On the full moon today, Thursday 6 April, Peter Gabriel releases the ‘Bright-Side Mix’ of the title track from his forthcoming album, ‘i/o’.
Written and produced by Peter Gabriel, ‘i/o’ was primarily recorded at Real World Studios in Wiltshire, as well as The Beehive in London. The song features Soweto Gospel Choir, who were recorded at High Seas Studios in South Africa.
Speaking about the new track, Gabriel says:
“This month the song is “i/o” and “i/o” means input / output. You see it on the back of a lot of electrical equipment and it just triggered some ideas about the stuff we put in and pull out of ourselves, in physical and non-physical ways. That was the starting point of this idea and then trying to talk about the interconnectedness of everything. The older I get, I probably don’t get any smarter, but I have learned a few things and it makes a lot of sense to me that we are not these independent islands that we like to think we are, that we are part of a whole. If we can see ourselves as better connected, still messed up individuals, but as part of a whole, then maybe there’s something to learn?”
‘i/o’ as a potential album title has long-been known within fan circles, and is now the name of the current project, the album and the forthcoming tour, but as Gabriel says, “It’s been around for a long time as a title for this project. I always knew I was going to write a song called “i/o”, but the title came first.”
‘i/o’ sees Gabriel working again with Soweto Gospel Choir, who previously featured on the song ‘Down to Earth’, recorded for the film ‘Wall-E’, and with whom he’s performed twice in South Africa, at events for Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu.
“I didn’t always hear the Soweto Gospel Choir on this song, but every time I’ve worked with them it’s always been fantastic. You can just feel the energy whenever they sing on this record, and on the song I did for Wall-E, it’s just joyous. It hits you in the heart” he adds.
Continuing the theme of working with a different artist for each song release, this month’s track is accompanied by a cover image featuring the work of Olafur Eliasson, who is someone Gabriel first met when the artist was launching his Little Sun Project.
“Olafur Eliasson is an extraordinary artist who, in many ways I think, is the king of light. A lot of his work is to do with light and with nature and I really felt that for this song in particular he would be absolutely perfect and I was delighted when he said, yes. This piece is called Colour experiment no. 114, from 2022.
I think Olafur is a mixture between artist, scientist and magician. He always has a mission and something to say about the world and nature and light and our experience of it and that helps us to reconsider how we interact with our environment.”
Just like the previous full moon releases, ‘i/o’ will come with differing mix approaches from Mark ‘Spike’ Stent (Bright-Side Mix), Tchad Blake (Dark-Side Mix) and Hans-Martin Buff’s Atmos mix (In-Side Mix), released later in the month. Further details on the release plans for the full album will follow.
As well as new music, Peter Gabriel will embark on a tour later this year. Dates in the UK, Europe and North America are on sale now. UK and Ireland details as follows:
i/o The Tour 2023 & Ireland UK:
Saturday June 17 – Birmingham, UK – Utilita Arena
Monday June 19 – London, UK – The O2
Thursday June 22 – Glasgow, UK – OVO Hydro
Friday June 23 – Manchester, UK – AO Arena
Sunday June 25 – Dublin, Ireland – 3Arena
Stream and download ‘i/o’ on all services here. Tickets for Peter Gabrie’s i/o The Tour are on sale now from LiveNation and Peter Gabriel’s official website.