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05 juillet 2008

Tuning out from content overload

By Richard Taylor, Editor, BBC Click

Once upon a time, the web was a straightforward affair. Lots of links - to lots and lots and lots of text. A decade on, it is virtually unrecognisable - a multimedia extravaganza where text has to compete with video, podcasts and animation.

Enriching? Definitely. But daunting, and very, very noisy as well. So how do you tune out that noise and tune in to stuff you do want? Enter the concept of filtering - and enter alongside it, rock legend-turned-serial tech investor Peter Gabriel.

"It's one thing to have access to unlimited information," he says. "But you feel like you're drowning sometimes - there's just too much stuff, and you really want the good stuff, the stuff that's going to excite and inspire you," he adds. Three years ago the former Genesis frontman gave his backing to an iTunes plug-in called "The Filter", which was designed to automatically generate playlists from your music collection.


Now it has relaunched as a website with the more ambitious goal of being a "life jockey"; actually learning your taste in entertainment, and delivering appropriate content to you. It takes a mathematical approach to work out the probability that you will like something based on your designated preferences. This analysis is then combined with other people's playlists and purchases to produce - fingers crossed - a list of media suited to your taste.
"It's trying to say actually how do we make good choices - and that's partly through expert systems and algorithms," says Peter Gabriel. It's also partly through people that we trust - friends, experts - so we're trying to integrate a system which takes the best of man and machine."


This time round it is not just music that The Filter has in its sights. Web, video and even movies are all part of the taste-predicting experience. "We believe there maybe some real relationships worth exploring," he says. A very obvious example would be if I love Goth films, I may also like Goth music. If I like obscure foreign language arthouse films, then I may tend to obscure music."

But he accepts it is ambitious to make definite conclusions. "It's only as good as the usage the community gives it, so the bigger the database of information and references, the better the predictions. Some maybe totally fanciful, but I think the more we look at it, the more it seems that there are connections you can make," he adds. And, he says, users will still be able to find the unpredictable "left-field" material for which the internet is famed. "On the site there's a bar which has got 'expected' and 'unexpected'. So, if you feel like an experimental day when you want all new stuff, unfamiliar things, you can select that," he says. If you want more tried and tested, that's available too."


The concept of recommendation sites is nothing new, as any visitor to Amazon will know. Last fm Founded in 2002, says it now has more than 20m users And whilst The Filter has celebrity backing, other similar filtering sites have become stars in their own right. Start-up was snapped up by CBS last year for a cool $280m (£143m) and iLike boasts 20 million users. Pandora employs an entirely unique approach, looking at musical attributes in songs you like - things like vocal harmony and orchestration - and then trying to find the same attributes in other music.

Peter Gabriel accepts The Filter faces stiff competition from the other sites operating in this area. "For sure, we're behind," he admits. "We're a small English operation and we don't have some of the resources. I think did the social network side of the music thing very well and it's a well-designed, well-executed site. I just think we're doing something a bit different, and filtering is coming in a big way. So I hope we can do it well, and we've certainly got some very smart people working on it."

Win VIP Womad tickets

The Independent

Britain's best world music festival takes place this month – and we've got 50 pairs of tickets to give away. Sound good? Then tackle our quiz...

It's one of the great music events of the year – and you could be there if you can answer these 15 questions. Email your entry to by Wednesday night – the winners will be chosen at random from the best responses.

Each pair of VIP tickets, worth £250, will give you access to the festival on 25-27 July – and allow you to mingle with the stars in the backstage bar. Two children, aged 13 or under, can accompany each adult for free.

Even if you don't win, you can get a 15 per cent discount at And 25 names will be drawn out of a hat and given a pair of tickets to a private event hosted by Womad's founder Peter Gabriel, including a tour of his Real World Studios, plus an exclusive concert by new sensations Dengue Fever.

1) What does Womad stand for?

2) What is the connection between Genesis and Womad?

3) Toumani Diabaté is one of the stars of this year's Womad. What instrument does he play?

4) Where is Tony Allen from?

5) And which Blur song mentions Tony Allen?

6) Name the reggae star who went from The Equals to Electric Avenue?

7) How many seconds were there on Youssou N'Dour's biggest hit (with Neneh Cherry)?

8) Another band playing Womad this year is Dengue Fever. Where is their lead singer originally from?

9) Which song by The Clash was a global hit when sung in Arabic by Rachid Taha?

10) What instrument does Bassekou Kouyate play?

11) Who met at Bamako's Institute for the Young Blind and were originally known as The Blind Couple of Mali?

12) She comes from County Clare, is known as the "Queen of the Squeezebox" and has played with Sinéad O'Connor and members of U2. Who is she?

13) Which BBC DJ discovered the early albums of Ali Farke Touré in a bargain bin, helping to launch his global career?

14) Sa DingDing has been compared to Björk, plays the zheng and won a World Music Award this year. Which country is she from?

15) Which Brazilian singer and actor played Knockout Ned in City of God and performed several songs by David Bowie in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou?

04 juillet 2008

Splendour of chamber, Egyptian music

By Dennis Chua, The News Straits Times

At 8.30pm on July 7 and 8, Egyptian musical splendour arrives at DFP when percussionist Hossam Ramzy and his seven-piece ensemble perform.

They are joined by his belly dancer wife Serena Ramzy.

Born in Cairo, Hossam learned the Egyptian tabla under the tutelage of leading Cairo music teachers.

Soon, the distinctive sound of Hossam's Arabian string arrangements and percussion caught the attention of Peter Gabriel. He was invited to perform on the albums Passion and Us.

Hossam later developed his skills in both string arrangements and production and has performed, arranged and produced songs for artistes such as Yesim Salkim, Celick Erici, Cheb Khaled, Tarkan, Rachid Taha, Faudel and The Gypsy Kings.

In 1994, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame invited Hossam to form a band of Arabian musicians and work on their reunion album No Quarter — Unledded.

This led to Hossam joining them on their historic 1995-1996 reunion world tour.

His extensive discography includes collaborations with Afro-Celt Sound System, Marc Almond, Joan Armatrading, Big Country, Bond, Chick Corea, Anne Dudley, ELO, Boy George, Deborah Harry, Greg Hunter, Jay-Z, Luciano Pavarotti, Rolling Stones, Mary Wilson and Paul Young.

His virtuosity is also demonstrated on scores for film soundtracks which include The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, The Last Temptation Of Christ, The Saint, Stargate, Stealing Beauty and Wings Of A Dove.

Hossam Ramzy, Pioneer of percussion


Hossam Ramzy continues his experimentation with various genres.

Four names stand out in the history of Egyptian music – four who have influenced and inspired generations after them. Umm Kalthum is a star who stands alongside the finest songstresses that the world has produced and Arabics music’s undisputed marvel and her demise in 1975 is still mourned by many in the Middle East.

Kalthum’s improvisational prowess is legendary and her attempts to break out of the traditional mould – alongside the luminous Abd el-Halim Hafez – set the tone for the changes that swept the musical spheres in Egypt. Sheikh Sayed Darweesh is revered as the progenitor of Egyptian Arab music and gained prominence in the 1910s and 1920s with the “innovation” musical movement.

His fusion of neglected Arab and Egyptian tunes with Western harmonisation and nationalist songs for the common man earned him affection and admiration amongst the masses before his tragic death in 1923 at the age of 32. Darweesh’s controversial and pioneering spirit lived in Mohamed Abd el-Wahaab (1910-1991), who is widely recognised as the man who took Arabic music kicking and screaming into the western world.

El-Wahaab’s steadfast devotion to his principles of modernisation brought criticism and belated appreciation. He believed in the freedom to create music as an artist sees fit and, upon his death in 1991, it was unclear whether his ideals would continue to be championed by his successors. In Hossam Ramzy, one would say, we can see this courage to shift beyond the traditional route and maintain Egypt’s experiments with other music genres.

The classically tutored percussionist too is exceptional in the Egyptian stratum of musicians. There are possibly three chapters in Ramzy’s vocation that has made him the celebrated musician that he is now. He left Cairo for Saudi Arabia for career-defining stints with Bedouin tribes to gain first-hand knowledge of the music of the Middle East.

Another journey that influenced the course of his craft was to London – where he has been based since the mid-1970s – to reinvent himself as a jazz drummer. This proved to be short-lived and a return to his roots yielded successes that led to global fame, especially after the release of his seminal solo work, An Introduction to Egyptian Dance Rhythms, in 1987.

A prolific recording artiste, Ramzy produced at least 22 albums between 1987 and 2007 alone and collaborated with the top names in the 1980s – from Boy George and Joan Armatrading to Robert Plant and Peter Gabriel. His partnership with Gabriel opened up numerous possibilities in world music circles and he remains one of the most sought-after percussionists in the industry.

While Ramzy struggled to repeat the popularity and critical approval of An Introduction to Egyptian Dance Rhythms in his numerous subsequent albums, there are a few that are notable for their inventive bent. Egyptian Rai (1994) was an amalgamation of music forms from Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia – amongst other nations – and featured the pan-Arabic smash hit, Wah Wah.

The rai genre, a combination of popular music and traditional Bedouin desert music, has maintained a consistent pull on Ramzy and he has worked with the leading rai singers in the arena. His momentous 1-2-3 Soleils concert in 1998, which was reproduced in an equally smashing album of the same name the following year, brought together Khaled, Rachid Taha and Faudel – three top musicians in rai. Ramzy served as the orchestra director, arranger and lead percussionist for the project that showcased the talent of the Algerian trio.

Ramzy has preserved his interest in working with musicians of diverse backgrounds and another breakthrough album was Ahlamy in 1996, a joint effort with the acclaimed Rafat Misso – who has modified and mastered the quartertone saxophone to suit the rendition of Arabic music. The album’s highlights are the updates on a number of folk dance pieces and pop songs. Ahlamy also serves as a reminder of Ramzy’s ability to sustain and venerate the vision and legacy of his predecessors.

Hossam Ramzy performs at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, next Monday and Tuesday with his six-man ensemble and his belly dancer wife Serena Ramzy. Tickets for both shows – which commence at 8.30pm – are priced at RM140, RM100, RM60 and RM40. Please visit for more details.

Festival de jazz : il y a aussi des ateliers…

Le Festival de Jazz n’est pas seulement l’occasion d’entendre de bons spectacles. C’est aussi le temps de venir voir et écouter les conférences de grands musiciens. À preuve, après Joseph Arthur qui a peint une guitare devant public hier, voilà qu’il sera possible de parler musique avec Daniel Lanois.

le tout se déroule au Salon Régency de l’hôtel Hyatt de Montréal, dans le cadre du Salon des Instruments de Musique de Montréal (SIMM). Cet événement, qui en est à sa quatrième édition, fait la promotion de la pratique musicale. Gratuit et accessible à tous, permet aux gens d’essayer des instruments de musique, de découvrir des exposants, des fabricants, d’assister à des ateliers et des rencontres avec les plus grands musiciens.

Hier après-midi, le guitariste et peintre new-yorkais Joseph Arthur partageait sa passion de la musique et de la peinture avec le public. Les amateurs ont pu lui poser des questions concernant sa musique et sa peinture. D’ailleurs, M. Arthur a peint une guitare qui sera mise aux enchères à la fin du festival et du SIMM.

Aujourd’hui, c’est autour de Daniel Lanois de rencontrer les amateurs de musique. Producteur, ingénieur, chanteur, auteur, compositeur, réalisateur et guitariste, le prodige québécois a réalisé de grands disques avec de grands nom de la musique rock. Pensons à U2, Peter Gabriel, Les Neville Brothers et Bob Dylan. Une rencontre à ne pas manquer!

Samedi, il sera possible de parler avec Olivier Jones et Jim West, et dimanche, avec Gino Vannelli. Encore là, voilà des rendez-vous à encercler à votre calendrier!
Concerts à surveiller
Voici quelques concerts à surveiller ce vendredi 4 juillet
- VIC VOGEL 1 + 1 = 2, au théâtre Jean-Duceppe de la PdA, 18 h

- TRIO MICHEL DONATO avec MARIN NASTURICA et JON GEAREY, au Gesù — Centre de créativité, 18 h

- JOSEPH ARTHUR SOLO, Club Soda, 19 h

- ARETHA FRANKLIN , salle Wilfrid-Pelletier de la PdA, 19 h 30

- DANIEL LANOIS, au Métropolis, 20 h 30

Joseph Arthur sans ses astronautes

Marc-André Boivin, Canoë

De retour au Festival d’été de Québec

Il n’y a probablement pas plus productif que Joseph Arthur actuellement sur la scène musicale nord-américaine. C’est sans ses Lonely Astronauts, mais toujours avec sa guitare et une tonne de nouveau matériel que celui-ci se pointera au Festival de jazz de Montréal de 4 juillet et le lendemain au Festival d’été de Québec, endroit où il avait effectué une prestation remarquée l’année dernière.

Il faut comprendre que l’artiste a lancé récemment trois EPs intitulés Could We Survive, Crazy Rain et Vagabond Skies, totalisant une vingtaine de nouvelles chansons. Un quatrième, Foreign Girls, qui comprend six nouvelles pièces, doit se retrouver en magasin le 8 juillet prochain, sans oublier le travail qui vient de se terminer pour son nouvel album Temporary People qui sortira en septembre. À croire que celui-ci, qui se fait également peintre et poète à ses heures, ne fait que travailler.

«C’est l’impression que tout le monde semble avoir de moi parce que je sors tellement de matériel ces temps-ci, mais moi je ne me sens pas comme un gars qui ne fait que travailler. Ne vous inquiéter pas, je trouve aussi le temps de m’amuser avec des amis. Je ne concentre pas mes énergies à un seul endroit», lance-t-il en riant.

«Il faut dire aussi que, même si la plupart des trucs que je sors en ce moment sont des nouveautés, il y a des choses que j’avais en banque. Par exemple, la collaboration qui se retrouve sur le dernier album de Peter Gabriel, sorti en juin dernier, avait été faite bien avant mon premier album, c’est-à-dire il y a 12 ans», souligne Joseph Arthur.

L’album Temporary People devait normalement sortir le 16 septembre, mais le lancement a été reporté et pourrait finalement se faire autour du 30 septembre prochain. «L’enregistrement du disque, qui s’est fait à New York, est complété, mais nous avons repoussé la sortie pour fignoler un peu l’emballage autour de celui-ci. C’est cette étape, les à-côtés, qui est selon moi la plus difficile lorsque vient le temps de lancer un disque. Parce que pour ce qui est de la musique, même si c’est beaucoup de travail, si tu es passionné, c’est une véritable partie de plaisir», confie le musicien qui se fait aussi blogueur depuis un certain temps.

«J’ai commencé ça parce que je trouvais que c’était une façon intéressante de présenter mes œuvres. C’est comme un dialogue constant, mais avec la tournée de spectacles, j’ai pris une pause dernièrement sur le blog. De toute façon, c’est quelque chose que l’on peut laisser de côté un moment et sur laquelle on revient par la suite», poursuit le musicien qui a eu une nuit plutôt mouvementée.

Joint à son hôtel de Montréal sur le coup de 12h30, celui-ci venait tout juste de se lever. «Je suis parti de Brooklyn très tard hier soir, mais j’ai eu toutes les difficultés du monde aux douanes canadiennes qui sont probablement les pires. Ils ont fouillé mon camion en entier. Ça été très brutal, j’y suis resté pendant plus d’une heure et ils m’ont même demandé si j’avais déjà pris de la drogue dans ma vie. Ça ressemble beaucoup à une question piège», ajoute-t-il.

C’est au Club Soda de Montréal et à l’Impérial de Québec que le chanteur se produira au cours des deux prochains jours. «C’est un spectacle qui varie tout le temps selon les endroits. J’ai tellement de matériel que ça pourrait être deux spectacles complètement différents», affirme-t-il. Une chose est sûre, c’est que les gens doivent s’attendre à des trucs très planants. «Même si je ne prends pas de drogue», conclut-il toujours avec le sourire.

03 juillet 2008


Bath: A group of world-famous Cuban musicians are to perform at Hayesfield School.Members of the school's big band will be working with the band Asere and then performing with them at a concert in the evening. Asere have just finished an album with jazz performer Billy Cobham and they are performing at the school between appearances at Glastonbury and the WOMAD festival.

Head of music Gareth Harris said: "This is an amazing opportunity for the students in the school to work with international musicians. This day will be a lovely treat for the band following their success in this year's Mid-Somerset Festival when they came away with the winner's trophy in the Jazz Band competition."

The public are invited to the concert which starts at 7.30pm tomorrow.

Tickets are available from the school or on the door.

For more information call 01225 426151.

The Edge, Peter Gabriel Launch 'Small Places Tour'

Peter Gabriel and U2 guitarist the Edge have signed on as spokesmen for Amnesty International's "Small Places Tour." Running from September 10 until the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, the trek is being described as "the most ambitious global music and human rights project since 1988's Human Rights! Now Tour."

According to a press release, "musicians will have many different ways to engage with the tour, including performances as well as offering premium seating packages, meet & greats and other unique fan experiences. Gabriel and the Edge are hoping the Small Places Tour will represent the 'passing of the torch' to the next generation of musician-activists."

For more information on Amnesty International and how to get involved in Small Places, check out

02 juillet 2008

Womad – The festival that’s light years ahead

The UK festival season is now well under way, and the biggest and best festival for music, arts and dance from across the globe is less than a month away. As usual at this year’s WOMAD Charlton Park there will be the opportunity to sample different cultures from all over the world and an atmosphere that is truly unique.

WOMAD is a festival that attracts a wide-ranging audience, from world music fans to people who just want to broaden their horizons and discover and experience new music and cultures. In its 26-year history WOMAD has also been at the forefront of accommodating families in an environment that is safe and secure, as well as being affordable – two children aged 13 and under can come free with each adult ticket holder.

There are plenty of children’s workshops, family workshops, and schools projects. Music making, face painting and cookery sessions. An irrepressibly gorgeous Children’s Procession. A vintage steam fairground that is more like a film set than a travelling fair. A dedicated children’s area complete with sandpit, reading library and Found Children tent, located close by the dedicated Family Camping site (which has a respectful, early(ish)-to-bed philosophy!). Plus, there is the magnificent Charlton Park itself: a rural idyll complete with arboretum, open lawns and rolling fields – the perfect place for enjoying and exploring especially at the height of British summertime.

Peter Gabriel re-affirms WOMAD’s desire to encourage families to come to the festival:

“From the outset when we started in 1980 we really wanted to include kids, so part of the aim for WOMAD was to introduce a lot of music. If we can teach them about some of the joys of the world then it’s a wonderful thing. It’s like with food, if you don’t let them eat different things, they won’t like things that are strange and foreign!”

While WOMAD Charlton Park offers extra space for car parking this year, the festival organisers are encouraging festival-goers to travel by more environmentally sound ways and so have teamed up with First Great Western and National Express to offer the simplest and most convenient travel solutions.

First Great Western offer a frequent service and value fares to the local rail stations at Chippenham and Kemble, and a frequent shuttle bus service will be operating between these stations and the Charlton Park site to make getting there even easier. For more information and to book, visit

National Express will be running a special coach service from London Victoria and Bristol coach stations directly to the festival site. Connections can be made to these main stations from over 1000 destinations across the National Express network. For more information and to book, go to

For further general information and to book tickets, visit and

Emmanuel Jal Makes A Big impression At Mandela Bash

From Antimusic :

(Noble PR) Former Sudanese child soldier turned rapper, Emmanuel Jal, received rave reviews for his explosive performance of the song 'Emma' with the Soweto Gospel Choir at the '46664 Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday Concert' in London's Hyde Park on June 27th. He was introduced by Peter Gabriel who proclaimed him as "having the potential of a young Bob Marley."

"I met the next artist about 3 years ago and was enormously impressed with this young man from Sudan," said Peter Gabriel, as he introduced Emmanuel Jal at the 46664 Nelson Mandela concert. "His brutal childhood as a 7 year old child soldier taught him to be a mindless killing machine. People expected Mandela to come out of 27 years in jail calling for revenge but he came out calling for forgiveness, compassion and collaboration."

"This next artist came out of the horror of a brutal war, a brutal childhood with a clear voice calling out against violence, hatred and materialism. He's gonna have a huge influence in the world way beyond his music. He's still developing and exploring his musical voice, but I think you have the opportunity to see someone with the potential of a young Bob Marley. Please give an enormous welcome to the amazing Emmanuel Jal."

'Emma' will be released as a digital download single on iTunes from 22nd July. Taken from Jal's new critically acclaimed album 'Warchild', 'Emma' is dedicated to the British Aid worker Emma McCune, who rescued Emmanuel Jal from a continued existence as a child soldier. Emma adopted Emmanuel and smuggled him to Kenya to begin a new life, where he could grow up safe and get an education. Sadly, a few months later Emma died in a car accident. A film based on Emma's life, 'Emma's War, directed by Tony Scott (Enemy of the State), is due for theatrical release in 2009.

Watch Peter Gabriel's intro and Emmanuel's performance of 'Emma' at the Mandela concert here :

* July 12th - Rising Styles Hiphop festival in Brighton
* July 13th - Rise Festival in Finsbury Park, London
* Aug 4th - 9th - Afrikadey Festival in Calgary, Canada
* Aug 16th - 17th - the V Festival
* Aug 22nd - the Greenbelt Festival, Cheltenham

01 juillet 2008

Peter Gabriel sets out to save the world

Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times

OK, so cut Peter Gabriel some slack for taking too long to finish an album: "Big Blue Ball," a long-simmering world music project he launched back in 1991, finally survaced this week.

In the intervening 17 years, he's released four other collections of his music, launched a music download website (www.We7 .com), continued nurturing WOMAD, the world music and dance festival he started in 1982 and launched a lifestyle-driven site (

He also assembled The Elders, a group of about a dozen world leaders, including former South African President Nelson Mandela, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, with the aim of bringing their collective experience to bear on the planet's social and political problems.

Meanwhile, "Big Blue Ball" sat. And sat. And sat. He has been busy, but it has taken nearly two decades for Gabriel and his collaborators to get a lasso around this large-scale effort.

Over the course of four years, Gabriel threw open the doors of his recording studios for a week at a time, 24 hours a day. That way, musicians he'd invited to participate in WOMAD would have a forum to collaborate on new sounds and new ideas, unencumbered by geographical, musical or budgetary limitations.

"Big Blue Ball" features collaborations between Gabriel and U.S. roots-gospel group the Holmes Brothers (on the album's first single, "Burn You Up, Burn You Down"), Irish singer Iarla O Lionaird and Papa Wemba's Congolese band and Japanese percussionist Joji Hirota with Sinead O'Connor. About half the songs are in English, others are in Arabic, Congolese, Hungarian, Swahili and Madagascar languages.

It's eclectic, but there's a rhythmic pulse to most of the tracks that underscores the many-cultures, one-world idea.

Engineer Richard Chappell, who worked on most of the sessions, recalled that "in the first year, nobody quite knew what to do. In the second year, people started to get more excited about what was happening, and by the third time people had really figured it out. We'd have up to 20 different recording sessions going on in various places at the same time. If it wasn't raining, there'd be people set up outside with portable studios."

Gabriel gave the task of sorting through mountains of raw material to Stephen Hague, who has produced albums by Pet Shop Boys, Robbie Williams and others, Chappell and mixing engineer Tchad Blake.

"There were a lot of wonderful performances," Hague said, "but a lot of them were really unformed ... My background is more in contemporary pop music, and I'm a real structuralist. My goal was to try to get these things to read from beginning to end, and in the end, I think the album reflects that."

Gabriel and his main "Big Blue Ball" partner, Karl Wallinger of World Party, were more interested in songs than an free-form international jam session.

"Jamming can be fantastic for those people who are participating in it, but it's not always great for the audience," Gabriel said. "So Karl and I mostly stayed in the upstairs room and tried to steer people more toward actual songwriting."

"Big Blue Ball"
represents something larger for a performer whose career has been defined by a commitment to exploding conventions, either through his epic prog-rock excursions as the original lead singer of Genesis, through his genre-bending solo albums of the '70s and '80s and through his groundbreaking music videos in the early days of MTV.

Gabriel simply wants to change the fundamental shape of what music can and should be. "I always thought the digital revolution would actually change the content of music, the way same way the piano roll or the 45- rpm single did," he said. "But it's been very slow to come. I really feel there should be a cultural renaissance that digital technology could advance.

"Now, not only can we make records very cheaply, but the costs of distribution have been virtually eliminated,"
Gabriel continued.

Big Blue Ball News

A message from Real World Records :

Big Blue Ball is launched on Real World Records - an album of collaborations, a truly international, multi-artist project that grew from a series of extraordinary Recording Weeks in Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in Wiltshire, England back in the early 1990's.

Real World Records:

Big Blue Ball Album Gatefold

Roll Out the Big Blue Ball

Produced by Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger and Stephen Hague and mixed by Tchad Blake - Big Blue Ball features artists from a myriad of different cultures and nations - some well known names, others hidden gems of writing and performing talent... The Holmes Brothers, Jah Wobble, Billy Cobham, Joseph Arthur, Iarla Ó Lionáird, James McNally, Deep Forest, Hukwe Zawose, Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Marta Sebestyen, Papa Wemba, Sinead O Connor, Joji Hirota, Guo Yue, Vernon Reid, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger... and more.

“After all these years, it's a fine wine ready to be drunk. It was the most fun music making I've ever had.”
Peter Gabriel
“It's like a wall of sound coming at you, listening to the planet from outer space. It's a real world-view of music, a snapshot of the music-making continents at that time.”
Karl Wallinger

Track listing:

  1. Whole Thing (Original Mix)
    (featuring Francis Bebey, Alexis Faku, Tim Finn, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger, Andy White)
  2. Habibe
    (featuring Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Neil Sparkes)
  3. Shadow
    (featuring Juan Canizares, Papa Wemba)
  4. Altus Silva
    (featuring Joseph Arthur, Ronan Browne, James McNally, Eric Mouquet, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Vernon Reid, Michel Sanchez)
  5. Exit Through You
    (featuring Joseph Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger)
  6. Everything Comes From You
    (featuring Joji Hirota, Sevara Nazarkhan, Sinead O'Connor, Guo Yue)
  7. Burn You Up, Burn You Down (
    featuring Billy Cobham, Peter Gabriel, The Holmes Brothers, Wendy Melvoin, Arona N'diaye, Jah Wobble)
  8. Forest
    (featuring Levon Minassian, Arona N'diaye, Vernon Reid, Hukwe Zawose)
  9. Rivers
    (featuring Vernon Reid, Marta Sebestyen, Karl Wallinger, Jah Wobble)
  10. Jijy
    (featuring Arona N'diaye, Rossy)
  11. Big Blue Ball
    (featuring Peter Gabriel, Manu Katche, Karl Wallinger)

Big Blue Ball is released in the USA on 24 June 2008 and the rest of the World from 28 July 2008.

For those in the UK Big Blue Ball will be available in advance as a special offer to those attending the WOMAD Festival, Charlton Park.

Available as a download, on CD or 150-gram double vinyl album in limited edition blue at 45rpm or standard black at 33rpm.


Big Blue Ball CDs, Vinyl, T-shirts, bags and mugs are available from our store or alternatively from

Remix Big Blue Ball


Remix 'Exit Through You' (featuring Joseph Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger) at Real World Remixed

Peter Gabriel Going to 'Cape Cod' With Vampire Weekend

by John D. Luerssen,

Vampire Weekend have more buzz than they can shake a stick at. After name-checking one of their influences -- Peter Gabriel -- in their tune 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,' the former Genesis frontman has revealed possible plans to cover the song.

"I actually do like that song a lot and they've asked me to sing a version of it now, which I may well do," Gabriel told BBC6 earlier this month. The 'Sledgehammer' singer met the members of Vampire Weekend recently after he was introduced by someone from the band's label, XL.

But Gabriel said that if he moves forward with his own rendition, he may need to alter the lyric, "But this feels unnatural/Peter Gabriel, too."

"I haven't quite worked that out whether I should be doing that or substituting it with a name that might be appropriate to me. I think playing with yourself makes you go blind after a while," he joked.

Big Blue Ball's Credits

Title: Big Blue Ball

Artist: Big Blue Ball

Catalogue #: USCDRW150 (US album)
USCDRW153 (US alternative artwork)
CDRW150 (European album)
USLPRW150 (Double LP)
USLPRW152 (Limited Edition Blue vinyl double LP)

1. Habibe

Vocals: Natacha Atlas
Drums & percussion: Hossam Ramzy, Neil Sparkes
Strings: The Hossam Ramzy Egyptian Ensemble (Wael Abu Bakr, Adel
Eskander, Momtaz Talaat)
Saz: Tim Whelan
Keyboards: Stephen Hague
Programming: Chuck Norman
Written by Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Vernon Reid, Neil Sparkes
Published by Annie Reed Music/Hossam Ramzy PRS, MCPS & PAMRA/
copyright control/Real World Music Ltd

2. Shadow
Vocals: Papa Wemba
Backing Vocals: Reddy Amisi
Guitar: Cañizares
Percussion: The Papa Wemba Band
Bongos: Laurent Coatalen
Frame Drums: Tchad Blake
Written by Cañizares, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger, Shungu Wembadio
Published by JMC Music Productions S.L./Real World Music Ltd/Universal
Music Publishing/Real World Works Ltd

3. altus silva
Vocals: Joseph Arthur, Iarla Ó Lionáird
Bass: Noel Ekwabi
Conga: The Papa Wemba Band
Piano, keyboards: Eric Mouquet and Michel Sanchez
Guitar synth: Vernon Reid
Whistle, low whistle: James McNally
Uilleann pipes: Ronan Browne
Programming: Chuck Norman
Keyboards, harmonium and flute like body bells: Tchad Blake
Written by Joseph Arthur, Ronan Browne, James McNally, Eric Mouquet, Iarla
Ó Lionáird & Michel Sanchez
Published by Real World Music Ltd/ WOMAD Music Ltd/Editions La Paya
(Catalogue YEAA Music)/Michel Sanchez Music (MSM)
4. Exit Through You
Vocals: Joseph Arthur, Peter Gabriel
Guitar: Joseph Arthur, Karl Wallinger
Bass: Peter Gabriel
Keyboards: Peter Gabriel
Backing Vocals: Justin Adams, Karl Wallinger
Programming: Chuck Norman
Shaker, tambourine, bass: Tchad Blake
Written by Joseph Arthur & Peter Gabriel
Published by Real World Music Ltd

5. Everything Comes From You
Vocals: Sinead O’Connor
Backing vocals: Sevara Nazarkhan
Drums, percussion, Chinese drum: Joji Hirota
Drums: Ged Lynch
Flutes: Guo Yue
Keyboards: Rupert Hine
Piano: Angie Pollock
Guitar, mandolin and recorder: Richard Evans
Written by Joji Hirota & Sinead O’Connor
Published by WOMAD Music Ltd/EMI Music Publishing

6. Burn You Up, Burn You Down
Vocals, keyboards: Peter Gabriel
Backing vocals: The Holmes Brothers: Wendell, Sherman & Popsi; Jules Shear;
Karl Wallinger
Guitar: Justin Adams
Guitar: David Rhodes
Bass: Jah Wobble, Wendy Melvoin
Djembe, sabar: Arona N’Diaye
Drums: Billy Cobham
Programming: Chuck Norman
Guitar synth, organ, skin shake, hi hat, frame drum: Tchad Blake
Written by Peter Gabriel, Neil Sparkes & Karl Wallinger
Published by Real World Music/Universal Publishing Ltd

7. Forest
Vocals: Hukwe Zawose
Guitar: Vernon Reid
Percussion: Arona N’Diaye
Doudouk: Levon Minassian
Programming: Chuck Norman and Stephen Hague
Written by Levon Minassian, Arona N’Diaye, Chuck Norman & Hukwe Zawose
Published by Explorians/Copyright Control/WOMAD Music Ltd

8. Rivers
Lead vocal, flute: Marta Sebestyen
Bass: Karl Wallinger
Drones, river pad, general programming: Chuck Norman
Guitar synth: Vernon Reid
Accordion: Stephen Hague
Drones: Peter Gabriel
Written by Marta Sebestyen
Published by Kismet Bt.

9. Jijy
Vocals: Rossy
Programming: Chuck Norman and Stephen Hague
Percussion: Arona N’Diaye
Bass: Jah Wobble
Written by Peter Gabriel, Rossy, Karl Wallinger, Jah Wobble
Published by Real World Music Ltd/Heaven Music PRS MCPS/Universal Music
Publishing/Copyright Control

10. Whole Thing (Original Mix)
Lead vocal, keyboards: Peter Gabriel
Guitars: Karl Wallinger, Paul Allen
Nord brass, backing vocals: Alex Faku
Flutes: Francis Bebey
Backing vocals: Tim Finn, Andy White
Programming: Chuck Norman
Toms: Tchad Blake
Written by Alexis Faku, Tim Finn, Peter Gabriel, Geoffrey Oryema, Karl
Wallinger & Andy White
Published by Gallo Music Publishers/Mushroom Music Pty/Real World Music
Ltd/WOMAD Music Ltd/Universal Music Publishing/Reverb Music Ltd

11. Big Blue Ball
Vocals, acoustic guitar, bass, keyboards: Karl Wallinger
Piano, organ, keyboards, solo keyboards: Peter Gabriel
Drums: Manu Katché
Accordion: Stephen Hague
Programming: Chuck Norman
Kick drum, bells: Tchad Blake
Written by Karl Wallinger
Published by Universal Music Publishing

Produced by Peter Gabriel, Steven Hague and Karl Wallinger
Original recordings produced by Peter Gabriel and Karl Wallinger except ‘altus
silva’ by Eric Mouquet and Michel Sanchez
Mixed by Tchad Blake except ‘Habibe’ by Stephen Hague and ‘Everything
Comes From You’ by Richard Chappell

Thanks to Ocean

30 juin 2008

WALL-E flavored with a dash of Apple

Those who go see the new Pixar/Disney film “WALL-E” will notice several subtle references to Apple Inc. products old, new and imagined.

While the primary connection between Pixar and Apple is well known – Steve Jobs was CEO of both companies simultaneously until he sold Pixar to the Walt Disney Company in 2006 – the studio’s films had never made much of it.

Some things to watch for if you go see the movie: The WALL-E robot recharges himself every morning using solar power. As soon as he’s fully charged, he emits the Mac’s familiar startup chime.

WALL-E runs his old VHS tape player through a video iPod, which he views through a large, flat flexible magnifying lens like those used to help people read small type.

WALL-E’s love interest, EVE, looks like the sort of robot Apple would build if Apple built robots, and with good reason. When the film’s director, Andrew Stanton, knew he wanted EVE to look as sleek and beautiful as possible, he called Steve Jobs. Jobs sent Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive over to Pixar for a day of consultation.

Ive, of course, is the design mastermind behind most of Apple’s products from the first iMac in 1998 to the iPod in 2001 to the iPhone last year. According to an article in May’s Fortune magazine, Ive said little but nodded his approval when presented with ideas he liked.

EVE exudes Apple sensibilities. Her skin is the same shiny white plastic of a MacBook. Her egg-shaped body is smooth and curvy. She has no visible buttons; indicator lights glow on her chest under her skin. Her arms lock seamlessly into the indentations on the side of her body – so seamlessly that in one scene poor WALL-E has trouble locating EVE’s hand.

Then there is the voice of Auto, the computer autopilot that flies the ship full of the descendants of those Earth-dwellers that left the planet 700 years earlier. Credited as “MacinTalk,” the voice derives from the Mac’s built-in speech generation software.

I don’t believe Auto’s voice is included in the current Mac OS, Leopard; Apple hasn’t used the term “MacinTalk” to describe its speech recognition software in years. I suspect the voice was generated on an old PowerPC Mac running Mac OS 9 or earlier. I’m not even sure which voice it is (anybody know?).

One more thing: Though not directly related to Apple, the acclaimed songwriter Peter Gabriel collaborated with WALL-E’s creators on the concluding song, “Down to Earth.” Gabriel developed to multimedia CDs back in the 1990s, Xplora 1 and, coincidentally enough, “Eve” – both Mac compatible, which was unusual for that era. In fact, Xplora 1 was created for the Mac first and ported to Windows. More recently Gabriel backed something called The Filter, software for helping people discover music using their iTunes collection.

Drum Grooves From The Masters

Sonic Reality releases Studio ProFiles Drum Master Series

Sonic Reality has announced the release of Studio ProFiles Drum Masters featuring 8 new drum groove libraries from legendary drummers Steve Gadd, Jerry Marotta, Danny Gottlieb, Bun E. Carlos, Bill Bruford, Nick D’Virgilio, John Blackwell and Ed Greene. The company say that thousands of world-class grooves are immediately available for download in Rex2, Apple Loops and Acidized Wave formats.

A spokesperson had this to say, “With drummers who have played with Peter Gabriel, Pat Metheny Group, Steely Dan, Yes, Genesis, Prince, Diddy, Barry White, Cheap Trick and more, these loop libraries have the pro sound, style and feel of classic albums right at your fingertips. Using these loops in your own music is like having a dream session with some of the best musicians in the world.”

Sonic Reality say that the Studio ProFiles sample collections are dedicated to providing stereo and multi-track drum loops and playable kits in popular sampler formats. Multi-Track Grooves and Drum Master Kits will also be available in Q3, 2008 for Kontakt, Battery and BFD2 from

Pricing and Availability: See website for full details

More information:


Peter Gabriel at 46664

Thanks to Oliveka

Mandela concert attracts 50,000 people

Posted by on Monday Sam Banda Junior, AfricaNews reporter in Blantyre, Malawi

Former South African president Nelson Mandela received a massive audience of up to 50,000 people Friday during his concert in London's Hyde Park. Several music artists which included Amy Winehouse came together during the concert aimed at raising funds for the South Africa’s first black presidents HIV/Aids charity ahead of his birthday next month.

During his stay in Britain, Mandela has uttered just four words of criticism of Zimbabwe in a speech at a dinner -- "tragic failure of leadership" -- but they were enough to make headline news. Actor Will Smith kicked the show in style when with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith quoted singer Peter Gabriel saying if the world could only have one father, the man who would have been chosen would be Nelson Mandela.

Mandela who was very happy with the concert turns 90 on July 18. Speaking during the concert which was partly overshadowed by Zimbabwe’s disputed elections also on Friday, said the African continent needs to know that there was more work to be done to give freedom for all.

“Let us remind ourselves that our work is far from complete and our work is for freedom for all,” Mandela told the BBC. The former president further observed that where there is poverty and sickness including HIV/Aids and that where human beings are being oppressed there need for more work to be done.

A BBC report Friday said Mandela arrived on stage flanked by stars of the show, including Geri Halliwell and Leona Lewis. Mandela’s charity concert dubbed 46664 charity was named after his prison number which was given during the 27 years he spent behind bars for his stand against South African apartheid.

However the report said the concert finally reached the climax when with the coming in of a rendition of The Special AKA hit Free Nelson Mandela, written by Jerry Dammers, which became an anti-apartheid anthem in the 1980s.

Many African artists also flew in for the birthday gig, including Papa Wemba of DR Congo, and South African singers Loyiso and Kurt Darren. Mandela popularly known as Madiba among the country’s locals, officially retired from politics nine years ago, but he is still a moral authority admired the world over.

La culture africaine favorise le maintien de Mugabe, regrette le rappeur Jal

LONDRES (AFP) — La culture africaine, en insistant sur le respect dû aux anciens, empêche les élites du continent de dénoncer sans retenue le président zimbabwéen Robert Mugabe, déplore dans un entretien à l'AFP le jeune rappeur soudanais Emmanuel Jal.

Arrivé au pouvoir en 1980, Robert Mugabe, 84 ans, fait figure de patriarche pour les dirigeants africains, ainsi enclins à modérer leurs critiques, estime la star africaine du hip hop dans cette interview accordée à l'AFP après le concert de Hyde Park pour le 90e anniversaire de Nelson Mandela, vendredi soir à Londres.

"C'est difficile. Mugabe est considéré comme un héros", constate Jal. "Il a obtenu l'indépendance pour son pays, il l'a dirigé pendant plus de 20 ans et il a aidé la plupart de ces pays africains: aidé le mouvement anti-apartheid en Afrique du Sud, aidé l'Angola."

"Il a aidé tous ces dirigeants et il a gagné leur respect", insiste-t-il. "Le proverbe dit de ne pas témoigner d'ingratitude envers la personne qui vous a aidé. Alors maintenant, c'est difficile. Même s'il a tort, ces dirigeants n'ont aucun moyen de lui forcer la main".

Robert Mugabe est assuré d'être réélu à la tête du Zimbabwe, après le second tour de l'élection présidentielle vendredi, boycotté par l'opposition qui, tout comme l'Occident, a qualifié le scrutin de "farce".

Conscience de l'Afrique, Nelson Mandela, 89 ans, a dénoncé mercredi au cours d'un dîner de charité à Londres, après s'être abstenu de tout commentaire pendant des années, la "tragique défaillance de la direction" du Zimbabwe.

L'initiative de l'ancien président sud-africain est source d'espoir, pour Jal. "Parce qu'il est l'un des anciens, Mandela a le droit de parler, selon les critères de la culture africaine", explique-t-il. "Mugabe devra l'écouter. Si Mugabe aime réellement le peuple zimbabwéen, il devra faire quelque chose pour sauver le pays".

Les violences qui ont eu lieu au Zimbabwe entre les deux tours de l'élection présidentielle sont à ses yeux tragiques.

"C'est ainsi que les guerres éclatent", met-il en garde. "Elles commencent avec quelque chose sans trop d'importance comme ça, vous opprimez les gens. Si vous opprimez quelqu'un un jour, il tentera de réagir. C'est difficile d'opprimer quelqu'un continuellement sans qu'il réagisse".

Il y a quinze ans, enfant soldat dans un Soudan déchiré par la guerre civile, Jal envisageait le suicide. Recruté de force à huit ans par l'Armée de Libération du Peuple Soudanais (SPLA), il a passé quatre ans dans la savane soudanaise, fusil en mains.

Au concert vendredi, où Peter Gabriel l'a présenté en estimant qu'il avait "le potentiel d'un jeune Bob Marley", Jal a chanté "Emma", chanson de son dernier album "Warchild" (enfant soldat) dédiée à la travailleuse humanitaire britannique Emma McCune, qui l'avait libéré avec 150 autres enfants soldats. Elle est décédée peu après dans un accident d'autocar au Kenya en 1993.

Le destin zimbabwéen est ainsi profondément enraciné dans sa propre expérience.

"Ce que je crains, c'est que si Mugabe est isolé et acculé, et que si nous parlons de façon négative de lui, nous risquons d'en faire un monstre", dit-il. "Si nous faisons ça, il va commencer à tuer les gens, c'est un soldat. Cela fait peur. S'ils utilisent la force, alors le Zimbabwe perdra beaucoup."

Joseph Arthur : Crazy Reign

Popmatters :

Believe it or not, “complete creative control” can be a very bad thing.

When Joseph Arthur started out his career in the late-’90s, he was an alt-folk troubadour who wasn’t afraid to rock out on occasion. Of course, it certainly didn’t hurt that it was Peter Gabriel who stumbled upon his demo and helped in getting the young lad signed. But Arthur’s output since has been nothing but prolific: six full-length albums, 11 EPs, and that whole “Museum of Modern Arthur” thing.

After playing the label game for awhile, Arthur ultimately found happiness in starting up his own label (Lonely Astronaut), working on his paintings as well as recording dozens upon dozens of songs, most of which remain unreleased to this day. Having cultivated a loyal following, Arthur is now able to make his own music at his own rapid-fire pace, all with—that’s right—complete creative control. Unfortunately for him, such control does not equal focus.

Could We Survive and Crazy Rain are the first two EPs in a set of four that Arthur has released as a lead-up to his seventh full-length album, Temporary People, due later this year. He’s pulled off this multi-EP stunt before, with 2002’s Junkyard Hearts quadrilogy, but at the end of the day, 2008’s go-round is nothing to write home about. While Could We Survive is labeled as Arthur’s “traditional"-sounding EP and Crazy Rain serves as the wannabe dance disc, both remain remarkably hookless, thankless pop affairs.

Of the two, the shorter Could We Survive fares better. It remains firmly rooted in the glistening folk-pop of his past, and though it doesn’t reach the spectacular heights of, say, “Honey & the Moon”, it is by far the more effortless of the two. “Shadows of Lies”—despite its terrible title—is thoroughly enjoyable streamlined pop, with acoustic guitars fluttering around simple keyboard patterns and Arthur’s multi-tracked voice.

The mellow, sweet ballad “Morning Cup” remains the highlight, as it proves to be delicate without being too precious, rounded out by percolating piano lines and an off-kilter sense of (much-needed) whimsy. The rest of the disc, however, can be faulted for being too accessible. “King of the Pavement,” a track that would’ve been a passable song (or at least B-side) in any artist’s discography, is polished of all edge. Arthur’s disaffected crooning is lost amidst his addiction to vocal reverb. Though Arthur’s a good producer, he’s almost too good, often forgetting that just a twinge of grittiness at least shows that there’s a passionate soul at work, instead of well-oiled song machine…

… which, as Crazy Rain evidences, is almost exactly what he’s become. Despite this eight-track affair’s obsessions with drum machines and electronics, Rain is an absolute buffet of indulgence, with Arthur blindly convincing himself that he’s the master of any and all genres. “I Wanna Get You Alone” is perhaps the most glaring fault, as over a gritty bassline and throbbing beat, Arthur repeats the title for a seemingly-endless minute before launching into barely-decipherable falsetto crooning, all making for a remarkably grating experience. The spacey “Dream of the Eternal Life” is filled with generic mid-tempo harmonies and surprisingly pedestrian lyrics. “Nothin 2 Hide”, meanwhile, rolls along in a druggy haze, unsure of its melody or even its purpose, which ultimately describes the entirety of Crazy Rain. For all its attempted neon bravura, Crazy Rain feels drained of all color.

Of course, it’s hard to fault Arthur for contracting Robert Pollard Syndrome, as there are some genuine gems within the fray. In the end, though, it just might be best for Arthur to get his genre-hopping out of his system. Once he’s burned himself out, all he’ll have to return to are the simple joys that got him here in the first place.

Joseph ArthurShe Paints Me Gold

The source of the Blue Nile is in London

By Charlotte Cripps for

Preview: Summer Series, Somerset House, London

The source of the Blue Nile is in London

The Glaswegian singer- songwriter Paul Buchanan, of pop band The Blue Nile, has never been part of the musical rat-race. With only four albums in 25 years – A Walk Across the Rooftops (1982), Hats (1989), Peace at Last (1996) and High (2004) – his band has never been into overexposure.

"After all these years, my life is more akin to somebody trying to write novels," says Buchanan.

Now the six-piece is to join the line-up in a series of summer open-air concerts at Somerset House in London, along with acts of the moment including The Fratellis, Justice, UNKLE, Lupe Fiasco, We are Scientists, The Zutons, The Feeling, Duffy and Adele.

"I'm not even aware of who else is performing. I don't read the music press and I don't keep track of who is popular," says Buchanan. "We stayed out of the way of the limelight. We were working out of a tiny cold-water bedsit trying to create pure music. We knew that if it became about personality, we would destroy the impact of the music. Do you really know what Puccini looks like? Would it help if you knew everything about Puccini's private life? No it wouldn't. It makes you numb. We were all grown-up men when we made these decisions. We are just lucky, because for a band who was never really on Top of the Pops, we've survived."

The band's style of atmospheric, melodic pop music has led in the past to collaborations with Annie Lennox, Rickie Lee Jones, Texas and Peter Gabriel, but Buchanan still tries to shun the limelight. Instead, he says, "My overall sense is that I'm always trying to write the perfect sentence."

Nonetheless, Buchanan and bassist Robert Bell have come out of hiding long enough to play at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, as part of the Manchester International Festival last year. And now Buchanan is writing a song for the National Theatre of Scotland's new play, 365, for the Edinburgh International Festival, before continuing to record the band's fifth album.

10 to 19 July (020-7845 4600;

Values keeping Africa leaders silent on Mugabe: rapper Jal

LONDON (AFP) — Cultural values are stopping Africa's leaders from speaking out against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's regime, Sudanese rapper Emmanuel Jal says.

The soft-spoken hip-hop star and former child soldier said that because Mugabe, 84, is older and has been in power longer than most African leaders, his peers are reverential towards him.

"It's difficult. Mugabe is considered like a hero," Jal told AFP in London, where he appeared at Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday concert in Hyde Park on Friday in support of the former South African president's global AIDS campaign.

"He made his country get independence and he has been leading for more than twenty years and he helped most of those African countries; helped anti-apartheid in South Africa, helped Angola," he said.

"He has been helping all those other leaders and he earned respect. The saying is: 'don't bite the hand that feeds you'. So now it's difficult. Even if he wrong, those leaders won't have a chance to force him."

Mugabe was set to remain in power after a presidential run-off election Friday in which he was the only candidate on the ballot, after Morgan Tsvangirai of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change pulled out.

Mandela, 89, Africa's most respected elder statesman, has condemned the "tragic failure of leadership" in Zimbabwe, but held back from criticising Mugabe by name.

"Because he's one of the oldest, Mandela has the right according to African culture to speak," said the deep-thinking, dreadlocked singer, 28, who campaigns on a number of issues, including Darfur

"So with him doing that, Mugabe will have to listen. He's been given chances and he's not seeing them. I hope he's going to see. If Mugabe really loves the people of Zimbabwe then he has to come up with something to save the country."

Jal spent his childhood fighting in the Sudan People's Liberation Army in his native southern Sudan before going to Kenya in his early teens and embracing a career in music.

At the Mandela concert, Jal performed "Emma", a song from his latest album "Warchild", about late British aid worker Emma McCune -- the wife of an SPLA commander -- who freed him amongst 150 child soldiers and took him to Kenya.

Peter Gabriel introduced the rapper at the open-air gig, saying he had the "potential of a young Bob Marley".

Jal's other hits include "All We Need Is Jesus," and he has written a song, "50 Cent", taking the US rap star and others to task for sometimes glamourising crime in their lyrics.

He called the violence in Zimbabwe tragic and frustrating.

"That's how wars begin," he said.

"They begin with something small like that, you oppress the people. If you oppress somebody one day, they will start to try to react. It's hard to oppress somebody every day without them reacting back."

Jal called for neutral international negotiators to forge a solution as happened in Kenya following the disputed December 2007 election there.

"What I'm afraid of is if Mugabe is going to be isolated and put in a corner and we all pronounce negative stuff, we're going to make him into a monster," he said.
"If we do that, he's going to start cutting people and killing people: he's a soldier. It's scary. If they use force, then Zimbabwe will lose a lot."

Peter Gabriel`s studio gives 007 a shake and stir

James Bond will be coming to Box this summer when the sound team visit Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios to put the finishing touches to the latest film - reports ThisIsWiltshire

Although the star of the film, Daniel Craig, will not make an appearance, Mr Gabriel said he will be hosting plenty of the film's technical crew.

The new Bond film, Quantum of Solace, is due to be released on November 7 and stars Olga Kurylenko as Bond girl Camille.

It is Mr Craig's second time in the role as the secret agent and, with most of the filming complete, it is now up to the technical masterminds to polish off the finished piece ready for the cinemas.

The sound will be put to the 22nd Bond film by production sound mixer Chris Munroe.

Along with Eddy Joseph, Mike Prestwood Smith, Martin Cantwell, and Mark Taylor, Mr Munro won the BAFTA award for Best Sound in the last Bond film, Casino Royale, at the 2007 awards event.

The studio, which has welcomed stars such as Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Oasis and Starsailor in the past, has decided to offer its state-of-the-art recording facilities to the film industry, to polish off sound effects for movies.

The recording studios in Mill Lane are thought to be favoured by such big names because of the tranquil and private surroundings of Box.

Mr Gabriel said: "We're doing some partnerships with the film industry and we've got equipment here to be able to mix their sound. The sound for the latest James Bond film will be done here so that's a great avenue to be able to branch out into. I doubt any of the actors will be around but we'll have plenty of crew here and the director might pop in but that's as high profile as it will get."

Recently the studio has had new band Hot Chip recording there and singer Sade.

Although staff at the studio were unable to give exact dates for the Bond crew's visit to Box they confirmed that it would be this summer, ready for the film's release on October 31.

29 juin 2008

Peter Gabriel - Down To Earth (W/ LYRICS) Wall-E Soundtrack

Did you think that your feet had been bound
By what gravity brings to the ground?
Did you feel you were tricked
By the future you picked?
Well come on down

All these rules don't apply
When you're high in the sky
So come on down
Come on down

We're coming down to the ground
There's no better place to go
We've got snow upon the mountains
We've got rivers down below
We're coming down to the ground
To hear the birds sing in the trees
And the land will be looked after
(Come) send the seeds out in (the deep?)

Did you think you'd escaped from routine
By changing the script and the scene?
Despite all you made of it
you're always afraid of the change

You've got a lot on your chest
Well you can come as my guest
So come on down
Come on down

We're coming down to the ground
There's no better place to go
We've got snow upon the mountains
We've got rivers down below
We're coming down to the ground
We'll hear the birds sing in the trees
And the land will be looked after
(Come?) send the seeds out in (the deep?)

Like the fish in the ocean
We felt at home in the sea
We learned to live off the good land
We learned to climb up a tree
then we got up on two legs
But we wanted to fly
When we messed up our homeland
and set sail for the sky

We're coming down to the ground
There's no better place to go
We've got snow upon the mountains
We got rivers down below
We're coming down to the ground
We'll hear the birds sing in the trees
And the land will be looked after
send the seeds out in th

We're coming down
Comin' down to earth
Like babies at birth
Comin' down to earth

Redefine your priorities
These are extraordinary qualities

We're coming down to the ground
There's no better place to go
We've got snow upon the mountains
We've got rivers down below
We're coming down to the ground
We'll hear the birds sing in the trees
And the land will be looked after
(Come) send the seeds out in (The deep?)

We're coming down to the ground
There's no better place to go
We've got snow upon the mountains
We've got rivers down below
We're coming down to the ground
We'll hear the birds sing in the trees
And the land will be looked after
(Come) send the seeds out in (the deep?)

Nelson Mandela concert rocks Hyde Park

By Adam Sweeting, Hyde Park,

Telegraph TV: Mandela joins stars for his 90th birthday

Before the show, the crooner Josh Groban gushed that "anybody who believes in peace and equality should come to this concert," and the sentiment was noisily endorsed by the hordes assembled to celebrate Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday.

Nelson Mandela waves to the crowd on stage during the concert honouring his 90th birthday in Hyde Park. Mandela urged everyone to keep supporting his 46664 campaign while there was still poverty and oppression in the world

Twenty years after massed superstars gathered at Wembley to demand his release from Robben Island jail, Mandela has made an extraordinary transition from anti-apartheid figurehead into a sort of quasi-Christ.

"He'll probably be remembered as the greatest historical figure of this era," according to a hyped-up Will Smith, one of the fleet of Hollywood icons (also including Oprah, Denzel Washington and Robert de Niro) freighted in for the occasion and one of the show's multiple comperes.

With sogginess engulfing Glastonbury and symptoms of festival-fatigue afflicting punters elsewhere, the mood in Hyde Park remained celebratory, despite scudding grey clouds and a chilly wind.

The event was a technical feat, equipped with a sharper-than-average sound system and enough giant screens to offer a superior view from any angle.

Still, not even Mandela could create an entirely classless society in the park, and the blingtastic legion of celebs had been allocated their own "VIP Golden Circle" area in front of the stage.

But the major achievement was to squeeze such a vast roll-call of artists into the same evening.

A well-drilled house band, assisted by the vividly-coloured Soweto Gospel Choir, provided backup to everyone from a cheesy but energetic Sugababes to the perfectly-pitched Leona Lewis and the statuesque Jamelia.

With each act restricted to only one or two songs the turnarounds had to be slick, but the pace rarely slackened.

Even Amy Winehouse, looking dazed and uncertain but evidently determined to keep her promise to perform, hit the stage bang on cue.

Some of the most memorable moments were the least expected. Peter Gabriel popped up to introduce Sudanese rapper and ex-boy soldier Emmanuel Jal, whose vivid and eloquent performance suggested the arrival of a star-in-waiting.

Annie Lennox delivered an impassioned speech about stepping up the war against Aids in Africa, and led a stirring singalong with the Agape Choir, which is made up of Aids orphans.

Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton used his brief compere slot to explain, rather touchingly, why Mandela mattered to him.

As the evening wore on, clanky old pomp-rock increasingly began to clog up the works.

Simple Minds could have squeezed in a whole extra song instead of getting the crowd to sing "la-la-la" ad infinitum during Don't You Forget About Me, while Queen really ought to be under glass in the V&A.

But the frail Mandela gave his flock some moments to savour when he made his way laboriously to the microphone, and urged everyone to keep supporting his 46664 campaign while there was still poverty and oppression in the world.

He understands better than anyone what a long haul that's going to be.