baud for his effort at giving Pakistanis the opportunity to get up, close and personal with the qawwali (devotional music of Sufis) icon, on reflection, it shows how the locals either don’t have the thirst for knowledge or simply lack the inclination to acknowledge their heroes.

Once again, it has taken a foreigner to bring them home to their own legend and that, too, in their backyard.

Even in his lifetime, Nusrat won his rightful place at home only after recognition in the West – an unusually reverse pattern for glory.

Nusrat’s first public performance was in 1965 but it wasn’t until his collaboration with Eddie Vedder on a soundtrack for the Hollywood hit Dead Man Walking that he began to make a global impact.

Soundtracks for The Last Temptation of Christ and Natural Born Killers took his pitch to a new high but it was the international celebrity Peter Gabriel, whose Real World label released five of Nusrat’s albums containing traditional qawwalis and experimental work with Mast Mast and Star Rise that propelled him as a fusion guru.

Baud’s tribute went beyond the book launch. It was quite a tour de force for the audience in Islamabad with anecdotes, docu-films, musical presentation and poster exhibition.

The French author’s love for the Pakistani qawwal’s mesmerizing work is abundantly clear with the various descriptions ascribed to him and reproduced in the book: "Singing Buddha’ in Japan, "Voice of Heaven’ in the US and "Pavarotti of The Orient’ in France.

The maestro also won plaudits from the French Ambassador in Islamabad, Regis de Belenet, who told the audience with some relish that one of Nusrat’s first concerts was in Théâtre de la Ville in Paris. The Paris rendezvous, Belenet felt, produced the electric effect that turned Nusrat into one of Pakistan’s finest ambassadors.

Thanks to the author’s keen interest in Sufi music, he developed a rapport with Nusrat, which soon turned into friendship, leading to his contribution in organizing global concerts. Subsequently, he produced articles, booklets and CDs exploring the genre of Sufi music and the contribution of Pakistani artistes.

A participant had a point when she said: “It makes you wonder if it is not something that we, Pakistanis should have done ourselves: to promote a soft image of their country.”

I recall with some vividness watching Bollywood flick Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya in Muscat’s Al Nasr cinema years ago in which Nusrat appeared as a guest star. The moment he adorned the screen, the audience broke into a rapturous applause that continued for nearly a minute.

What makes Nusrat’s music tick across cultures, even for those who do not understand the languages he sang in, is explained by one fan thus:

“His music invites us to eavesdrop on a man communing with his God, ever so eloquently. The deepest part of Nusrat’s magic lies in the fact that he is able to bring our hearts to resonate with the music, so deeply, that we ourselves become full partners in that offering.”

It has taken another Frenchman to highlight the value of prized Pakistani work – scripted by a giant luminary but lost to the gathering dust of history.

It took Film Director Philippe Jalladeau’s painstaking effort to locate the work of art – Jago Hua Savera (Day Shall Dawn) – penned by the inimitable Faiz Ahmed Faiz almost half a century ago.

Jalladeau, a passionate film buff, who has been running an international film festival in France based on documentaries and fiction films for four decades, was in Pakistan recently after he secured the only existing print of Jago Hua Savera – the country’s first feature film produced in 1959.

Praising its impressive execution, the French director told leading Pakistani daily Dawn in an interview that Jago Hua Savera was “the most beautiful film ever made in Pakistan” and that he had watched it three times.

The film was screened last month in Lahore at the auditorium of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan – an unusual platform to take a shot at reviving past glory but perhaps, apt given the maltreatment it has received.

Faiz’s daughter, Saleema Hashmi, revealed that the only print of Jago Hua Savera had been lost before being eventually found by the French director in a London archive.

Describing the film as a “piece of education”, Jalladeau lamented that Pakistan did not have a properly maintained archive, an example he said compared unfavourably with even war-torn Afghanistan!

For the discerning, Jago Hua Savera – set in a East Pakistani village – was declared the sixth best Pakistan film in a country list of top ten by the British Film Institute in 2001.

Jago Hua Savera is the story of a fisherman’s struggle to build a boat. The future income of his entire family depends on whether he succeeds or not.

It was Pakistan’s first realistic and experimental film. All pervasive poverty, deprivation, ill health and ignorance are the major obstacles the fisherman has inherited from his environment. The film won a prize at the Moscow film festival as it reflected socialist ideology through the struggle of the proletariat, viz., the fisherman.

This classic award-winning film originally premiered in London 50 years ago.

Momix Passion: A Review

Passion Photos copyrighted by Arnold Groeschel

by Carley Petesch Carley, dance editor for The Brooklyn Rail

The body is a vessel for sacrifice both literally and symbolically in Moses Pendleton’s Passion, the 17-year-old dance work that opened Momix’s run at The Joyce Theater in May. The episodic piece set to Peter Gabriel’s score for the film The Last Temptation of Christ is a visual feast with bodies that are pushed to extreme physical limits, but its substance does not fully match that of the music.

Despite this, it is obvious why international venues keep bringing Passion back; it has the palatable Momix recipe of sensuality, athleticism, beauty and illusion. Like magic shows, or Cirque du Soleil—to which Momix is now often compared—trickery is what drives the piece, the attempts to create moving sculptures with the body that are dazzling.

The work opens with the projection of a man’s face on a front scrim. That face morphs into a tree, and from behind that scrim, the dancers appear in nude-colored costumes and stocking caps. They are arranged in a line going up stage so that only the front body is seen, with limbs protruding out in a tree-like fashion. Flowing movements of the arms evoke a multi-limbed goddess, and two dancers are lifted and swung like pendulums with knees bent, feet flexed. The dancers then assemble in a tight circle, arms wrapped behind backs. A dancer initiates an up and down wave, and the group spins around the stage like an undulating top.

The projections continue to morph throughout the 75-minute piece. From the tree, to Chinese tomb sculptures, to a brain, to Renaissance paintings, the only connecting thread between the images is that they are the motivation for the movement that follows. At times this formula works, as when there is an angular, flying statue projection and two male dancers jump into the air and literally suspend in the same position as the image for longer than one would think possible. Their strength and power are seemingly beyond human. At other times, the formula feels disconnected because the images are so disparate, like when a portrait of soldiers is projected onto the screen, eventually morphing into the projection of a Mayan-looking sculpture. The movement that follows involves a male dancer on all fours, spastically circling his head.

Passion relies on creative body concepts, not necessarily innovative movement patterns. But some of the so-called illusions are a bit watered down, like when a female dancer sits on a male counterpart and pretends his legs are hers. Other concepts are absolutely breathtaking. The strongest and most mesmerizing section of Passion comes toward the end, when a male dancer hangs from the ceiling, surrounded by women who look as though they had been hanged and covered in red velvet hoods. The lighting makes it look as if they are suspended in the heavens. With incredible precision and tenacity, the male dancer moves through sacrificial motions on the ropes.

Then a large pyramid-like projection serves as scenery for three female dancers. They emerge from the wings with white glowing veils covering their topless bodies, a long train following. The brilliant lighting design makes them look like ghosts floating around the tomb, and as they manipulate the veils with exacting throws, wraps and bundles, it looks as if they are moving metallic liquid around the stage. It is haunting and beautiful.

Such images leave a lasting impression. The triumph of Passion lies in the eery and otherworldly mood it creates. Momix continues performing another Pendleton favorite, Lunar Sea, at The Joyce Theater through June 8.