Center for Artistic Activism Barcelona


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Access to medicines advocates from around the world recently gathered in Barcelona for a week-long seminar on the creatively persuasive arts. After a couple days’ lessons in history, neuroscience and organizing by the Center for Artistic Activism we took a … Continue reading

Maybarduk Siddhartha on his raft – YouTube

Rachel Lewis, producer: Peter is a human rights lawyer by day and indie rocker by night, except for on the weekend–when he is “Siddhartha on his raft” LOL. This was such a blast to film. We skipped the expensive permit and instead made up some story about how this was for a sociology class. The police bought it and the rest was history. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Daily Cal: Student Artist’s Debut Tackles Transience

By Daniel Karlin, Contributing Writer. Monday, April 9, 2007

Peter MaybardukLONELY PLANET. Peter Maybarduk promotes social change both as a student at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Law School and as a singer-songwriter. He addresses the loneliness of a transient society in his debut solo album:

The first sound we hear on Cal student Peter Maybarduk’s debut album is a familiar one: a high pitched mechanical whine, and a voice—almost human but not quite—calling out “8-car Richmond train. Now boarding. Platform 1.”

Then comes a soft voice saying, “Hello. Hello. Hello.” It’s someone checking the mic, greeting people he’s never met—reaching out to anyone, searching for anybody out there, inviting them to join him.

The sounds of the incoming BART train blend with a synthesizer, an acoustic guitar kicks in as the doors open, and the voice calls out to us: “Come inside, I’ve a story to tell.” The doors close and we’re off—on a journey with Peter Maybarduk, on his debut solo album Passengers.

“I wanted to tell a story with these songs,” Maybarduk said. “It could be one person traveling through the Bay Area and how they’re experiencing everything passing by.” On Passengers, the waves of the marina, yells of children’s playgrounds and tolling of the Campanile are interspersed between the Elliot Smith-style songs, carrying us on a journey right by Maybarduk’s side.

In fact, traveling is a recurring theme iPeter Maybardukn Maybarduk’s life. Born to an American diplomat living in Mexico City, Maybarduk has lived in Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Cuba and Venezuela. In the United States, he’s lived in Washington, D.C., attended a reform school in New England and the College of William & Mary, all before coming to UC Berkeley’s Boalt Law School. Currently in his final year at Boalt, Maybarduk is working as a law fellow in D.C. while also playing venues along the East Coast.

With law school and a music career going on simultaneously, the question arises: How do the two come together?

Rather than occupying wholly separate spheres, Maybarduk said he felt music and law can accomplish “different but mutually helpful things. They’re really just two courses, two occupations, two passions towards making change.”

And Maybarduk is devoted to change. His current fellowship is with Essential Action, an NGO dedicated to increasing accessibility of essential medicines in developing countries. After graduation, he said he plans to continue in the legal field, striving for progress in public health, while also continuing with his music to address social ills.

In that way, his two endeavors go hand in hand. “We can change the regulations of institutional structures, and we can change the mind of the person sitting right next to us,” Maybarduk said.

With this debut album, he takes on a social isGreen Corner Mansue with a deep personal significance.

“I wanted Passengers to be more than a collection of songs,” Maybarduk said. By channeling his experiences and emotions from his journeys, the album conveys a sharp sense of the loneliness of travel. “We’re quite transient as a society … and it’s a social ill, this transience,” Maybarduk said. The separation between all of us in society shines through as a central theme.

“We’re not the only ones/Who feel alone,” he sings on opening track “Passengers.” “Yet we hide in the masquerade/We hide in the rivers of stone./ And we Peter Maybarduk with Last Clear Chance @ 924 Gilman Street 2006ride just like passengers/ Damned to never go home.”

From his time in the local indie rock band Last Clear Chance, to his current phase as a singer-songwriter, Maybarduk’s music has always been an instrument dedicated to social change. On Passengers, his lyrics, strumming guitar and voice invoke us to join him, calling us to journey with him to somewhere new.

About Peter Maybarduk

Peter Maybarduk, February 2014


Peter Maybarduk is a Washington, D.C.-based human rights lawyer and a songwriter. Read his piece about reducing medicine prices in The New York Times and his op-ed with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. Listen to his third album, “A Ring Around The Atlantic” and recent singles.


Peter Maybarduk directs Public Citizen’s access to medicines and knowledge economy group, which helps people around the world overcome high-price pharmaceutical monopolies and secure the benefits of science, technology and culture for all. Maybarduk has provided technical assistance to international organizations and to public agencies and community groups in more than three dozen countries. He is an intellectual property expert and a visiting fellow with the Information Society Program at Yale Law School. Maybarduk’s work has yielded HIV/AIDS medicine price reductions, new state policies promoting access to medicines and global shifts toward anti-counterfeiting policies that safeguard generic competition. His strategy and analysis helped eliminate many life-threatening measures from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership and played a key role in its ultimate defeat. Maybarduk’s work has been covered in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Times of India, The Washington Post, The Guardian and other major papers. He studied technology law at the University of California at Berkeley and anthropology at The College of William and Mary in Virginia. Read Public Citizen’s recent profile of Maybarduk.

Composer | Performer

Maybarduk is a composer and performer of music. He has released three albums, including A Ring Around the Atlantic (2012) and singles All That’s Left (2017) and Meet Me in the Star Field (2014), produced by J. Robbins. Maybarduk’s frequently introspective songs include post-punk rockers (Touched By Fire) and playful electronic compositions (Siddhartha on his Raft). He writes about transience, justice, loss, dignity and meaning, and arranges field recordings into his music. Cellist Gordon Withers noted that several of Peter’s songs, such as Messages Across the Atlantic, bridge rock and classical music. View Peter’s music promotional sheet here.


Maybarduk was born in Mexico City on the 4th of July to an American economist diplomat and a social worker. His prior work includes ethnography in South America’s Orinoco river delta and organizing campaigns for voting rights and living wages, among others. He is the co-founder of International Professional Partnerships for Sierra Leone (IPPSL), dedicated to supporting public sector development in one of the world’s least developed countries.

contact: maybarduk (at) gmail . com