Pete has had the fortune to be mentored 1997-2007 in workshop leadership skills, djembe playing, rhythm concepts in music & life by award winning South African Master percussionist, composer, improvisor and friend Eugene Skeef. The video above is a classic moment from our years in post-war BiH.
I trained intensively between 1998-2001 with Master drummer Tomas Camara in West African Djembe, songs and improvisation in Serekunda, Gambia.
Pete has also travelled to study with master musicians in Congas & Bata in Havana & Santiago, Cuba, Claypots in Iran, Darabuka and Frame drums in Turkey
In the UK, Pete has also studied regularly with African, Brazilian and Cuban percussionists such as Eugene Skeef, Bosco De Oliveira, Dave Pattman, Vicky Jassey, JP Courtney, Jason Gaines & Ravin Jayasuriya.
Pete has a BA (Hons) in Psychology specialising in Music Psychology. He has also studied Drum Kit and Latin Percussion in London at Drum-Tech where he received a Distinction in a Diploma in Popular Music Performance.
Pete also holds an MSc in Sound Design from Edinburgh University focusing on sound for film and improvising as a percussionist with live sampling & mixing
Apart from this dedicated training I am largely self taught in many ways, play music in creative performance and recording projects, feel at home being an instinctive improvising player. I believe in the inherent healing power of music and love to travel to collaborate, play with other musicians and learn music whilst being immersed in different cultures.
Sarajevo Drum Orchestra (1996-2001)
Between 1996 and 2001, Pete founded a band and community music project called the Sarajevo Drum Orchestra training young percussionists in war torn Sarajevo and Mostar. This pioneering community music project, that had the fortune to benefit from knowing and living and creating music with Eugene Skeef, Simon Glinn, Bennet Hogg, Roxana Pope, Tony Pesikan, Oha Maslo, resulted in the band Sarajevo Drum Orchestra touring, performing, recording & devising drum & song workshops and collaborations with fellow musicians, dancers, Visual Artists, sculptorists, across Holland, Italy, Czech Republic, Croatia, Sardinia, Bosnia, Turkey, Iran and Georgia.
Highlights include performing at the UN Peace Conference in The Hague in front of Kofi Annan and Desmond Tutu, staying for 2 weeks in Tabor, Czech Rep (2001) and leading 80,000 people on a Samba peace parade march from Perugia to St.Assisi in Italy (1999).
More importantly and to the community music point/perspective...many of the people Pete trained in using music and interpersonal skills in workshops and performance are all still active over a decade later working in their communities across Bosnia and Hercegovina, Turkey & Republic of Georgia.
These include my brothers and sisters Tony, Oha, Jasmina Basic, Gogo, Vedran, Robert Krajncic, Aida Kudic, Alan Cameron, Senad Suta, Teo, Pero, Alma, and countless other musicians that made the times so magic and memorable for all involved.
Most notable in his ever present on the community music scene in BiH, being my brother Tony Pesikan (from Grbavica, Sarajevo) who is one of the most sought after in his musical craft of delivering music projects and workshops and performances across the Balkans. Recent work by Tony include long term projects in Srebrenica, Sarajevo, Mostar, Adriatic Islands on summer camps over the past 20 years....
Community Music Projects in Scotland
In Scotland, Pete, as a freelance practitioner has led hundreds of workshop music projects in a variety of different creative worlds working with thousands of young people over 17 years. Focusing on freelance work with East Lothian, Edinburgh City and The Scottish Borders, working with p4-p7 Primary Schools in pioneering projects such as the Big Drum Adventure, Drake Music Scotland, Scottish Chamber Orchestra Connect and Music at The Brewhouse.
2017-2019 Angus Youth Music Initiative Additional Support Needs, Creative Music Making
2012-2018 East Lothian Youth Music Initiative Additional Support Needs in Musselburgh, Dunbar and Tranent. I visit regularly ASN Units and engage creative rhythm and drum games, storytelling, soundscapes and songs.
2002-2017 Scottish Chamber Orchestra CONNECT Freelance Music Workshop Leader for the music programme Festus, SCO Lab, The Vibe Band and Gauche the Cellist. Improvisation/composition Tutor for Secondary School music students in The Scottish Borders and Glasgow 2015 and other Community Music Performance projects including Festus 2002 at The Traverse Theatre Edinburgh.
Musical Director & Percussionist - SCO's VIBE Band Project special performance for SCO 40TH Anniversary Ball at The Assembly Rooms, 2014
2007-2008 Young Scot Special podcast and recording projects with homeless and recovering from drug addiction youngsters
2001-2005 Hearts and Minds as an Arts in Health Care Practitioner 4 years I worked as a ClownDoctor & Elderflower in Hospitals
2010-2017 Pete also focused his teaching energy on S1-S4 Learn to Succeed projects for disengaged Secondary School Pupils as The Rhythm Zone Project, on a community level with the Street Beats Brazilian project, taught West African drumming for the Edinburgh Drumming Society for 12 years, Big Drum Adventure collaboration with Mat Clements.
Bands & Recording Projects
In Scotland, Pete has played percussion and recorded for many groups. He currently plays drum kit for jazz-world-trip-hop band GOL, afro-latin-funk-rock band Baobab Gateway. Over the years with individuals like Dougie Hudson, John Kenny, Andy Cooke, Yann Seznec, Mat Clements, Allan Ferguson, Aki Remaly in bands and fellow collaborators from Orkestra Del Sol to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to the award winning (British Composers Award 2007) contemporary classical-fusion group Music at the Brewhouse to and the Seznec Bros.
GOL performed a headline show at the tRON kIRK Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2010 and 2015.
I played drums and percussion with Baobab Gateway at The Queen's Hall Edinburgh & drum kit with The Brewhouse Band at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, The Usher Hall, Glasgow Tramway, Orkney St Magnus Festival, Byre Theatre St Andrews, North Edinburgh Arts, GOL Highlights include playing the inaugural Kelburn Garden Party Main Stage in line up including Bonobo & The Bays then again at The Viewpoint in 2011, 2013,2015; Knockengorroch 2010,2012,2014;
United Creations Collective
Pete has been performing on recordings as well as composing sound design and music for film documentaries, experimental films since 2002.
Pete's sound design & music has been on 30 Roxana Vilk documentary & short films premiered at film festivals, nominated for several awards and won awards together (Kodak Award 2006).
"Iranian Enough?" 2013 was screened at the Filmhouse Edinburgh May 2014. Work includes 5 * 30mins short films called Poets of Protest for Al Jazeera English and Scottish Documentary Institute and 4 shorts for REEL Iraq Festival 2013;
Theatre - Sound Design & live Percussion
Pete has performed as a drummer and percussionist for live theatre since 1997 as well as composing sound design and music for theatre productions since 2003 in Edinburgh.
Pete has composed sound for theatre for over 20 years and in particular enjoyed 4 major productions with the inspiring Lung Has Theatre Company including Monster Tears, A Distant Suma and Around the World in 80 Days (2011)
The CATS Award Winning "The Unconquered" with Stellar Quinnes Theatre which went to Brits off Broadway in New York
The wonderful "Archeology" for Starcatchers Theatre which toured Scotland.
Pete was also commissioned in 2004 to compose for the Opening Ceremony for Perth Concert Hall and recorded for the Opening Sequence of the Edinburgh Tattoo 2012
Pete has almost always run a professional studio for live recordings and post-production work in albums, film, theatre, TV, sound design and music projects. Pete recorded, mixed and produced GOL's NEW Album "Strange Times" released in 2014 and was commissioned by Studio Integrate and The British Council in 2015 for a unique sound design installation called Evolution
2017-2020 Recording and mixing new albums on vinyl release for GOL and Wolf Collective