Peter Gabriel - Playing for Time

Peter Gabriel sings about what remains of a life and what happens to our memories in the first song of his upcoming album i/o ....
Peter Gabriel - Playing for Time

Peter Gabriel is now 73 years old. It's only natural that we should start to think about what we remember from our lives and where the memories stored in us go. The umsatand that we will all leave at some point. Peter Gabriel perhaps has to worry less about transience than others, as he has written a large number of songs in his lifetime that will still be absolutely listenable many years from now. 

His career began back in his school days when he founded the band Genesis together with his classmates. As frontman, he certainly helped shape the band's success with his costumes. However, as he wanted to take a different path musically, he left the group in the early 70s and launched his solo career. Iconic songs such as "Solsbury Hill", "Biko", "Games without Frontiers" or "Don't give Up" (together with Kate Bush) will probably remain on all-time best lists for a long time to come. In his more than 50 years on stage, he has accumulated a wealth of such memories, which we are still happy to share with him.

On "Playing for Time" he says:

'Playing For Time is a song that I have been working on for a long time and have performed live, without lyrics, so some people may be familiar with it. It's been an important song for me. It's about time, mortality and memories and the idea that each of us has a planet full of memories which get stashed inside the brain.

It is more of a personal song about how you assemble memories and whether we are prisoners of time or whether that is something that can actually free us. I do think it's good to push yourself towards more bold or interesting experiences because then you will have richer memories to feed you when you get to my age. You also get taught by every meaningful experience that you go through.

If the song conveys anything musically, then it is warmth. A warmth that certainly also characterizes Peter Gabriel as a person through his commitment to world music (especially the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's sometimes disturbing film - The Last Temptation of Christ) and human rights. 

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