“Global Music” - Peter Gabriel’s involvement in the recent “One World” project examined by Ted Sayers.
Peter Gabriel is now firmly ensconced in Real World Studios , well into work on his next album but, as is his wont, Peter has recently taken in a few side tracks to aid a few worthy causes.
The fruits of a most noteworthy of causes has recently seen the light of day. Some of you may have noticed the “One World Week” on BBC TV back in May of this year? That week culminated in a musical extravaganza called: “One World, One Voice”. For those that didn’t witness this spectacular and amazing feat, it was essentially a piece of video footage two hours in duration, put together by Kevin Godley (one time drummer and vocalist with Ten CC and highly respected video producer) which had a twofold message.
In the first case it was to highlight the plight of our environment and in the second - and equally important - a musical celebration of our home: The Earth, and the myriad of life it has. What Kevin Godley and Rupert Hine (the latter as musical director) have achieved is nothing short of astonishing. The idea started out as a twenty minute piece of music but grew to over fifty minutes in duration.
Now what has this to do with Genesis I hear you say? Well, Peter was among the main contributors to this piece of what is , in the true spirit of the words; “World Music”. Peter’s trademark atmospherics surface at numerous points throughout the work.
The music has since been released under the title of One World, One Voice and the cast list runs to over one hundred musicians from the most diverse fields - from rap to classical, Finnish folk singing to black Gospel and just about everything else in between. Many of the artists are mostly unknown in this country but they include: Laurie Anderson, The Chieftains, David Gilmour, The Gypsy Kings, Salif Keita, The Leningrad Symphony Orchestra, Monia McKee, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Courtney Pine, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Robbie Robertson, Suzanne Vega and Christopher Warren-Green to name but a few.
The music was recorded literally around the world at various locations by Godley and Hine and filmed at the same time. Peter was aided at Real World Studios by Stewart Copeland and Geoffrey Oreyema (the latter sang Biko with Peter at the Mandela gig back in April of this year). In each case, the music was recorded as a chain tape and many musicians merely recorded their work in studios on opposite sides of the world as accompaniment to another musicians’ work. For example; Peter, Geoffrey and Stewart worked on a piece originally recorded by Clannad. Conversely, another piece by the aforementioned trio was added to by Steven Van Zandt in New York. This allowed many musicians to work “together” (I use the word loosely) without being anywhere near each other and in many cases being thousands of miles apart.
One World One Voice is a truly worthy celebration of the Earth, containing many, many superb performances, not least by Peter and his two companions. The documentary section of the film included many excellently produced “advertisements” for the Earth which were made by major advertising companies and which were highly effective.
For those with any interest in World Wide Music, then this is an unmissable album/film though anyone with a less than completely open mind (musically speaking at least) will not enjoy it. This is more than just a piece of music and it truly does convey something. This is music for the masses - music on a global scale.