Peter Gabriel est un musicien britannique né le 13 février 1950. Il a d’abord connu la célébrité en tant que membre du groupe de Rock progressif Genesis, mais il a eu ensuite une longue et prolifique carrière solo après son départ du groupe en 1975 laissant la place de chanteur principal au batteur Phil Collins. Peter Gabriel est aussi un producteur de disques sur son label Real World. Il est depuis de nombreuses années impliqué dans différentes associations humanitaires.
Peter Brian Gabriel (born 13 February 1950, in Cobham, Surrey, England) is an English musician. He first came to fame as the lead vocalist and flautist of the progressive rock group Genesis. After leaving Genesis, Gabriel went on to a successful solo career. More recently he has focused on producing and promoting world music and pioneering digital distribution methods for music. He has also been involved in various humanitarian efforts.
Gabriel fonde Genesis en 1967 alors qu’il est encore à l’école avec Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford et le batteur Chris Stewart. Amoureux de soul music, Gabriel développe son style sous l’influence de Nina Simone, Gary Brooker, Procol Harum et Cat Stevens.
Genesis devient rapidement un groupe connu internationalement, notamment du fait des prestations flamboyantes de Gabriel sur scène, qui comportaient de nombreux changements de costumes étranges et des histoires racontées sur scène avant chaque chanson.
Suite à des tensions au sein de Genesis, notamment du fait de la personnalité « envahissante » de Peter Gabriel qui se sentait par contre à l’étroit,et pour ne pas faire exploser le groupe, celui-ci décida de quitter Genesis avant même le lancement de la tournée de The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway qu’il assura cependant jusqu’à la fin. Solsbury Hill, son premier succès solo, est un morceau autobiographique relatif à son état d’esprit au moment de son départ de Genesis.
Bien qu’il connût des succès commerciaux et auprès de la critique avec des chansons comme Games Without Frontiers (3e album) et Shock the Monkey (4e album), Gabriel atteint une renommée internationale avec les chansons de l’album So, notamment avec le succès du titre Sledgehammer. Ce titre marque aussi l’arrivée de Gabriel dans l’ère du clip vidéo sur MTV, dont il remporte d’ailleurs neuf des récompenses en 1987. Suivront deux albums studio, mais aussi des musiques de film, des projets multimédias (dont seront tirés deux jeux interactifs sur ordinateur), une participation au spectacle du millénaire à Londres, et surtout des collaborations avec des artistes de tous horizons.
Gabriel s’est intéressé depuis longtemps à la world music, avec une première preuve musicale sur son troisième album. Cette influence s’est accrue avec le temps et il est un des piliers du mouvement WOMAD. Il a créé les studios puis le label Real World à Bath au Royaume-Uni pour faciliter la création de ce genre de musique par différents artistes et a contribué à faire connaître des gens comme Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan ou Youssou N’Dour.
Il est concerné de longue date par les problèmes des droits de l’homme, allant jusqu’à participer pendant plus d’un an à une tournée mondiale au profit d’Amnesty International et créant sa chanson Biko, en hommage à Steve Biko, presque toujours jouée lors de ses concerts depuis. De même, il a participé à l’album Sun City contre l’Apartheid à l’initiative de Steven van Zandt. Prenant conscience après l’affaire Rodney King du rôle de l’image dans cette lutte, il a aussi lancé le programme « Witness » qui fournit des caméras vidéo aux organismes de défense des droits de l’homme pour faire connaître les abus.
De nombreux artistes ont rendu hommage à Peter Gabriel en reprenant certaines de ses compositions, tel le duo britannique Erasure qui délivra une reprise électronique de Solsbury Hill en 2003.
Le 10 février 2006, Peter Gabriel a interprété la chanson Imagine de John Lennon lors de la cérémonie d’ouverture des Jeux Olympiques d’hiver de 2006, à Turin.
Le 17 novembre 2006, Peter Gabriel a été désigné « Homme de la paix 2006 » lors d’un sommet de lauréats des Prix Nobel.
Début 2007, il a déclaré vouloir produire son nouvel opus seul, sans l’aide d’une maison de disque. Pour cela, il a commencé une levée de fond. A priori, il travaille sur plusieurs projets ce qui le rend assez lent (à la manière de Up qui a mis 11-12 ans à paraître, du fait de la direction de Realword, des projets multimédias Xplora1 et eVe, de la mise en oeuvre d’une BO, de sa participation au dôme du millénaire et de la sortie d’oVo… ). Il a prévu dans les années à venir de produire :
* l’album I/O, projet en suspens depuis quelques années .
* une édition des journées RealWorld sous le nom Big Blue Ball,
* une version personnalisée de oVo renomée Son of oVo,
* et un album accoustique.
En 2006 et 2007, il recoit un Q award et un Ivo nuvello awards pour l’ensemble de sa carrière.
Juin 2007, il décide de faire une mini tournée nommée Warm up summer tour (22 dates) à travers l’Europe. A l’occasion des 80 ans de Nelson Mandela, il participe à l’élaboration d’un groupe de discusion pour la paix dans le monde. Parmi ses membres, on retrouve l’ancien président des États-Unis Jimmy Carter ainsi que Sir Richard Branson, Desmond Tutu, … Il participe avec David Rhodes et Richard Evans à la bande originale du film sea monsters de National Georgraphique. Il recevra le 16 octobre 2007 un BMI icon et le 28 janvier 2008 sera honoré d’un MIDEM, prix décerné par l’industrie du disque. On peux estimer aujourd’hui qu’il a vendus 40 millions d’albums (carrière solo).
* 1977 : Peter Gabriel (Car) : Moribund the burgermeister, Solsbury Hill, Modern love, Excuse me, Humdrum, Slowburn, Waiting for the big one, Down the dolce vita, Here comes the flood. Charts: N°38 USA. N°7 GB.
* 1978 : Peter Gabriel 2 (Scratch) : On the air, D.I.Y., Mother of violence, A wonderful day in a one-way world, White shadow, Indigo, Animal magic, Exposure, Flotsam and Jetsam, Perspective, Home sweet home. Charts: N°45 USA. N°10 GB.
* 1980 : Peter Gabriel 3 (Melt) : Intruder, No self-control, Start, I don’t remember, Family snapshot, And through the wire, Games without frontiers, Not one of us, Lead a normal life, Biko. Charts: N°22 USA. N°1 GB. Une version allemande a été enregistrée sous la référence Ein deutsches album.
* 1982 : Peter Gabriel 4 (Security) : The rhythm of the heat, San Jacinto, I have the touch, The family and the fishing net, Shock the monkey, Lay your hands on me, Wallflower, Kiss of life. Charts: N°28 USA. N°6 GB. Une version allemande a été enregistrée sous la référence Deutsches album.
* 1983 : Plays Live – Charts: N°44 USA. N°8 GB. Deux versions éditées : l’une, la plus courante Plays Live, avec une set-list de 12 morceaux et l’autre plus complète, Plays Live (Highlights), comportant 16 titres.
* 1985 : Birdy (Musique du film d’Alan Parker)
* 1986 : So : Red rain, Sledgehammer, Don’t give up, That voice again, Mercy street, Big time, We Do What We’re Told (Milgram’s 37), This Is The Picture (Excellent Birds), In your eyes. Charts: N°2 USA. N°1 GB.
* 1989 : Passion (Musique du film « La Dernière Tentation du Christ » de Martin Scorsese)
* 1990 : Shaking the Tree (best of 1976-1990) (compilation)
* 1992 : Us : Come talk to me, Love to be loved, Blood of Eden, Steam, Only us, Washing of the water, Digging in the dirt, Fourteen black paintings, Kiss that frog, Secret world. Charts: N°2 USA. N°2 GB. Peter Gabriel récolte 2 Grammy Awards. 
* 1994 : Secret world live : Come talk to me, Steam, Across the river, Slow marimbas, Shaking the tree, Red rain, Blood of eden, Kiss that frog, Washing of the water, Solsbury hill, Digging in the dirt, Sledgehammer, Secret world, Don’t give up, In your eyes. Charts: N°10 GB.
* 2000 : Ovo – Ovo (The Millennium Show) live : The Story Of Ovo, Low Light, The Time Of The Turning, The Man Who Loved The Earth / The Hand That Sold Shadows, The Time Of The Turning (Reprise)/The Weavers Reel, Father, Son, The Tower That Ate People, Revenge, White Ashes, Downside-Up, The Nest That Sailed The Sky, The Tree That Went Up, Make Tomorrow.
* 2002 : Long Walk Home (Musique de film « le Chemin de la Liberté » de Philip Noyce)
* 2002 : Up : Darkness, Growing up, Sky blue, No way out, I grieve, The Barry Williams Show, My head sounds like that, More than this, Signal to noise, The drop.
* 2003 : Hit/Miss (best of 1976-2003) (compilation)
Il a contribué des chansons originales pour plusieurs films:
* I Grieve (version originale) pour City Of Angels et Smallville
* Nocturnals pour Les morsures de l’aube
* Animal Nation pour The Wild Thornberrys Movie
* The Book of Love pour Shall We Dance
* Taboo (avec Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan ) pour Natural Born Killers
* Lovetown pour Philadelphia
* The Tower that Ate People, remixé pour Red Planet
* While the Earth Sleeps (avec Deep Forest) pour Strange Days
* Partyman (écrit avec Tori Amos) pour Virtuosity
* When You’re Falling (avec Afro Celt Sound System) pour The Battle of Shaker Heights
* Walk Through the Fire pour Against All Odds
* Blood of Eden (version sans la voix de Sinéad O’Connor) pour Until the End of the World
* Out Out pour Gremlins
* That’ll Do pour Babe
* une version instrumentale de Signal to Noise pour Gangs of New York
Il a enregistré des morceaux pour les jeux vidéo:
* Myst : en 2003 sur URU
* Myst IV: Revelation en 2004
* 1988 : PoV (Live), concert de la tournée So, produit par Martin Scorsese, format VHS
* 1989 : CV (Compilation de clips), format VHS
* 1994 : Secret World Live (Live), format VHS, ré-édité au format DVD en 2005
* 2002 : Growing up (Live)
* 2004 : Play (Compilation de vidéos, musiques remasterisées et/ou fortement remixées)
* 2005 : Family Portrait (Film tourné par sa fille aînée pendant la tournée Growing Up, plus quelques bonus)
* 2005 : Still Growing up Live & Unwrapped (Live)
* 1993 : Xplora 1
* 1997 : EVE – The Music and Art adventure – Avec la participation de Helen Chadwick, Yayoi Kusama, Cathy de Monchaux, Nils Udo Edts RealWorld
His father was an electrical engineer and his mother, from a musical family, taught him to play the piano at an early age. He attended Cable House, a private preparatory school in Woking, Surrey, then Charterhouse School from 1963.
Gabriel founded Genesis in 1967 with fellow Charterhouse School pupils Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford, and drummer Chris Stewart. The name of the band was suggested by fellow Charterhouse alumnus, the pop music impresario Jonathan King who produced their first album From Genesis to Revelation.
A lover of soul music, Gabriel was influenced by many different sources in his way of singing, mainly Otis Redding and other soul singers. He also played the flute on Cat Stevens’ Mona Bone Jakon album in 1970.
Genesis drew some attention in England and eventually also in Italy, Belgium, Germany and other European countries, largely due to Gabriel’s flamboyant stage presence, which involved numerous bizarre costume changes and comical, dreamlike stories told as the introduction to each song (originally Gabriel developed these stories solely to cover the time betweeen songs that the rest of the band would take tuning their instruments). The concerts made extensive use of black light with the normal stage lighting subdued or off. A backdrop of fluorescing white sheets and a comparatively sparse stage made the band into a set of silhouettes, with Gabriel’s fluorescent costume and makeup the only other sources of light.
Among Gabriel’s many famous costumes (which he developed to visualise the musical ideas of the band and to get them press coverage) were « Batwings » (for the usual opening number, « Watcher of The Skies »), « The Flower » (worn for « Supper’s Ready », from Foxtrot), « Magog » (also worn for « Supper’s Ready », from Foxtrot), « Britannia » (worn for « Dancing with the Moonlit Knight », from Selling England by the Pound), « The Old Man » (worn for « The Musical Box », from Nursery Cryme), « Rael » (the protagonist of the album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway), and « The Slipperman » (worn during « The Colony of Slippermen », also from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway).
Backing vocals in Genesis during Gabriel’s tenure in the band were usually handled by bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford, keyboardist/guitarist Tony Banks, and (most prominently) drummer Phil Collins, who—after a long search for a replacement—eventually became Genesis’s lead singer after Gabriel left the band in 1975.
Gabriel’s departure from Genesis (which stunned fans of the group and left many commentators wondering if the band could survive) was the result of a number of factors. His stature as the lead singer of the band, and the added attention garnered by his flamboyant stage personae, led to tensions within the band. Genesis had always operated more or less as a collective, and Gabriel’s burgeoning public profile led to fears within the group that he was being unfairly singled out as the creative hub of the group.
Tensions were heightened by the ambitious album and tour of the concept work The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, a Gabriel-created concept piece which saw him taking on the lion’s share of the lyric writing. During the writing and recording of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Gabriel was approached by director William Friedkin, allegedly because Friedkin had found Gabriel’s short story in the liner notes to Genesis Live interesting. Gabriel’s interest in a film project with Friedkin was another contributing factor in his decision to leave Genesis. The decision to quit the band was made before the tour supporting The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, but Gabriel stayed with the band until the conclusion of that tour.
The breaking point came with the difficult pregnancy of Gabriel’s wife, Jill, and birth of their first child, Anna. When he opted to stay with his sick daughter and wife rather than go record and tour, the resentment from the rest of the band led Gabriel to conclude that he had to leave the band. « Solsbury Hill », Gabriel’s debut single as a solo artist, was written specifically about his departure from Genesis.
Gabriel refused to title any of his first four solo albums, which were all labelled Peter Gabriel using the same typeface, but different cover art. He wanted them to be considered similar to consecutive issues of a magazine instead of individual works; they are usually differentiated by number in order of release, or sleeve design, I, II and III being referred to as Car, Scratch and Melt respectively, in reference to their cover artwork. His fourth solo album, also called Peter Gabriel in the UK, was titled Security in the U.S., at the behest of Geffen Records. Even after acquiescing to distinctive titles, he has continued to use words as short as possible to title his albums: So, Us, and Up. His most recent 2xCD greatest hits compilation was called, simply, Hit, with one CD being labeled merely Hit and the other Miss (although all the previously released songs on the CDs charted on Billboard magazine lists.)
Gabriel recorded his first solo album in 1976 and 1977 with producer Bob Ezrin, titled Peter Gabriel. His first solo success came with the single « Solsbury Hill », an autobiographical piece expressing his thoughts on leaving Genesis. In it, he sings, « My friends would think I was a nut… », alluding to his decision to begin a period of self-exploration and reflection, while he grew cabbages, played the piano for long hours, practiced yoga and biofeedback, and spent time with his family. Although mainly happy with the music, Gabriel felt that the album, and especially the track « Here Comes the Flood » was over-produced. Sparser versions can be heard on Robert Fripp’s Exposure, and on Gabriel’s greatest hits compilation Shaking the Tree (1990).
Gabriel worked with guitarist Robert Fripp (of King Crimson fame) as producer of his second solo LP, in 1978. This album was leaner, darker and more experimental, and yielded decent reviews, but no major hits.
Gabriel’s third album, released in 1980, arose as a collaboration with Steve Lillywhite, who also produced early albums by U2. It was notable for the hit singles « Games Without Frontiers » and « Biko », for Gabriel’s new interest in world music (especially for percussion), and for its bold production, which made extensive use of recording tricks and sound effects. Gabriel’s third album is generally credited as the first LP to use the now-famous « gated drum » sound, invented by engineer Hugh Padgham and Gabriel’s old Genesis band-mate Phil Collins. Collins played drums on several tracks, including the opener, « Intruder », which featured the reverse-gated, cymbal-less drum kit sound which Collins would make famous on his single « In the Air Tonight » and through the rest of the 1980s. The massive, distinctive hollow sound arose through some experiments by Collins and Padgham. Gabriel had requested that his drummers use no cymbals in the album’s sessions, and when he heard the result from Collins and Padgham, he asked Collins to play a simple pattern for several minutes, then built « Intruder » on it.
Arduous and occasionally damp recording sessions at his rural English estate in 1981 and 1982, with co-producer/engineer David Lord, resulted in Gabriel’s fourth LP release (Security), on which Gabriel took more production responsibility. It was one of the first commercial albums recorded entirely to digital tape (using a Sony mobile truck), and featured the early, extremely expensive Fairlight CMI sampling computer. Gabriel combined a variety of sampled and deconstructed sounds with world-beat percussion and other unusual instrumentation to create a radically new, emotionally charged soundscape. Furthermore, the sleeve art consisted of inscrutable, video-based imagery. Despite the album’s peculiar sound, odd appearance, and often disturbing themes, it sold well and had a hit single in « Shock the Monkey », which also became a groundbreaking music video.
Gabriel toured extensively for each of his albums. Initially, he pointedly eschewed the theatrics that had defined his tenure with Genesis. For his second solo tour, his entire band shaved their heads. It is rumoured that Gabriel shaved his head as a way of asking forgiveness from his wife Jill for having had an affair, which he had confessed to her before leaving on the tour. But, by the time of Security, he began involving elaborate stage props and acrobatics which had him suspended from gantries, distorting his face with Fresnel lenses and mirrors, and wearing unusual make-up.
His 1982-83 tour included a section opening for David Bowie, where many audience members and critics thought that Gabriel as opener (especially with his elaborate make-up) overshadowed Bowie at the height of his commercial popularity. Recordings of this tour were released as the double LP Plays Live The stage was set for Gabriel’s critical and commercial breakout with his next studio release So which was in production for almost three years. During the recording and production of the album Gabriel found time to work on the film soundtrack for Alan Parker’s 1984 feature Birdy, which consisted of new material as well as remixed instrumental tracks from his previous studio album.
Although he had already achieved critical, and some commercial, solo success (e.g. « Games Without Frontiers » from his third album and « Shock the Monkey » from his fourth), Gabriel achieved his greatest popularity with songs from the 1986 So album, highlights being the ’60s-tinged pop and suggestiveness of « Sledgehammer » (a #1 smash in the US, knocking Genesis’s Invisible Touch off of the top spot), « Big Time », the ballad « Don’t Give Up » with Kate Bush about the devastation of unemployment, and the love song « In Your Eyes ». « In Your Eyes » later became ingrained in pop culture in a scene where it is played on John Cusack’s boom box in the 1989 film Say Anything…. Gabriel co-produced So with Daniel Lanois, also known for his work with U2.
Gabriel’s song « Sledgehammer » which dealt specifically about sex and sexual relations, was accompanied by a much lauded music video, which was a collaboration with director Stephen R. Johnson, Aardman Animations, and the Brothers Quay. The video won numerous awards at the 1987 MTV Music Video Awards, and set a new standard for art in the music video industry. A follow-up video for the song « Big Time » also broke new ground in music video animation and special effects. The song is a story of « what happens to you when you become a little too successful » in Gabriel’s words.
Gabriel played a prominent role in supporting Amnesty International at this time, appearing on the 1986 U.S. A Conspiracy of Hope Tour and on the 1988 worldwide Human Rights Now! Tour.
In 1989, Gabriel released Passion, the soundtrack for Martin Scorsese’s movie The Last Temptation of Christ. For this work Gabriel received his first Grammy Award, in the category of Best New Age Performance. He also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score – Motion Picture.
Following this, Gabriel recorded Us in 1992 (also co-produced with Daniel Lanois), an album in which he explored the pain of recent personal problems; his failed first marriage, his relationship with Rosanna Arquette, and the growing distance between him and his first daughter.
Gabriel’s introspection within the context of the album Us can be seen in the first single release « Digging in the Dirt ». Accompanied by a disturbing video featuring Gabriel covered snails and various foliage, this song made reference to the psychotherapy which had taken up much of Gabriel’s time since the previous album. Gabriel describes his struggle to get through to his daughter in « Come Talk To Me » which featured backing vocals by Sinéad O’Connor. O’Connor also lent vocals to « Blood of Eden, » the third single to be released from the album and again dealing with relationship struggles, this time going right back to Adam’s rib for inspiration. The result was one of Gabriel’s most personal albums, though one with less success than So, reaching #2 in the album chart on both sides of the Atlantic, and making modest chart impact with the singles « Digging in the Dirt » and the funkier « Steam » which evoked memories of « Sledgehammer ». He followed the release of the album with a world tour (with Paula Cole filling O’Connor’s vocal role) and accompanying double CD and DVD Secret World Live in 1994.
Gabriel won three more Grammy Awards, all in the genre of Music Videos. He won the Best Music Video – Short Form Grammy in 1992 and 1993 for the videos to « Digging in the Dirt » and « Steam » respectively. Gabriel also won the 1995 Grammy for Best Music Video – Long Form for his Secret World Live video.
After five years of not releasing any new music, Gabriel re-emerged with OVO, a soundtrack for the live Millennium Dome Show in London in 2000, and Long Walk Home, the music from the Australian movie Rabbit-Proof Fence, early in 2002. This soundtrack also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score – Motion Picture.
In September 2002, Gabriel released Up, his first full-length studio album in a decade. Entirely self-produced, Up returned to some of the themes of his work in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Three singles failed to make an impression on the charts — in part because almost every track exceeded six minutes in length, with multiple parts — but the album sold well globally, as Gabriel continued to draw from a loyal fan base from his almost forty years in the music business. Up was also accompanied by a live concert DVD, featuring his daughter Melanie on backing vocals.
While the gaps between his studio album releases have become longer and longer (six years between So and Us, ten between Us and Up), Gabriel has continued to work with a relatively stable crew of musicians and recording engineers. Bass and Stick player Tony Levin, for example, has appeared on every Peter Gabriel studio album except Passion and Long Walk Home as well as performed on every solo tour and guitar player David Rhodes has been Gabriel’s guitarist of choice since 1979 and Jerry Marotta has been the main Drummer, both in the studio and on the road. Gabriel is known for choosing top-flight collaborators, from co-producers such as Ezrin, Fripp, Lillywhite, and Lanois to musicians such as L. Shankar, Trent Reznor, Youssou N’Dour, Larry Fast, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Sinéad O’Connor, Kate Bush, Paula Cole, John Giblin, Papa Wemba, Manu Katché, Bayete, and Stewart Copeland.
Over the years, Gabriel has collaborated with singer Kate Bush several times; Bush provided backing vocals for Gabriel’s « Games Without Frontiers » and « No Self Control » in 1980, and female lead vocal for « Don’t Give Up » (a Top 10 hit in the UK) in 1986, and Gabriel appeared on her television special. Their duet of Roy Harper’s « Another Day » was discussed for release as a single, but never appeared.
He also collaborated with Laurie Anderson on two versions of her composition « Excellent Birds » – one for her album, Mister Heartbreak, and a slightly different version called « This is the Picture (Excellent Birds) » which appeared on cassette and CD versions of So. In 1987, when presenting Gabriel with an award for his music videos, Anderson related an occasion in which a recording session had gone late into the night and Gabriel’s voice began to sound somewhat strange, almost dreamlike. It was discovered that he had fallen asleep in front of the microphone, but had continued to sing.
In 1998 Gabriel appeared on the soundtrack of Babe: Pig in the City, not as a composer, but as the singer of the song « That’ll Do », written by Randy Newman. The song was nominated for an Academy Award, and Gabriel and Newman performed it at the following year’s Oscar telecast. Many who saw him on that broadcast didn’t recognize him, since his hair had greyed and thinned since his most recent tour several years earlier. He performed a similar soundtrack appearance for the 2004 film Shall We Dance?, singing a cover version of « The Book of Love » by The Magnetic Fields.
Gabriel has also appeared on Robbie Robertson’s self-titled album, singing on « Fallen Angel », co-wrote two Tom Robinson singles, and appeared on Joni Mitchell’s 1988 album, Chalk Mark in a Rainstorm, on the track « My Secret Place ».
Gabriel has been interested in world music for many years, with the first musical evidence appearing on his third album. This influence has increased over time, and he is the driving force behind the WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) movement. He created the Real World Studios and record label to facilitate the creation and distribution of such music by various artists, and he has worked to educate Western culture about the work of such musicians as Yungchen Lhamo, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Youssou N’dour. He has a long-standing interest in human rights, and launched Witness, a nonprofit which supplies video cameras to human rights activists to expose abuses. In 2006 his work with Witness and his long standing support of peace and human rights causes was recognized by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates with the Man of Peace award.
In the 1990s he developed advanced multimedia CD-ROM-based entertainment projects, creating the acclaimed Xplora and Eve CD-ROMs. These can no longer be played on modern PCs, due to changes to their operating systems.
He was one of the founders of On Demand Distribution (OD2), one of the first online music download services. Its technology is used by MSN Music UK and others, and has become the dominant music download technology platform for stores in Europe. OD2 was bought by US company Loudeye in June of 2004 and subsequently by Finnish mobile giant Nokia in October 2006 for $60 million.
Additionally, Gabriel is also co-founder (with Brian Eno) of a musicians union called Mudda, short for « magnificent union of digitally downloading artists. »
In June 2005, Gabriel and broadcast industry entrepreneur David Engelke purchased Solid State Logic, a leading manufacturer of mixing consoles and digital audio workstations. SSL is among the top 2 or 3 recording console manufacturers in the world of recording.
In July 2007 Peter performed at WOMAD in Charlton Park for the first time in the 25 years of the festival.
In the late 1990s, Gabriel and entrepreneur Richard Branson discussed with Nelson Mandela their idea of a small, dedicated group of leaders, working objectively and without any vested personal interest to solve difficult global conflicts.
On July 18, 2007, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nelson Mandela announced the formation of a new group, Global Elders, in a speech he delivered on the occasion of his 89th birthday. The founding members of this group are Desmond Tutu, Graça Machel, Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Jimmy Carter, Li Zhaoxing, Mary Robinson, and Muhammad Yunus.
The Elders will be independently funded by a group of « Founders », including Branson and Gabriel.
Desmond Tutu serves as the chair of The Elders—who will use their collective skills to catalyze peaceful resolutions to long-standing conflicts, articulate new approaches to global issues that are or may cause immense human suffering, and share wisdom by helping to connect voices all over the world. They will work together over the next several months to carefully consider which specific issues they will approach.
In 1992 Peter Gabriel founded WITNESS a non-profit group that equips, trains and supports locally-based organizations worldwide to utilize video and the internet in human rights documentation and advocacy.
Gabriel’s music has appeared in many motion pictures and the three films that he personally scored :
* Birdy, by Alan Parker,
* The Last Temptation of Christ by Martin Scorsese (recorded as Passion, with additional material found on Passion sources),
* Rabbit-Proof Fence by Phillip Noyce (recorded as Long Walk Home)
All those records were recorded at Realworld Studios – even 1985 Birdy.
Films that feature Gabriel’s music or voice include :
* Against All Odds (song « Walk Through the Fire »)
* Angel Baby (song « We Do What We’re Told)
* Babe: Pig in the City (song « That’ll Do »)
* The Bone Collector (songs « Don’t Give up » and « Zaar »)
* City of Angels (song « I Grieve », pre-Up version)
* Gangs of New York (acoustic version of « Signal to Noise »)
* Gremlins (song « Out, Out »)
* In Good Company (song « Solsbury Hill »)
* Jungle 2 Jungle (song « Shaking the Tree ’97 (Jungle Version) »)
* Phenomenon (song « I Have the touch », remixed with additional lyrics)
* Philadelphia (song « Lovetown »)
* Natural Born Killers (song « Taboo », with Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn)
* Project X (song « Shock the Monkey »)
* Red Planet (song « The Tower that Ate People », remixed)
* Say Anything (song « In Your Eyes »)
* Shall We Dance? (song « The Book of Love », originally performed by The Magnetic Fields)
* Strange Days (song « While the Earth Sleeps » with Deep Forest)
* Until the End of the World (song « Blood of Eden », pre-album version without Sinnéad O’Connor’s backing vocals)
* Vanilla Sky (song « Solsbury Hill »)
* Virtuosity (song « Partyman », co-written with Tori Amos)
* The Wild Thornberrys Movie (songs « Animal Nation » and « Shaking the Tree (’02 Remix) »)
* The Battle of Shaker Heights (song « When You’re Falling » with Afro Celt Sound System)
* The Chocolate War (songs « We Do What We’re Told » and « I Have the Touch »)