PETER DULBOROUGH

Hiya Peter thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

I formed a band at school called ‘Invasion’ at the age of 13 where I discovered songwriting. Music was a way to express emotions and understand life better. I knew I wanted to write and perform songs. 

Introduce us to you and your musical history.

Born in Reading, England I learnt both piano and clarinet. Experiences in the studio in a local church group led me to developing my songwriting skills which I continued to do when I moved to Italy. The piano lies at the cornerstone of my musical expression.

In 1998 I wrote music and songs for an original musical in English based on the story of ‘The Little Prince’ by the French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery.  It was performed at a local theatre in 1998 and and then in1999.

I left this project for a while and recorded my piano based songs with various singers and arrangements in studios in Florence and performed extensively in the city. I met Ndiawar Diagne from Senegal and we wrote and performed songs about multi faith issues.  ‘Safely Dream’ was a large gig to raise money for mosquito nets to fight malaria in Senegal.

From 2014-2022 I played in indie-rock band SoundZanobi where I wrote the lyrics and some of the music. We played live in and around Florence gig, including ‘The Hard Rock Café. ‘Other Visions’ and ‘Liquid Gravity’ were our studio albums. We were described as an eclectic mix of alternative rock-pop, folk and vintage sounds. Our video ‘Flu and Fever’ did very well on YouTube. 

In 2022 I recorded a solo EP called ‘The Fixer’. A 6 track EP. Elements of jazz on tracks on ‘Heading for the Shore’ with piano ballads ‘Shooting Star’ and ‘As the Sun sets now’ contrasted indie bops on ‘The Fixer’ and ‘Pressure Cooker’.

In 2023 I decided to revisit my ‘Little Prince’ musical project with revised music and songs and new pieces.  A brand-new studio album of ‘The Music of the Stars’ comes out on 31st May. This time I wrote the new libretto myself to present a full original project for a potential future musical production collaboration. It’s a mixture of styles from pop-rock and classical to musical hall and ballads.

I released two singles from this album: ‘Time to Blossom’ (2023) and ‘Time to leave (May 2024).  I then found the opportunity to perform a concert version with monologues at Teatro Magma on 7 June 2024 in Florence.

Whats the live music scene like in (Florence, Italy) right now? Anyone we should be looking out for (Bar you of course)

It’s not a great at the moment but it used to be. Now it’s only really only cover bands. 

Ive seen a lot of people struggling for support recently online. What’s your view on the industry?

It’s hard work to promote your music and gain an audience but the opportunities are there too. You need to adapt and make playlists and online connection work for you.

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

I am a songwriter and composer who is very interested in musicals. I feel my songs can be heard and enjoyed in various ways and projects and I don’t identity with a current stream or following.  My piano ballads are in the line and spirit of Nick Drake who cuts across genres and appeals to a wide audience. I am in the alternative music bracket I guess but with a classic folk and pop roots. For me melodic communication is key.

What was your best experience on stage?

Hard Rock Café in 2019 with ‘Soundzanobi’ was a moment to be proud of. Also in 1998 at Teatro Shalom in Empoli near Florence at the premiere of my musical inspired by ‘The Little Prince’. I played and led the small band/chamber group on stage and sang live. The reaction at the end was unforgettable.

PETER DULBOROUGH

What was your worst experience on stage?

The worst time was a school gig when a mod band opened for us and were booed off stage for being so bad and so then started a mini riot. 

What are the next steps you plan to take as a band to reach the next level?

I collaborate with musicians and singers and would like to use my latest album of my musical inspired by ‘The little Prince’ to find new contacts and opportunities in the UK. I need an agent and contacts to help me make this move. 

I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.

A new single ‘Time to Leave’, taken from a forthcoming album of a musical inspired by ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  Also the full album of ‘The Music of the Stars’ album of a from the musical is released on May 31st 2024.

I wrote ‘Time to leave’ 25 years ago for my musical inspired by ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine De Saint-Exupery called ‘The Prince and the Rose’. The original song was a simple keyboard version and expressed the excitement and wonder of The Prince as he leaves his own planet to begin his journey to other planets.

This time the song ‘Time to Leave’ is the penultimate song of the musical. A bittersweet journey that combines the hope and joy of return of the Prince to his Rose with melancholy and wistful feeling of ‘letting go’ after being bitten by the snake in the desert and leaving his friend ‘The Pilot’. A new ‘middle part’ of the song I wrote reflects the wistfulness, nostalgia, and pain of leaving the past behind. The drum pad gives a new direction and pulsating sense of movement, and the middle opens up with layered vocal harmonies.

‘The Music of the Stars is an album of 22 songs & music pieces with a mixture of styles from chamber music to pop-rock as well as music hall numbers. Arrangements for flute, clarinet, oboe, and cello as well as piano ballads and jazz infused pieces reflect a diverse musical journey.

What was the recording process like?

It was a monster of an experience. I took 7 months overall. Weekly sessions worked on transforming songs recorded 25 years ago into new versions with new arrangements and soundscapes using the studio to create a vibe and atmosphere to reflect a variety of musical styles and emotions.

It was inspiring and challenging. I loved trying to find the spirit of the songs and matching the mood and feeling with what could be done in the studio. 

The final session was an unforgettable experience recording musicians for the chamber music pieces with flute, oboe, clarinet, trumpet and cello.  Hearing my arrangements come to life was both exciting and moving as we then followed the session with a big party in the studio with all the singers and musicians to celebrate the end of a wonderful journey. 

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tune?

‘Time to leave’ taught me how taking time to find a good drum track is the basis to create a song that works well and has movement and energy. I am a melody man at heart, but this song came from the rhythm created by engineer/singer Samuele Cangi. The groove is what sets the mood.

Would you change anything now its finished? 

No, I feel totally satisfied.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

We need songs, stories and music that reach deep into our hearts. Music is a language that lays all bare. Emotions, soul and experience. It is hard not be moved by inspired music – a unique language without words that reaches deep within all of us. We are never alone as long as we have music with us. I try to touch and convey the essence of emotions by creating a space or place in songs and music. Music is a physical place for me, where emotions reside. What’s always important is to connecti with and touch the heart of the listener.

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