From a very young age, Pete intuitively understood and welcomed his natural gift for rhythm. Trusting this connection as a child, he began to discover and witness a rhythmic pattern in nature, which he learned to integrate into his life. Whist visiting Africa at the age of ten years, he travelled to South Africa and became immediately immersed in the Zulus songs, dance and drums. This experience influenced the very foundation for his passion towards music, sound and his personal presence. Recognising the importance of the drum as both a spiritual tool and a musical instrument empowered his early witnessing to the rhythms of life in reaction to the drum. Experiencing these observations at such a young age empowered his perception and passion towards refining his connection with the drum and its sacred existence both in nature and his personal life. To this day, the drum remains fundamentally present in his life and continues to evolve forever welcomed by his absolute trust.
Pete’s personal experiences throughout his childhood and teenage years were challenging based on trauma existing within the family line. Feeling frustrated and confused by these experiences he isolated himself from the world, but the drum remained present, becoming his healer, teacher and guide. Listening internally to its voice he began to play the drum kit in his mind, hearing and sensing every sound as he hit the imaginary skins of the drums. He began to coordinate his limbs as his arms and legs moved throughout the air inspired by the sounds and rhythms he heard in his mind. Eventually he received an opportunity to play a real drum kit at a local youth work event, with his rhythmical skills already practised his preparation was complete. He began playing in various bands, learning to be both creative and transform his frustrated emotions into an endless flow of music and rhythm. His relationship with the drum evolved into a state of healing, creative transformation and trust. With a passion to help others and share what he had intuitively learned, he became actively involved in the development of a music and arts venue called the ‘Lion Street Cultural Centre’ during ‘International Youth Year’. Throughout these years, he learned about sound engineering, studio recording, leadership and management.
Honouring his intuitive learning, he continued to develop his percussive skills trusting the sacred presence of the drum. This connection provided extremely high intentions for achieving absolute accuracy whilst navigating the skin based on a foundation of both discipline and presence. Throughout this practice, he was guided to play the drum in darkness, which activated his senses even more. Within the darkness his awareness increased and evolved, combining all his learning and listening into a sensual and sacred partnership of perception, purpose and precision. This foundation continued to influence all his activities within music, healing and nourish his personal perception towards life itself.
With absolute trust and gratitude he continues to share these words in all of his teachings: “There is no greater teacher than the drum, allow yourself to listen, learn and trust. Let yourself go and the drum will forever hold you. Become one.”
Having gained a lot of experience in sound engineering from his time at the Lion Street Cultural Centre, Pete was later introduced to the band Cornershop in 1992 through a close friend. This meeting occurred during the recording of their ‘Woman’s Gotta Have It’ album, which was being produced at West Orange Studios in Preston, Lancashire. An immediate connection sparked between Pete, Tjinder and Ben, resulting in him being offered the role of sound engineer for their live performances. In 1994, their current percussionist left the band and Pete was invited to join them on the stage as his replacement. This was a wonderful opportunity as his previous experiences of mixing the music from off stage could now complement the making of it too. Having such an unequivocal and in-depth training in percussion, his ability and understanding to fully merge into each musical creation was achieved with ease. Maintaining his devotion to the presence of the drum and his practice of learning he consciously prepared himself for every performance honouring the merging of both music and magic as a sacred act of creation.
Pete was fortunate enough to record on numerous albums providing a variety of unique percussive rhythms immersing himself in the essence of every song. In 1997, the classic album ’When I was Born For The 7th Time’ was released, which received international praise. This was developed based on Tjinder and Bens focus both at home and in the studio plus a strong foundation of years of live performances worldwide as a complete band. This collective cohesion of creativity was an incredible experience for Pete as he shared his precision for mastering the milliseconds of rhythm, with other talented musicians. For every performance, Pete prepared himself to merge with the spirit of the drum. Following this unique foundation of trust he was able to fully merge with the spirits as he played his percussion so precisely elevating the energy of the overall performance. Tjinder recognised this and gave Pete plenty of freedom to explore the milliseconds of sound that were produced both live and in the studio. This opportunity was embraced by Pete as an invitation to honour both the voice and spirit of the drum.
Music is born from a sacred connection and for Pete it was when his skin touched the skin of the drum. This sacred partnership has evolved over many years throughout laughter, joy, sadness and tears. This sacred connection, that Pete has with the drum is absolutely timeless, he has found his hour, his minute, his second and continued further, trusting beyond time and space. He has become one with the drum and all the rhythms that have been played and he is yet to discover. This sacred partnership has all been achieved trusting the intuitive guidance born from skin on skin. A sincere friendship offered to a child, received by an adult, nurtured by spirit then shared as a dream. Pete continues to appreciate this connection with the drum and shares its presence as a friend, teacher and guide internationally to all who wish to listen and learn.
Finally with absolute gratitude for this incredible musical journey, he sincerely thanks Tjinder Singh and Ben Ayres who remain his closest friends.