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TED Wednesday: Peter Gabriel on the Witness Project

June 13, 2007

Peter Gabriel, Quintessential New Era ArtistThis week’s TED link goes to a talk from one of the most quintessential New Era Artists of all, Peter Gabriel. The original lead singer of Genesis, long-time singer/songwriter, composer and performer truly needs no introduction.

As a musician, he virtually blew open my mind and entire musical world to include the other 90% of global musical culture. His soundtrack Passion, from The Last Temptation of Christ changed my life and the way I listen to music. If you haven’t heard it, I dare you to open up your world with it.

Perhaps what makes him one of the ultimate examples of New Era Artistry is his involvement in NGOs dedicated to Human Rights, global culture, and lending a voice to the so many of the world’s voiceless people. Worth listening to are his monthly “Full Moon” talks which are availible from Peter Gabriel.com in which he not only talks about the progress of his music, touring and projects, but also some of the non-musical projects he participates in on a regular basis.

In this week’s TED Talk, Gabriel talks about the genesis behind the Witness Project and its commitment to place video cameras, cell phones and devices of mass communications into the hands of human rights organizations and victims of tyranny. He goes on to explain where the initial inspirations to further causes such as these, can be traced back to moments in his own life.

Gabriel and others like him always serve as a personal reminder to me of the opportunities we have as artists, individuals and the greater collective of humanity to do good.

Yes, on the surface it sounds cheesy: “Do-gooder”, “Good Samaritans”. . . Not a lot of it has “sex appeal”. But in these times when it is so easy to look around a feel afraid, discouraged or paralyzed to act, it serves as a reminder of the opportunities we have to learn, act and take part in change.

The question we are left with at the end of the day is do we have the inclination?

Do you?

* * * *

As a reminder, don’t forget the documentary on the TED conference called “TED: The Future We Will Create” available for rent on Netflix. Additionally, you can click here for further screening information or an opportunity for non-Netflix subscribers to receive a two week free trial!

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