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Nine Days

Tunnel of Love

The Brightness of the day is bigger than the bed (Music for Dance & Film Vol 2)
The Brightness of the Day..... is a compilation of instrumental works made for live dance performances and films created in New York & San Francisco, mostly over a five year period. Some pieces date back further. As with his previous work, Whitehead makes extensive use of unusual or self-made acoustic instruments, this time with the addition of sampling & electronics to his palette. 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. Track 6, composed for legendary dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, moves from ambient electronics to driving, celebratory rock. Track 1 uses more conventional orchestration to provide the atmosphere for Ralph Arlick's introduction to his film Following Sean, an aerial view of the approach to a modern city. Track 12, one of several composed for choreographer Susan Marshall, sets a series of haunting, sparse, melodic fiddle phrases over an abrasive, grinding, metallic backing track. Track 11 makes use of minimalist phrases played on a failing electric toy piano. A number of other tracks are purely electronic, some using samples of Whitehead's self-made acoustic instruments. The final track, composed for a children's museum, is the sound of an exuberant, exploding washing machine.



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.



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.


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.


Peter Whitehead
is an instrument builder, performer, songwriter, composer and writer. 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 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 these 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 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), 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 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).

His recorded music appears on two solo CDs entitled Three Bags Full (Strange Attractor Music '98) and "Now This " ( Out of Round Records '01), with the group Closer To Carbon ( Out Of Round '01), with Mobius Operandi on the CD What Were We Thinking (Mobius Music '98) and in the Ellipsis Arts CD/book of experimental musical instrument builders Orbitones Spoonharps & Bellowphones ('98).

With a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission, he wrote, directed & performed (with his group The Lower Back People) "The Mission Is Not Impossible"( ODC Theater '00), a full length work of songs and readings about life in San Francisco's Mission District, which, due to critical, acclaim was remounted in 2001.

His music and sound installation appeared in 'Tilt ', a collaboration with Lauren Elder and Oliver Di Cicco at Zeum, San Francisco ('99).

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.

Recent credits for films include "Following Sean" by Ralph Arlick, "City of Ghosts" directed by Matt Dillon, The Key of G by Robert Arnold, and "American Dream 2.0." Dance scores : "Frame Dances" and "Adamantine" by Susan Marshall & Company.

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