Secret World LiveReleased 16th July, 2012
Originally released on VHS in September 1994, and re-released on DVD and Bluray in 2012, Secret World Live captures the extraordinary live tour, conceived by Peter Gabriel and Robert Lepage, that accompanied the release of Peter’s sixth solo album, US.
The Secret World tour saw Peter and his band play more than 150 shows around the world during 1993 and 1994. The concert was filmed across two nights (16 & 17 November 1993) at the Palasport Nuovo in Modena, Italy and was directed by François Girard.
During this tour Peter’s band consisted of Manu Katché (drums), Tony Levin (bass, vocals), David Rhodes (guitars, vocals), Jean Claude Naimro (keyboards, vocals), Shankar (violin, vocals), Levon Minassian (doudouk) and Paula Cole (vocals) with special guests were Papa Wemba and Molokai. Peter on vocals and keyboards.
Martha Ladly spoke to Robert Lepage about his role in helping create the Secret World Tour with Peter in an article that first appeared in issue 3 of Box Magazine in 1993, an extract from which is reproduced below.
Robert Lepage is a French Canadian writer, actor, director and multi-disciplinary creator. From his background in 80s experimental punk drama to his position in the 90s mainstream, his work has always been highly visual and thematically wide-ranging. He works with traditional theatrical conventions and, using language and image as equal purveyors of his vision, radically transforms them. Recently Robert worked closely with designer Rolf Engel of Atelier Markgraph and with Peter Gabriel on the set design and staging of the Secret World Tour. I met Robert at the production rehearsals for the show. An animated but soft-spoken man, energy teems below the surface of his carefully chosen words and his intense, spectacularly eyebrow-less gaze.
The Secret World Tour production design presented Robert with the challenge of integrating the intimacy and very personal nature of the music on US into the impersonal environment of the large arena settings that the tour will be playing. “The emotions on US are very complex, going from the solitary notion of oneself, to the relationship of the couple and out into the wider context of the world, US, everyone.” Robert wished to explore all of these relationships, and to use the design of the stage to personify the male and female, the singular and plural nature of US. He also wanted to provide a space where these interpersonal relations could be clearly acted out. So the stage production shows US and becomes US at the same time. Robert plays with the themes of collision, clashing, meeting and overlapping and resulting separation – the sexual and personal aspects of meeting and then pulling away again.
“The square stage represents the male and the round domed stage the female, the walkway between them providing communication and the link between the sexes. The link also becomes a road or a river, a place of travel and transformation, from one stage literally to another.” In other senses, the round stage symbolises the organic, hope and the world. The square stage is the urban environment and it contains the projection screen. There is much about water and about fire in the music and these images are also projected on-screen. The lighting design has been used to effect fire and water. The result is one of the most moving and emotional platforms for a popular music concert ever conceived.
For the 2012 DVD and Bluray release the concert has been digitally restored and remastered from the original 16mm film stock and the audio remixed and remastered in Stereo, Dolby 5:1 and DTS Soundtracks. Released on 16 July in the UK and a week later on the 24 July in the USA.
Bonus features include:
– Making of Peter Gabriel’s Secret World Live film which includes exclusive video interviews and behind the scenes footage.
– A timelapse film of the stage set up from the show in Berlin, Germany.
– Remixed Quiet version of Steam with photo gallery montage from the tour.
– Performance of The Rhythm of the Heat with the New Blood Orchestra, filmed at the Hammersmith Apollo, London 2011.