dJP - 1980

This is the story of a man named Pete...

I was born in Melbourne, Australia in September 1980. My mum’s side of the family is quite musically talented, so she was obsessed with getting me into music at an early age. I began taking piano lessons at age 3 and moved on to the clarinet at age 9. Right throughout my school years I was performing in classical circles like the MGS Orchestra, Concert Band and the National Boys Choir while being influenced by typical teenage pop, rock and dance music. It is to this soup of musical influences I today attribute my musical ability.

So there I was, around 14 - I'd just discovered a love for computers and I stumble upon this shareware CD. It was a mishmash of programs, most of which were useless to me, but there was one that really stood out; a little program called Scream Tracker 3. It was a music creation program in which I soon found myself pouring the stress, anger and general growing pains of teenage life. Mind you, at this time anything I wrote scored comments like "Hey! That sounds like my Nintendo!” Needless to say, I developed a skill of writing music to please myself before others.

In 1998 with school nearing an end, I was an experienced Clarinetist, holding the position of 1st Clarinetist in the Orchestra and the position of Concert Band Leader. I'd written and performed music for school plays and I had been producing some serious music under the name iXia. At this point I had around 1700 unfinished and about 55 finished tracks that I’d written in the comfort of my bedroom. I unofficially released my first iXia album entitled "plasmatic requiem". To this day, listening to it still takes me back to my final year of school. I sometimes wonder how we subconsciously develop emotional triggers which we carry with us our whole lives.

After leaving high school I dabbled with tutoring Clarinet for a little extra cash as I was studying Computer Systems Engineering. The world of the PC enveloped me more every day. I started dabbling in new, more updated music production programs like Mad Tracker and Re-birth 338. My second album under the iXia label was so close to coming out that I cried the day I decided not to pursue it. "Serve Chilled" had taken me far too long to complete, making every new song too different from older songs on the album. My musical taste and my thirst for production were evolving too quickly.

This in mind, it was time for a new touch, and Dan's timing in 2002 couldn't have been better. We clicked right away and started writing tracks. It was at that time I realized that with a vocalist on board, I'd have to do a lot more work in the mastering of our tracks. So I spent a lot of time moving into new, more professional recording and sequencing programs and equipment. The Bedroom became a hybrid studio with a special section of the closet reserved as a recording booth! After a move to Bentleigh, I was once again crushed when we were forced to abandon my long time name, iXia. There was a far more successful band in the U.S. which had already released an album under that name.

In the later parts of 2002 I was diagnosed with Keratoconus, a progressive disease of the eye that makes vision correction with glasses impossible and contacts extremely uncomfortable. The frustration of several failed attempts to get vision that could satisfy my daily life was taking its toll. My music began to develop a darker side; I gained a lot of weight, lost a lot of friends and broke up with my long time girlfriend in early 2004. I discovered I had Crones Disease, had failed eye surgery and Dan decided to backpack through Europe for a year. Not a particularly great time for me, resulting in me moving home again in mid 2004. I picked up a guitar and barely put it down for a year.

But, with Dan back in 2005, the new band name “Undertone” and a new house with a dedicated studio, I felt like I was getting back on top of the world again. I invested heavily in some more production equipment, pushing the boundaries of our music again. I had the urge to record other artists to expand my experience and understanding of music production.

Now living with a new studio in Elwood, Melbourne, I’m keener than ever to produce the music that I love. The biggest challenge that I face is making sure I continue to satisfy my own desires before bowing to the criticism of others. Outside influences can be beneficial so long as they are only influences, not inputs. And whilst I yearn for my blood, sweat and tears to be critiqued, I prefer a simple “it’s not my thing” to someone imparting their wisdom upon my track.

Not a night goes by when I don't quickly dabble on the keyboard with some chords or beats at around midnight. Sometimes I manage to quickly hit record on the PC, and come back to them a few days later - other times they fade off into the recesses of my mind to be drudged up another day, for some other track. I embrace the potential for music to make people love, hate or drift into dreamland. It is these responses that I strive to achieve from my music every day.

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