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MORPHEUS MUSIC INTERVIEW - DON PEYOTE

31.05.09 - on release of Eternal Now

    DON PEYOTE - ETERNAL NOW   DON PEYOTE - ETERNAL NOW  DON PEYOTE - ETERNAL NOW  DON PEYOTE - ETERNAL NOW   
 

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Q: For the benefit of those less familiar with your music can you tell us about your musical background.   Raised to the sounds of Afro Cuban music, Celtic bagpipes and Opera, music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Got some classical guitar lessons in my early teens but quickly swapped the nylon guitar for an electric one. The 'Jimi Hendrix' approach to making music using wild, distorted sounds was more my cup of tea..The late 60's early 70's was a very inspirational era for me ,with bands like Soft machine, Pink Floyd, Gong, Tangerine Dream etc. doing long experimental psychedelic tunes... this left a long lasting influence on my style.
In the mid 70's I moved to Australia, started writing songs and playing guitar for the “Luminous Eggs” a funk/avant-garde band in Sydney, we did a lot of gigs but I was always more interested in the production side of music than playing the music live. Each time the band got to record, I took on the producer role, I learnt a lot watching the sound engineers mix &shape sounds on those big analog desks and great hardware Fx ... So the years with the band taught me about song arrangement & composition and the time spent in the studios how to polish the sound before it ends up on a cd.

 
  Q:  How did the Don Peyote project originally come into being?   Don Peyote came to life around 1998. At the time I was living in a cabin converted into a music studio in the rain forest near Byron Bay.,Creating some pretty wild world infused dance tracks. Someone asked me to Dj at a party, I came up with the name Don Peyote, I guess years of reading Castaneda's books about the sorcerer “Don Juan” rubbed off on me...The early tunes I produced in the 90's were quite banging and fast, a contrast with the quietness associated with living in the bush...
   
             
Q:  What was the vision behind the new album Eternal Now and how did you go about putting your plans into action?   My intention was to create a 'journey' instrumental piece without beats, a soundscape to be used in sacred circles and for meditation. We live in very intense & stressful times, I feel there is a need for music that has healing, relaxing qualities and helps evokes stillness within.

Eternal now was produced in 3 weeks, which is a record time for me ... It was written as a 1 continuous 55min piece and later broken down into 7 tracks. When I listen to it, it takes me beyond time....I hope it will have the same effect on the listeners.

  Q: How would you describe the new music in comparison to your previous output?  

Compared to my previous ambient release this one is sparser, even though a lot of the sounds are multi layered, there is a good sense of space throughout the album. As I mentioned above, living in the bush gave me the chance to record an amazing array of birds, frogs and rain forest samples. This was heavily featured in previous releases. Between worlds had an”earth' feel to it and featured insects and frogs, Dreamcatcher had water themes running through the whole album. With this one the Air element is explored. I didn't rely so much on pre-recorded samples on this one, the approach is more 'hands on' as far as creating sounds.

             
Q:  How do you get your inspiration – what gets you writing new music?  

I guess my passion for music is the main drive, I love nature, the beauty and mysteries of this planet inspires me. When I am in the studio playing with sounds and creating, I feel like I am fulfilling my purpose on this planet. I have received emails from people saying the music has affected and touched them deeply.
All this is fuel for my creative fire.

  Q:  Can you share with us some of your recording or writing methods?   For the down tempo beats, it often starts with a simple back drop, drums & bass lines and then add live elements. I play guitar, bass and live percussion on my recordings and often enlist the help of other instrumentalists . I like to give it a 'live' feel, a good blend of natural and synthetic mix and the unquantized human factor....
For ambient journeys, anything goes, I have no problems coming up with lots of different ideas which end up as drawn out pieces with lots of changes, the next step, creating the arrangement needs a ruthless approach to get rid of the unnecessary and turn it into a coherent piece.

             
 
     
Q:  Are there any interesting stories or background details you would like to share with us about the creation of Eternal Now?   At the beginning of the recording you can hear a chime tinkling away.....Most of it was written during our summer, most days temperatures can reach 40 degrees and more, so here I am plugging away in the studio, late at night, front door is open to let some air in, the wind was blowing the chime outside, playing this little tune on only three notes. This had to be in the piece, I dragged a microphone on to the veranda , started recording the outdoor ambience, wind and chime and layering keyboard pads over it. This became the intro.
The bowls and gongs were recorded 10 years ago and may not be in perfect pitch with the rest of the instruments but somehow it all fits.
  Q:  What does the future hold for your music?   I am doing the composition and soundmix on a friend's short film at the moment, really having fun mixing music and sound effects with visuals, creating moods and textures.

For Don Peyote there are two projects in the pipeline, a downtempo world/dub album and an ambient one, the last one of the quadrilogy on the elements, exploring 'Fire', enough to keep me busy for a while...

             

 

           

Thanks to Yvon for allowing us that interview.

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