We've just turned on our new digital download facility on the womadshop.com site. We are still in a pseudo 'soft launch' phase, only one product available so far as we want to deal with any teething problems and get some customer feedback before opening out the service.
The Big Blue Ball record has had such a long gestation, dating back to the famed 'Recording Weeks' here at Real World in the early 90's, that we though we would make it's delivery to the customer as fast as possible. Big Blue Ball is now available as a 320Kbs MP3 or in Apple Lossless format (CD quality, but roughly half the file size). Both options are DRM free and available for a very reasonable £4.99. Purchasers of the CD or vinyl versions also get the benefit of the download system as we now throw in the MP3 version of the album so that you get instant gratification whilst waiting for the joy of a package in the post.
If you do try it out, we'd love to know how it works for you.
Now available to download - over 23 minutes of music and conversation with Peter Gabriel and Karl Wallinger - featuring excerpts from all the tracks on Big Blue Ball.
You can hear Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger and Stephen Hague talking about Big Blue Ball on NPR's 'Weekend Edition Sunday' from the Sunday June 22 show.
"It was just like a musical health farm, really," Wallinger says. "There wasn't any considerations other than the sounds you heard in the room, which were always pretty extraordinary and played by people who had been mastering their instrument in whatever way for however many years. I think the collective musical years that had gone down amongst everybody there would have been well into the thousands."
Big Blue Ball has taken on the curious legendary status of a slow maturing wine (or cheese). It is the creation of three years worth of Recording Week Sessions at Real World in the early 1990's but has taken many years to finally complete. This is the document of wonderful, rambling, spontaneous out-pourings of unexpected and unique musical collaborations co-produced by Peter Gabriel and Karl Wallinger. Now dusted down and whipped into shape by mixing supremos Stephen Hague and Tchad Blake. The record of those wonderful summery sessions is ready for release.
Featuring artists from a myriad of different cultures and nations - some well known names, others hidden gems of writing and performing talent .The Holmes Brothers, Jah Wobble, Billy Cobham, Joseph Arthur, Iarla O'Lionaird, James McNally, Deep Forest, Hukwe Zawose, Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Marta Sebestyen, Papa Wemba, Sinead O Connor, Joji Hirota, Guo Yue, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger ..and more .
"After all these years, it's a fine wine ready to be drunk," says Peter Gabriel, "It was the most fun music making I've ever had."
Release date in the USA is 24 June 2008 and for the UK 28 July 2008. For those in the UK it will be available in advance as a special offer to those attending the WOMAD Festival, Charlton Park.
Available on digital, CD, 150-gram double vinyl album in limited edition blue at 45rpm or standard black at 33 rpm.
The online WOMAD Shop will have some fun Big Blue Ball items for sale to accompany the release of the album.
A free download of 'Burn You Up, Burn You Down' from Big Blue Ball, is now available as a free download from recordstoreday.com