At the recent i/o Tour from Peter Gabriel, one of the most showstopping moments of the incredible show put on by Gabriel and his backing band was “And Still,” a selection from his new studio album, i/o that Gabriel wrote for his mother.
Here’s the “Bright-Side” mix of the song, which was shared by the legendary musician on Monday:
“It’s full of childhood memories, some of which are good, enjoyable and positive and some of which are obviously sad, dealing with loss.
It’s an elegy of sorts. I was trying to get some of the warmth because I think that’s where the music came from, from my mum. She was very compassionate with people and with animals, so that’s part of what I was trying to do.
My parents never moved from the house in which I was born and that’s a rare thing these days. The house has now been sold, but it was full of memories, so I was trying to capture some of that. Also, in the middle, I wanted to write her a beautiful melody. She loved classical music, so we have a beautiful cello playing there. It took a while to get that right, it can’t be too emotional or too underplayed, but I think we got there in the end.”
It’s the flip side to the “Dark-Side” mix of the track, which Gabriel shared on Oct. 28 in connection to the lunar calendar:
The lengthy rollout for the album has included several compelling new compositions that Peter Gabriel unleashed to the world in connection to the lunar calendar — and they’re all here, 12 distinct tracks made available in two studio mixes — “Bright-Side” or “Dark-Side.”
Per a news release to that effect:
All 12 tracks are subject to two stereo mixes: the Bright-Side Mix, handled by Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, and the Dark-Side Mix, as reshaped by Tchad Blake. “We have two of the greatest mixers in the world in Tchad and Spike and they definitely bring different characters to the songs. Tchad is very much a sculptor building a journey with sound and drama, Spike loves sound and assembling these pictures, so he’s more of a painter.” Both versions are included on the double-CD package, and are also available separately as double vinyl albums. And that’s not all. A third version – the In-Side Mix, in Dolby Atmos, comes courtesy of Hans-Martin Buff “doing a wonderful job generating these much more three-dimensional mixes” and is included in three-disc set, including Blu-ray.
Said Peter Gabriel in a statement:
“After a years-worth of full moon releases, I’m very happy to see all these new songs back together on the good ship i/o and ready for their journey out into the world.”
Peter Gabriel performed much of the album on his i/o Tour, an incredible sonic experience that Rock Cellar caught at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles on Oct. 13.
More on the album’s artistic scope:
Continuing the idea developed for Peter’s US and UP albums, he has again invited a range of visual artists to contribute a piece of art to accompany the music and each of i/o’s 12 songs were handed to a world-renowned artist to create an accompanying work, whether paint, photography, sculpture or even Plasticine. The dozen artists make an exceedingly impressive team of collaborators: Ai Weiwei, Nick Cave, Olafur Eliasson, Henry Hudson, Annette Messager, Antony Micallef, David Moreno, Cornelia Parker, Megan Rooney, Tim Shaw, David Spriggs and Barthelemy Toguo.
As for the musical collaborators involved on the i/o project:
Recorded mostly at Real World Studios and Peter’s home studio, the lengthy gestation of i/o means it has a sizeable cast list. Peter has kept his trusty inner circle of musicians close to hand, which means guitarist David Rhodes, bassist Tony Levin and drummer Manu Katche are sterling presences throughout. Several songs bear the fingerprints of long-time associate Brian Eno, whilst there are notable contributions from Richard Russell, pianist Tom Cawley, trumpeters Josh Shpak and Paolo Fresu, cellist Linnea Olsson and keyboard player Don E. Peter’s daughter Melanie contributes warm backing vocals, as does Rioghnach Connolly of The Breath, while Real World regulars Richard Chappell, Oli Jacobs, Katie May and Richard Evans collectively provide programming and play various instruments. Soweto Gospel Choir and Swedish all-male choir Oprhei Drangar lend their magnificent harmonies to a selection of tracks, and the mass strings of the New Blood Orchestra, led by John Metcalfe, both soothe and soar.