A Spanish-language interview with ANEPI, a news service of Ecuador’s public agencies, about a national policy on patents and access to medicines which we helped develop.
This gallery contains 6 photos.
Photos by Pat Ryan, August 2013.
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.
By Daniel Karlin, Contributing Writer. Monday, April 9, 2007
LONELY 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: http://archive.dailycal.org/article.php?id=24086
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 in 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.
“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 ride 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.
Peter Maybarduk is a Washington, D.C.-based human rights lawyer and a songwriter. Watch him discuss COVID-19 treatment and vaccine access on CBS This Morning and Democracy Now! Listen to his fourth album, “Pacifica.”
Lawyer | ADVOCATE
Peter Maybarduk directs Public Citizen’s access to medicines group, which helps partners worldwide make medicine available and affordable for all. The group’s work has shaped legislation and executive action in the United States and abroad and changed the course of international trade negotiations. Maybarduk and his colleagues help organize the global movement for COVID vaccine access and have rallied support to expand vaccine manufacturing and technology transfer to developing countries.
Maybarduk has provided technical and strategic assistance to public agencies and civil society groups in dozens of countries since 2007. He has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Times of India, The Guardian and other major papers. He recently joined the governance board of the Medicines Patent Pool, a United Nations-backed organization that negotiates licenses among drugmakers to expand global availability of affordable generics. Maybarduk is an intellectual property expert and affiliate fellow with the Information Society Program at Yale Law School. 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 profile of Maybarduk.
Composer | Performer
Maybarduk is a composer and performer of music. He has released four albums, the latest being Pacifica (2019), produced by J. Robbins. Maybarduk’s introspective songs span post-punk (Touched By Fire), electronic compositions (Siddhartha on his Raft), and songs that bridge classical and rock music (Messages Across the Atlantic). He writes about transience, dignity and meaning and arranges field recordings into his music. Several of Maybarduk’s songs have placed in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. View Peter’s music promotional sheet here.
Maybarduk was born in Mexico City on the 4th of July to an American social worker and a diplomat economist. His prior work includes ethnography in South America’s Orinoco river delta and organizing campaigns for voting rights and living wages. 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.
Sign up below to receive occasional updates and letters from Peter, including new tracks.