Today January 6, on the day of the first full moon of 2023, Peter Gabriel releases the first single from his upcoming album I. The song is accompanied by a cover made by the artist David Spriggs.
Written and produced by Peter Gabriel, Panopticom was recorded at Real World Studios in Wiltshire and The Beehive in London.
‘The first piece is based on an idea I worked on to start the creation of an accessible and infinitely expandable “globe” of data: The Panopticom”, Gabriel says. ‘We’re starting to connect a group of like-minded people who might be able to bring this project to life, to allow the world to see itself better and better understand what’s really going on.”
From a musical point of view, Panopticom moves thanks to the “engine room” by longtime collaborators Tony Levin, David Rhodes and Manu Katché, supported by the haunting electronics of Brian Eno. Additional backing vocals are by Ríoghnach Connolly of The Breath. The text is inspired in part by the extraordinary work of three groups, Forensic Architecture, Bellingcat and the pioneering human rights organization WITNESS, co-founded by Gabriel.
The output of Panopticom with the full moon is no coincidence and, in keeping with Gabriel’s philosophy, the approach to I it will be a little different from the norm. The phases of the moon will drive the release schedule in 2023, with a new song revealed every full moon.
‘One of the concepts I’m writing about this time is the idea that we seem incredibly capable of destroying the planet that gave us birth, and that if we don’t find a way to reconnect to nature and the natural world, we will lose a lot. An easy way to think about where we fit into all of this is to look at the sky…and the moon has always fascinated me.”
Each new music release will be accompanied by a specific artwork, “we reviewed the work of several hundred artists”says Gabriel, and Panopticom is characterized by the work “Red Gravity” by David Spriggs.
‘It was the theme of control that brought me into contact with the work of David Spriggs, because he had created a work about it. David does amazing things using many layers of transparencies, so you get these weird creations with real intensity. Part of what he does is imagine what art might be like in a few years, in the future and then try to create accordingly and I think in this piece in particular he has done that very well.”
In addition to new music, Peter Gabriel will embark on a tour during the year, which will see him protagonist of two live dates in Italy on May 20 and 21