Working with Pete has been a very unique and special experience for me. Pete is a lot of exotic adjectives. Very imaginative, intense, encouraging, enthusiastic, exciting, and insistent on high quality of work and sound recording. Its uplifting to hear his many takes on contemporary life, and his insightful and funny anecdotes on folk he knows and has known. We had multi-hour conversations about the projects we worked on, but also deep discussions on computers, music, the internet and consciousness.
I had been very aware of the Who, as well as the Pink Floyd and the Soft Machine, since my youth, and felt and feel that the quality of artistic work in rock and pop often at least matched the aliveness in contemporary classical music. Baba O’Riley by the Who had remained for me a fantastic fusion of contrasting influences, particularly as Terry Riley has become a cherished friend, and Pete and I have worked together.
Pete is SO enthusiastic. He said early on that as I lived a 45 minutes drive from his home and his studio – perhaps we might have a mobile studio truck parked in the road outside my house with a live link to his studio at Twickenham. (This was a gloriously rash lighthearted gesture, even if ultimately impossible, as it made me realise how intent he was about taking my work seriously).
Pete is highly imaginative and intelligent – though those words don’t really do him justice, there were many discussion sessions, with myself, and sometimes with my programmer and friend Dave Snowdon who implemented the Lifehouse-Method software and set it up, extremely robustly, on a web server. These discussions often went some way over their allotted time (in a good way). We talked about the nature of what a musical portrait could or should be. He was very committed to the idea that a portrait is authentic, and that the “artist is right”.
Pete is passionately engaged with the internet and its possibilities, much moreso than Roger Daltrey.
There remains the next and/or final chapter of the Lifehouse-Method legend, that if it comes together I’m sure is likely to use the internet and live performance together in the creative way only Pete’s vision and humour could.
Method Music – the double album – is released on January 31st 2012 by Navona Records, available on Amazon and iTunes