Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Peter Gregson

Step 1. Take one musician and have him record a track written by a composer with sensational lineage.

Step 2 Send said track out to the experimental masters of electronica and hip-hop for remixing.

Step 3. Collect results and compile.

If you think this sounds like a recipe for some avant-pop single, we’d forgive you.

In reality, this is a glimpse into the creative process behind the latest work of our next CreativeMornings/London speaker, classical contemporary cellist Peter Gregson.

Apart from his collaboration with Gabriel Prokofiev, titled Cello Multitrack, Gregson has also worked with some of the greats of the classical contemporary music scene, including Max Richter, Howard Goodall and  Steve Reich.

And in the last two years he’s performed at SXSW, XOYO and MIT and TEDx Alcatraz (where he forms part of the house band).

Need we say more.

Performing -and speaking- at CreativeMornings/London in the intimate Sanderson Billiard Room, this ain’t gonna be your average cello recital.

Read our interview below and make sure to set a reminder for 10:55 on Monday, May 21st.

Well, you wouldn’t want to miss out, would you?

Peter Gregson will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London on Friday May 25th -sponsored by The Sanderson– at at the Billiard Room at The Sanderson Hotel at 50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG. For more information and to reserve tickets, please go to the CreativeMornings London Eventbrite page.

Where do you go when you need to concentrate?

I mostly have a pair of noise cancelling headphones on, so it doesn’t really bother me where I am.. I really like working in busy places, though… if I sit at home for too long I’ll just start fidgeting.

Is it about what you know or who you know?

It’s pretty easy to open the door by knowing the right people, but the key is being asked back; I’d say it’s about both in equal measure. Certainly in a profession like mine (which is one part meritocratic and one part social) it’s very important to get along with people, but you do have to be able to deliver, too!

What’s been the most pivotal point in your life thus far?

Sorry to be cliched, but it would be dropping out of college. It really made me focus my mind on the things I found important. I’ve always been pretty good at self motivation, so it was just a case of getting on with it…

Do you think there’s enough discourse between disciplines?

I’m totally in love with the notion that Leonardo dissected a horse in order to learn how to paint a better one. I don’t think we can ever learn too much from other people and their expertise or passion.

Can you teach innovation?

No, I don’t think so. I do, however, think you can smother it by teaching too prescriptively… so what’s that? Teaching by innovation by omission or something?

Dollar or Yuan?

Right now, America is commercially viable for me as a musician – I’ve never been to China, but I’d love to explore it!

Do you believe in an afterlife?

I’m pretty busy trying to work out what I’m doing right now…

Negative or positive freedom?


Ideal holiday?

I’ve wanted to go to Japan for the longest time but just haven’t managed to make it work…

Can you draw?

I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Can you draw us a wave?

Individual or state (or both)?


Favourite LP?

Format Specificity? Like it. My favourite vinyl was an old recording of Dichterliebe by Schumann we had at school (retro). It was delicious.

However, I’m  really enjoying Ed Sheeran’s album, as well as ‘Mylo Xyloto’ by Coldplay, but am madly rediscovering so much John Adams that you’d think it was going out of style.

Last book read?

It was a double dip: The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst and Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. Both brilliant.

The best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t let anyone tell you you’re lucky. If you put the work in and keep going, it’ll happen.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are?

Ask more questions than you really think necessary.

Category: CreativeMornings/London

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