Peter Gregson is a tremendously talented cellist and composer who has worked on many successful and innovative projects despite being so young. He has premiered works by composers including Tod Machover, Daníel Bjarnason and Steve Reich. He also collaborates with many of the world’s leading technologists, including Microsoft Labs, United Visual Artists, Reactify and the MIT Media Lab.
Peter’s debut album, Terminal, was released in 2010, followed by his Cello Multitracks consisting of compositions by Gabriel Prokofiev, released in 2012 on Prokofiev’s Nonclassical label. Lights in the Sky, his second studio album, composed for cello, piano, and analog synthesisers, was released at Imogen Heap's Reverb Festival in August 2014. Peter is featured soloist on Michael Price's debut album for Erased Tapes, Entanglement, which was released in Spring 2015.
Touch was recorded on blu-ray technology and contains analog synthesiser, cello, piano, and string orchestra. To learn more about the processes behind the release, XLR8R spoke briefly with with Gregson.
Why is the cello your instrument of choice?
To my ear the cello sounds like a human voice. It can do so many things, sound like so many other instruments… and it gets a meal when I fly.
Tell us more about the blu-ray aspect of your release?
The album is in surround (9.1 and 5.1) as well as stereo, so in order to fully convey that, the record is released in blu-ray. Writing music and recording it natively in surround is such a joy, I really hope people get a chance to hear it! I have a surround setup in my studio, but don’t take it for granted! There’s a whole other space that opens up when the sounds are pushed into two speakers, it’s as if the sky is suddenly much bigger and more expansive. Of course, the stereo mixes were treated as separate animals and sound so lush, they’re not merely small versions of the surrounds. It taught me so much about the necessary hierarchy in music; you can’t just squash things on top and assume it’ll all come out in the wash. You need to be so careful and precise to make sure you guide the listener’s ear so they hear what you want them to. It doesn’t just happen by magic (sadly!)