PETER WHITEHEAD


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ALBUMS

The Brightness of the day is bigger than the bed
(Music for Dance & Film Vol 2)

A compilation of instrumental works made for live dance performances and films created in New York & San Francisco, mostly over a five year period.  As with his previous work, Whitehead makes extensive use of unusual or self-made acoustic instruments, this time with the addition of sampling & electronics. The result is an assortment of pieces, as diverse as the dance & film projects they were made for. The music ranges from richly textured orchestrations & soundscapes, to a Latin flavored guitar jam, to minimalist electronics, to rock, to a circus-like accordion. 

 

Angles of Enchantment

Angles of Enchantment

Created as a score for a full evening-length dance choreographed by Charles Moulton & Janice Garret. Originally played live, the music reflects the great variety in the dance. Created with Whitehead's usual array of conventional and invented instruments together with electronics and sampling and featuring 8 songs. Music from the dark side of the enchanted Pixie world.

 

Adamantine

This music was created as a live score for New York choreographer Susan Marshall's 2009 dance performance “Adamantine", first performed at Montclair State University, New Jersey in March of that year. The music marks a departure for Peter in that it incorporates electronic keyboards as well as the acoustic instruments he is better known for, often blended together in one composition.

 

Under the Gun

More beautifully crafted songs from multi-instrumentalist Peter Whitehead, fill this follow up to now this with dark and rich soundscapes that feature Peter's amazing range of handbuilt instruments and heartfelt vocals, highlighting yet again his ability to compose intricate arrangements around lovely melodies. 

 

Giselle

Giselle was created as a score for choreographer Brechin Flournoy's modern adaptation of the classical ballet "Giselle." The story is based on an obscure Eastern European folk tale. The sixty minute score was composed and played by Peter Whitehead using a variety of instruments which he either bought during his travels or constructed himself. He also used a number of ‘found' instruments and toys. The result is a richly textured weave with a variety of timbres, all of which blend together into a musical narrative which follows the story of Giselle, a young peasant girl who dies of a broken heart and passes to the underworld. 

 

Now This

Introspection, humor, rich soundscapes, memorable melodies, inventive arrangements, well crafted lyrics and original instruments, from a British-born singer /composer/ instrument builder. Featuring spike fiddles, lyres, mandolins, cellos, junk percussion, tapes, toys, banjos, canjos, panjos and other original inventions.

 

Three Bags Full

Soundtracks and scores for Dance and Film. This collection features a number of instrumental pieces composed and played by Peter, all selections from his numerous dance and film scores, created for San Francisco Bay Area choreographers and film-makers over a period of roughly four years. The music is lyrical as well as rhythmic. Rich in texture and atmosphere as well as melody. Features a number of the artists original self-made instruments.

 

PHOTOS

 

ARTIST BIO

Peter Whitehead is an instrument builder, songwriter, composer and visual artist, who works with both acoustic and electronic instruments. His instruments are often based on folk instruments from around the world, and feature unusual or found materials in place of traditional ones, (e.g. a banjo made from a metal pan). They have appeared in exhibitions at The Center for New Music San Francisco ( ‘13), Gallery 66 (‘12), The Oakland Museum (‘97), The L.A. Municipal Museum of Art (‘97) the Vancouver Museum (‘98) and The Yerba Buena Center For The Arts San Francisco (‘99) and the ODC Theater Gallery (‘00). 

He performs his own solo work using a variety of instruments and is a member of Closer To Carbon, a trio featuring bass, cellos, spike fiddles, sampler, percussion, toys and an array of conventional, invented & found instruments. He also accompanies Patti Trimble's readings of her poetry, both live and on record.

He was a founder-member of the critically acclaimed Mobius Operandi performance group, known for its spectacular large-scale multi-media events. In this ensemble he functioned as musician, actor and musical director. (Eating Eden ‘93, Scatterbrain ‘94, Exit Vacaville ‘95/96, Xibalba, ‘97). 

His film scores include City of Ghosts (Matt Dillon ‘02), Following Sean ( Ralph Arlick  ‘03), American Dream 2.0 ( ‘01), 24 Girls & China Diary (Eva Brzeski ‘97 & ‘02), Fortune Tell (Robert Strauss ‘95), Shift (Maxine Moerman ‘97) and the theme music for the San Francisco International Film Festival (‘97). 

He has composed several full length scores for dance including - Shall we go? (10HL ‘16), Botany's Breath (Epiphany Productions ‘13), Angles of Enchantment (Garrett Moulton & Co ‘12), Adamantine (Susan Marshall & Co ‘09), Giselle (Underbelly Dance Theater ‘94), Come Live With Me and You'll Know Me (Rachel Kaplan ‘97), The Tree of Life (Michelle Stortz ‘97), dear (Maxine Moerman ‘96), Red Tuba (Charles Moulton ‘98). Anna Halprin Turns 80 (‘00). 
In 2010 he composed music for a 12 minute solo by Michail Baryshnikov
For the San Francisco International Arts Festival 2016 he performed a ‘Mini musical marathon' playing on the stage continually for 8 hours with a number of guest musicians and poets.           
He is featured in the Ellipsis Arts CD/book of experimental musical instrument builders Orbitones Spoonharps & Bellowphones (‘98). 

Other musical collaborations include ‘Vinculum Symphony' (with Beth Custer and a 30 piece classical/jazz/original instrument orchestra, ‘99), ‘Survival Part 1,2 & 3 - Monk at the Met' ( directed by Sarah Shelton Mann, with Norman Rutherford musical director, ‘00 -01) and ‘Below Zero' (directed by Kim Epifano with Elaine Buckholtz musical director, ‘01). He has traveled extensively in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, Viet Nam, Malaysia, Indonesia & Morocco collecting music and instruments along the way.

 

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