Live and Let Live

Released 27th November, 2023

The final track to be revealed from the album i/o is called Live and Let Live.

In a break from previous months, all three mixes are released simultaneously, the Bright-Side Mix by Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, the Dark-Side Mix by Tchad Blake and the Atmos In-Side Mix by Hans-Martin Buff.

The song is accompanied by the striking ‘Soundsuit’ artwork of Chicago based artist Nick Cave.

Written and produced by Peter Gabriel, Live and Let Live is a song about forgiveness, tolerance and optimism. A joyous, rousingly-positive, closing note for the album

‘Music can be like a box of mood pills that we can use to treat ourselves and a lot of the work of the Reverberation project is focused on that sort of idea. When someone suggested that forgiveness might be a topic to write about, at first, I thought, ‘that’s not interesting to me,’ but then I remembered two things. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was the chair of The Elders and a real mentor for me, led the Truth and Reconciliation Committee in South Africa and that really allowed people to expose, report and maybe feel again some of the horrors of the apartheid era. I remember he always said that listening made a huge difference, just making sure people felt heard and recognized. Then, sometimes, it created a space for forgiveness.

There’s also a description that Nelson Mandela gave when he was released from jail after 27 years in prison and found himself about to become president of South Africa, standing next to some of the people who’d been responsible for keeping him in jail all that time. He said he felt some of the old fear and hatred swelling up inside him but when he thought hard about it, he realized that he needed to find a way to work with these people, to build what he called his rainbow coalition. He needed to feel their humanity and ultimately to find a way to forgive them. He was quite sure that if he couldn’t forgive them and find a way to work with them, that he would remain their prisoner for the rest of his days.

Now, I know if we look at what’s happening in the Middle East now or in Ukraine, all sorts of places around the world where there’s still violence and brutality, to walk around with a bunch of flowers, preaching forgiveness seems trite and pathetic, maybe. But in the long run, I think people have to find a way. ‘Peace only happens when you respect the rights of others’ is a quote from the Peace University in Costa Rica and I think that’s a really important message for me and for my life. You either belong to that hurt or you free yourself and forgiveness is clearly a super effective way of freeing yourself.’

Live and Let Live, the last song to have been written for the album, features contributions from many players already heard on other songs, such as Tony Levin, David, Rhodes, Manu Katché, Brian Eno, Melanie Gabriel, John Metcalfe and the New Blood Orchestra. Notable other contributions come from Steve Gadd ‘wonderful grooves created with brushes’ that are looped at the start of the song, some beautiful trumpet by Paolo Fresu ‘soulful and poetic’ and the return of the singers of Soweto Gospel choir ‘great voices and this deep soulfulness, their additions are always wonderful for me.’

The release comes with artwork ‘Soundsuit’ by Nick Cave.

‘Nick Cave does a lot performance, movement and dance work, but these extraordinary figures, for which he is best known, ‘Soundsuits’, are amazing. They are like armour. Beneath all this exuberant colour you can’t actually sense the race, the class, the wealth or the gender of the person wearing the Soundsuit, so, you have that sense that you are not going to get attacked for pre-conceived ideas about who you are or what people like you are like… it’s a very positive spin on a negative situation. Nick’s work is very interesting and unusual and I am very glad that he was happy to be part of this.’

Words and Music: Peter Gabriel
Engineering by Oli Jacobs, Katie May, Dom Shaw
Additional engineering by Faye Dolle, Stefano Amerio
Assistant engineering by Faye Dolle, Dom Shaw
Orchestral engineering Lewis Jones
Orchestral assistant engineering by Tom Coath, Luie Stylianou
Pre-production enginneering by Richard Chappell
Produced by Peter Gabriel
Bright-Side Mix by Mark ‘Spike’ Stent
Dark-Side Mix Mix by Tchad Blake
Mastered by Matt Colton at Metropolis
3D Audio sound treatments and Dolby Atmos mix by Hans-Martin Buff in the Red Room at Real World Studios & Aural Majority Pad, Boofland, Blue Box, London
Dolby Additional Recording Assistant: Bob Mackenzie
Recorded at Real World Studios, Bath, The Beehive, London, British Grove, London, High Seas Studios, South Africa, ArteSuono Studio, Cavalicco (UD)/Italy
Cover: Soundsuit by Nick Cave

Drums: Manu Katché
Snare Brushes Loop: Steve Gadd
Rhythm Programming: Peter Gabriel, Oli Jacobs, Brian Eno (Morph Kit), Richard Chappell
Percussion: Peter Gabriel (tambourine), Katie May (clay pot)
Bass: Tony Levin
Electric Guitar: David Rhodes
Piano and Synths: Peter Gabriel
Additional Synths: Brian Eno
Trumpet Solo: Paulo Fresu
BVs: Peter Gabriel, Melanie Gabriel, David Rhodes
Choir: Soweto Gospel Choir
Soprano: Linda Sambo, Nobuhle Dhlamini, Phello Jiyane, Victoria Sithole
Alto: Maserame Ndindwa, Phumla Nkhumeleni, Zanele Ngwenya, Duduzile Ngomane
Tenor: George Kaudi, Vusimuzi Shabalala, Xolani Ntombela, Victor Makhathini
Bass: Thabang Mkhwanazi, Goodwill Modawu, Warren Mahlangu, Fanizile Nzuza
Choir Solos: Phello Jiyane (Soprano)
Duduzile Ngomane (Alto)
Vusimuzi Shabalala (Tenor)
Fanizile Nzuza (Bass Voice)
Victor Makhathini (Male voice Zulu improvisations)
Phumla Nkhumeleni (Female ululating and chanting)
Musical Director / Vocal Arranger: Bongani (Honey) Ncube
Choir Engineer: Jacques Du Plessis
LVs: Peter Gabriel

Orchestral Arrangement: John Metcalfe with Peter Gabriel
From the New Blood Orchestra:
Violins: Everton Nelson, Richard George, Natalia Bonner, Cathy Thompson, Debbie Widdup, Odile Ollagnon, Ian Humphries, Louisa Fuller, Martin Burgess, Clare Hayes, Charles Mutter, Marianne Haynes
Violas: Bruce White, Rachel Roberts, Fiona Bonds, Peter Lale
Cellos: Ian Burdge, Caroline Dale, Tony Woollard, Chris Worsey, William Schofield, Chris Allan
Double bass: Chris Laurence, Lucy Shaw, Stacey Watton
Orchestra Conductor: John Metcalfe
Orchestra Leader: Everton Nelson
Sheet Music Supervisor: Dave Foster
Orchestra Contractor: Lucy Whalley and Susie Gillis for Isobel Griffiths Ltd