OVO was the Gabriel-authored soundtrack to the Millennium Dome Show, the 160-artist extravaganza that underwent 999 performances during the 365 days in 2000 that the Dome was open. Helping to tell the story of three generations of the same family living through three distinct eras – the past, the present, the future – Peter’s soundtrack accordingly drew from deep, long-held tradition and from contemporary grooves. Hurdy-gurdys butted up alongside drum & bass, ancient dancing the same millennium-celebrating dance as modern.
Released halfway through 2000, OVO boasted a stellar cast, including Cocteau Twin Elizabeth Fraser, Neneh Cherry, Alison Goldfrapp and Paul Buchanan from The Blue Nile. Some of the tracks from OVO have become fixtures of the Gabriel canon, among them Downside Up and The Nest That Sailed Away, both of which would be reprised ten years later on the orchestral album New Blood.
“As well as drawing on many references within our own folk tradition, OVO’s music also draws on the cultural origins of the many peoples who now comprise contemporary British culture.
“I really enjoyed working with the singers, all of whom added a lot to the music. I was delighted that they were willing to take part. Their performances covered a real range of emotions that brought the OVO family to life.”