It’s the last Saturday of October, the eleventh full moon of the year and time for the penultimate track from “i/o” to be released. This month the song is “And Still” and the first version to be heard is the Dark-Side Mix, by Tchad Blake.
Written and produced by Peter Gabriel, “And Still” is arguably one of the most skin-prickingly personal songs that Peter has ever written. It is not just an elegy, it’s also an exploration of the nature of memory: how it tethers us, how it secures us.
Stream the track and Pre-Order the album here: https://lnk.to/PG21
“I wrote a song for my dad a number of years back, which I was actually able to play him, which was ‘Father, Son’. When my mum died, I wanted to do something for her, but it’s taken a while before I felt comfortable and distant enough to be able to write something.
I was trying also to write a little bit in the style of the music that my parents responded to, so I think there is some music from the 40s probably that had an influence on the song. In the middle I wanted to write my mum 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.“
“And Still” has been a stand-out moment in the recent i/o tour, with the cello part played by Ayanna Witter-Johnson, but in the studio recording the solo cello comes courtesy of the New Blood Orchestra’s Ian Burdge.
This month’s release comes with artwork from the artist Megan Rooney and one of her trademark large-scale paintings “And Still (Time).”
“The art this month is from one of my favourites, an artist called Megan Rooney.” says Peter. “I first came across her when she was doing these very fast faces. She’d do one a day and they had so much character, I fell in love with those. Megan was the first person that was approached about this project and she showed me some of the abstract work that she’d been doing, which I thought was beautiful.
There was one piece that I think we both thought felt right for the song, for the mood. Then, in fact, Megan said, “I really want to create something new for this,” and she started it, but just like with my creative process she got to a point where she didn’t think she had quite nailed it. I know from my own work that sometimes I have to leave it and come back to it to find the right path.
In the end Megan suggested “maybe we should use this existing one, instead,” which is what we have done. I’m still hoping that we’ll get to the end with the other one, but this is a beautiful piece.“
“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
As a reader of these mailouts you know already that the physical release for “i/o” is now confirmed for 1 December, 2023, but we are excited, so here’s a quick recap!
12 tracks of grace, gravity and great beauty that provide welcome confirmation of not only Peter’s ongoing ability to write stop-you-in-your-tracks songs but also of that thrilling voice, still perfectly, delightfully intact. “i/o” is musically adventurous, often joyous and ultimately full of hope, topped off as it is, by the rousingly optimistic closing song, “Live and Let Live,” which will be next month’s full moon release.
Watch Peter‘s full moon update for October, 2023:
CD | Digital *
Playing for Time
Four Kinds of Horses
Road to Joy
Love Can Heal
This Is Home
Live And Let Live
*LP running order varies slightly (see website)