Peter Erskine - Studio musician

It is not at all surprising that many young drummers, when asked what they would like to become, answer: "Peter Erskine." Peter worked and recorded with almost all representatives of the jazz community. He gifted composer and writer who published a number of books on drums. He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society and has contributed a significant contribution to the popularization of the methodology of healthy, medically point of view, image of drumming and saving auditory drummer's apparatus. He also released Living Drums, a library sampled drum sounds, a collection of your own sounds in audio format. His stunning (and stimulating young musicians to the growth of professional skills) recordings of such are so numerous that, in order to list them all, we would this article is not long enough. He is a musician with a capital letter, maestro of drums and a true gentleman. Peter is one of the most demanded and busy musicians, so we are very pleased that he carved out time in his hectic schedule to talk to Cyber-Drum.

How did it happen that you started playing specifically on the drums?

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to play drums... when I was 4 years old, my father made me some kind of drum kit: one conga drum, Chinese tom-tom and sizzle-plate... At the age of five I started taking private drum lessons.

Which of the drummers influenced you most at an early age?

Art Blakey, Tito Puente, Stan Kenton and Max Roach... later on added people like Shelly Manne, Grady Tate, Mel Lewis, Philly Joe Jones and Elvin Jones.

Who were your first teacher?

My first drum instructor installation was John Civera (he gave me private lessons in my home Linwood, New Jersey); I was also very lucky to learn from teachers such as Alan Dawson, Clem DeRosa, Ron Carter, Oliver Nelson, Louis Hayes and Ed Soph at National Stage Band Summer Camp Camps. "Classical" percussion I learned from George Gaber and Billy Dorn. (I also took private lessons in both music theory and hearing development - solfeggio, and a general piano course ... and I even took trumpet lessons!)

How much time/effort do you did you give drums in your youth?

All the time and energy I have were!

Tell us about some of the earliest projects in which you participated.

In my teens, I attended Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan (1968-71); there I played both in a jazz band and in a symphony orchestra and percussion ensemble tools.

And what / who do you most account for soul?

I have always enjoyed playing in the symphony orchestra, because that's the kind of music I like to listen to. If you mean "any favorite drummers", then the answer to your question would be: Mel Lewis, Elvin Jones and Paul Motian... all of them are distinguished by a fair "feeling", simplicity and modesty in performance, as well as the "dampness" of rudimentary elements in their musical style (i.e., a rudimentary approach to music!).

Are you exercising now?

Yes, if possible.

And if there is such an opportunity, then how much time per day or per week do you give classes?

I try to play warm-up exercises daily.

What does your typical learning process?

First, warming up, as I have just that said, then I tend to play very simple "grids" for developing and maintaining the correct sense of time (in different styles, or in the style in which I will soon play...).

Are there any areas in which you would Want to improve your skills?

The basics... always the basics (rudiments) and musicality.

Are you currently do you advertise any manufacturers of percussion instruments?

Yamaha drums (including including 2 Peter Erskine Signature Snare Drums [4X12" and 4X10" soprano], AS WELL AS "the Peter Erskine Free Standing Stickbag"); plates "Zildjian"; Vic Firth Sticks + Mallets (drum sticks "Peter Erskine signature" and "Ride signature"); drumheads Evans; Shure Bros. microphones; percussion "Latin Percussion"; a also tambourines brand "Grover" ... PLUS sample library SAMPLEHEADS Living Drums.

And some other equipment do you use?

See higher ... PLUS TO THAT: I have I have a Yamaha brand piano, in the studio I use mass Yamaha (and Roland) equipment, and as a sequencer I am using a Macintosh computer.

Are there currently moment any noticeable changes in your instrument?


What projects are you currently involved in?

We toured Europe with my trio "ECM" (Palle Danielsson on bass and John Taylor on piano), also last summer in Oslo, as the leader of ECM, I completed the fourth in a row album. This record should go on sale somewhere in the coming a few months and it will be called "Juni". In general, the directory of our albums includes, in addition to the new album, "You Never Know", "Time Being" and "As It Is". Newly released video of the band (Hal Leonard) is called "Peter Erskine Trio / Live at JazzBaltica". That concert in 1993 was just one of those performances, who really want to record ... and we managed to write down! There we play music from all three previous albums "ECM", namely:

1. "Everybody's Song But My Own" by Kenny Wheeler

2. "Pure And Simple" by John Taylor

3. "Touch Her Soft Lips And Part" by William Walton

4. "Palle's Headache" by Palle Danielsson

5. "Evansong" by John Taylor

6. "She Never Has A Window" by Vince Mendoza

7. On The Lake by Peter Erskine

8. "Clapperclowe" by John Taylor

Immediately after our European tour in Anaheim hosted the Percussive Arts Society conference. It gave me the opportunity to hang out with many old friends as well listen to a fair amount of great music. three evenings i played at the Disneyland Hotel Club with The Lounge Art Ensemble (Dave Carpenter on bass, Bob Sheppard on saxophone)... part "contract" with this team was that I had to play there on the Yamaha "Club Jordan" cocktail drumkit. On the stage, I had both drum kits - both mine and this one - so we did not miss a great opportunity to play two installations: thanks to Dave Weckl and "El Negro" Hernandez for coming play with us. On the last evening our guest of honor was conga player the incomparable Giovanni Hidalgo.

Short synopsis for the new CD by the Lounge Art band from "Fuzzy Music": "The Lounge Art Ensemble" dedicated himself to performing modern American music in the brass trio format. Lava Jazz celebrates the spirit of American songs and swing, is a refreshing set original compositions along with due tribute to jazz standards. That's cool. This is great. This is nishtyak. This is Lava Jazz.

In December I was back in Europe playing with WDR big band in Cologne, Germany. Conducted by my good friend and frequent colleague Vince Mendoza, while the leading soloists were students of a genius contemporary music idol Karlheinz Stockhausen (Markus and Simon).

I love playing with the WDR Orchestra and I'm honored to that our collaboration is now documented as latest Fuzzy Music CD (under my name) "Behind Closed Doors, Volume 1". When compiling the music for this CD, it seemed to me an interesting start for him to do a thing called "Around The World in Seventy Minutes. We started recording with "Bulgaria" - Cologne, Germany (recorded with WDR orchestra and Mike Mainieri). Then follows German song-inspired ballad "If Only I Had Known". After Why are we moving to New York (Kenny Werner's "Herbie Nichols", in arranged by Joe Lovano). From there we move south with composition by John Scofield "Sweet Soul", after which we find ourselves in State of New Mexico - Alan Pasqua's "Milagro" (mirage). In composition under the name "Caribe" we move a little further south and east, and then suddenly we find ourselves in Madras and Cuba at the same time - "A to Z" (Alex Akuna plays the bata [bata] in it, and Zakir Hussein - on the tabla [tabla]). After all this, we look at stars under the night sky of the center of Scotland ("Northern Cross", - this piece was originally recorded by me as part of Steps Ahead, here we play it as part of a big band, arranged by Vince Mendoza). My solo Sub Dude is kind of a drum anthem. BUT the album ends in the cold Danish castle of Prince Hamlet ("To Be Or Not To Be, another Mendoza orchestration).

I think that I have been extraordinarily fortunate to work side by side with such outstanding musicians like Mike Mainieri, Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Marc Johnson, John Patitucci, Kenny Werner, Alan Pasqua, Alex Acuca, Zakir Hussain, The WDR Big Band (Westdeutscher Rundfunk Koeln), Bill Dobbins, Vince. And also with many other people who took part in the work on this an album of previously unreleased recordings from the period March 1991 to March 1996.

Regarding Vince Mendoza: this summer I spent two absolutely unforgettable days of recording in the legendary London studio Abbey Road. Vince Mendoza conducted playing their own music... An orchestra? London Symphony, soloists John Abercrombie (guitar), Marc Johnson (bass), Kenny Wheeler (trumpet), John Taylor (piano), Michael Brecker and Joe Lovano on tenor saxophones. It was just one of the most exciting studio projects I've ever been involved in... wonderful music. LSO played amazingly. Looking forward to the release the light of this record; it will be called "Epiphany". Meanwhile, we together with Vince and Don Hanley (yes, yes, thus, from the legendary group "EAGLES"!) We are preparing a benefit concert with many guest vocalists, including with Joni Mitchell - she sings cover version of "Trouble Man" by Marvin Gaye.

Back home from London, I was immediately back in the studio with Pat Williams and his big band. We were working on a record called "Sinatraland". it dedication to Frank Sinatra, his immortal hits, and the orchestra was just a monster of its kind. By the way, this post is literally the other day appeared on the shelves of music stores (Capitol / EMI), - she "pulls" what you need! Among the invited soloists there are such musicians as as Phil Woods, Eddie Daniels, David Sanborn, Bill Watrous and Hubert Laws.

I just finished my second book for Hal Leonard entitled "The Drum Perspective". I'm really excited this event! The book addresses a number of issues musical and aesthetic order, as well as practical and the technical side of how we can implement our musical ideas to life. Soon "The Drum Perspective" will be released in light.

1998 started off with a lot of studio work for me: new album for Brandon Fields, with strings: soundtrack to Kevin Bacon's new film Wild Things. There was room in the music for drums, a magnificent orchestra included such performers like Dean Parks on guitar and Reggie Hamilton on bass, plus the venerable and amazing Joe Porcaro on percussion. music written by George S. Clinton. George and I have already worked on the music for Black Dog movie (we both work for Austin Powers).

Then, in New York, I'm with Michael Brecker, Mike Mainieri and John Patitucci took part in the recording for Norwegian artist Kenneth Sivertsen. Also in New York was the conference "The International Association of Jazz Educators and I got lucky the opportunity to play several concerts within its framework. Here are some of which: "meeting" with bassist Will Lee and "the University of Miami Big Band"; I played a number of concerts with the WDR big band (one of which was broadcast live on cable television in Germany via ISDN cable). Performed with Mike Mainieri's "American Diary" (with George Garzone and Michael Formanek. Part of this concert was dedicated to playing music from George's latest album, and on piano played by Joey Calderazzo... wow!).

Being on IAJE conference, I met MANY old friends, heard a lot of incredible young talents as part of several school orchestras (for example, orchestras from Miami and North Texas), as well as received a huge amount of the latest information in the field of jazz. I recommend that you visit the Jazz Central Station website. Look there for the November cover story - my interview with the magazine Jazz Educator.

Two days after the end of the conference IAJE I flew to Japan where we played with Mike Mainieri and specially invited for this concert in "Blue Note Cubs" orchestra: the incomparable Anthony Jackson played the bass guitar, saxophone by Bob Berg and piano by Warren Bernhardt. I really love Japan!

D'Addario Super Band Debut at NAMM Show in Los Angeles: John Abercrombie, John Patitucci, Yours truly and Bob Mintzer... all are artists working for D'Addario (in in my case, these are Evans plastics). West coast tour mid-February; plus various master classes and concerts in universities throughout the country.

I recently finished working on a number of other recordings, including on the Bob Mintzer album, as well as on the album of another trio, in which I play - "Relativity", with Marty Ehrlich and Michael Formanek. Both of these albums should go on sale this fall. Also I have been working on new Al DiMeola album.

I just got back from England, where he played several performances of the opus Mark-Anthony Turnage - "Blood On The Floor" - with John Scofield and Ensemble Modern" ("Ensemble Modern" is an incredible "hot-shot" band, performing contemporary classical music; some of you probably already know her from her bold interpretation of Frank Zappa's music on album "Yellow Shark" ... anyway, playing with them is a dream any percussionist). The play premiered in London 1996) and then we played it in Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne and Vienna. Argo (Decca) recorded our performances; amazing disk turned out ... he just came out.

I recently finished my already fourth score ("The Invisible Man") for a project like "books-on-audio" called "Alien Voices". This series sparkle talents such as (among others) Leonard Nimoy and John DeLancie (known to us from Star Trek). "Alien Voices" is a series classic sci-fi novellas in the form of radio plays, like a movie without a picture. We have completed work on the "Machine time" by H. G. Wells, recorded "Journey to the Center of the Earth" by Jules Verne, as well as "The Lost World" (in the original!) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. These recordings are now available from Simon & Schuster... ask them at your bookstore! The team involved in Alien Voices is a team of highly qualified professionals, and I I am very proud of the music recorded in the framework of this project and the role which she carries in the story. The most recent work within of this project were transmitted live over the Sci-Fi network in November of last year... the next live broadcast will be on 12 July 1998.

What else? My book came out in France, and titled "My Book". This is a collection of my compositions plus biography, discography, various exercises, as well as photographs from my personal archive - a number of great musicians with whom it fell to me happiness to work together.

I'm also proud of the collection of my drum sounds sampled as "SampleHeads" Living Drums!" collection", - it is sold both on audio CDs and in as CD-ROM in Roland, Akai and SampleCell formats.

(Uff... ! ...your turn to speak)

Which of the musicians will you What do you enjoy most about working?

I love working with all the musicians with whom I had the honor to work! Jokes aside Just look at the people I've been lucky enough to play with! Isn't it fun to work with them?!

When you are invited to any project, what factors are decisive for You to give a positive answer?

Availability of free time. My suitability for this project. Fee.

Yes Are there any significant changes in your performance technique?

Yes... I now, it seems to me, I hold drumsticks in a more correct way (that is, not close to the back ends, especially in the left hand when playing marching capture). When I play, I try to be as much as possible relaxed and, at times, with satisfaction, I hear feedback like that, that I, they say, manage sticks more than hit them ...

Be that as it may, I constantly try to develop "musicality" of my "technique", that is, I try consciously leave as much space as possible between notes, air...

Are there any differences between the drummers of your generation and "new formation" drummers?

Many of us accustomed to holding sticks too close to the back ends ... (this style went somewhere from the 70s - 80s?), but this trend has now gone on the decline, due in no small part to the appearance of a certain number of video schools. The current generation of drummers, in my opinion, is the most the best.

If you were offered to go through your career at first, would you like to change something in it or do something anything else?

In this case, in my youth, I would be more paid attention to working on a sense of rhythm, as well as dynamics / sound production ... due to the fact that in my youth I was not enough I paid a lot of attention to precisely these moments, I then had to to spend considerable time before I began to feel comfortable in recording studio.

In which of your past projects Would you like to play again?

Probably with by Steps Ahead...

What do you like to do? in your free time from drumming?

Being with family. Compose music on piano +/or synthesizer... Watch movies. Read books. Walk. Sleep. Listen to music.

Besides playing percussion instruments, do you play any other kind arts - for example, drawing, literature, etc.?

I I write a lot (both in a text editor and on a synthesizer [music]).

What advice would you give to beginners? drummers?

Listen to as much different music as possible. Humming music. Seeing music in a dream. Live music. Get high from music. Be relaxed, enjoy the performance music and play as best you can.

Would you like to share with us any funny incident from your career?

Do you know what? You will find some great anecdotes in my new book, The Drum Perspective"... don't remember exactly her address on the Internet... be kindly, give your readers a link to it yourself!