“One week in the middle of summer this craziness exploded in our Real World Studios. We had this week of invited guests, people from all around the world, fed by music and a 24 hour café. It was a giant playpen, a bring your own studio party. There’d be a studio set up on the lawn, in the garage, in someone’s bedroom as well as the seven rooms we had available. We were curators of sorts of all this living mass. We had poets and songwriters there, people would come in and scribble things down, they’d hook up in the café. It was like a dating agency, then they’d disappear into the darkness and make noises – and we’d be there to record it.”Peter Gabriel, producer and performer
Almost eighteen years in the making, Big Blue Ball grew from three extraordinary Recording Weeks at Real World Studios in the summers of 1991, 1992 and 1995. The project's originators and curators were Real World founder Peter Gabriel and Karl Wallinger of World Party and The Waterboys.
A huge number of artists came to the village of Box in Wiltshire to take part in these Recording Weeks, and contributed to writing the songs, making the music, and being part of that powerful sense of community that made the Recording Weeks so creative and so fruitful. The focus was as much on writing together as playing together, and the final tracks stand as an extraordinary testament to the common elements that bind so many different forms of music and music making together. Though not everyone who was there is present on the finished album, each artist's input was invaluable to the spirit of the enterprise.