Interview with Peter Kater in 2013 – Newest interview with multi-platinum selling composer and pianist Peter Kater.
Multi-Platinum selling recording and concert artist Peter Kater is a legendary composing pianist recognized as one the leading new age and instrumental music producers worldwide. GRAMMY® Nominated seven times over the past eight years, along with his own albums he is a consistent producer of cinematic music for the television and film industry.
Peter Kater has composed music scores for over 100 television programs and films, including 11 off and On-Broadway theatrical plays to date. In addition to performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Peter Kater’s music was played during the NBC broadcast of the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympic Games and is recognized for his collaboration work with distinguished actors and celebrities in the film and music industry.
Topics for the newest interview with Peter Kater include a conversation of his GRAMMY® Nominated album Light Body and notable achievements during his music career. Peter Kater also replies to questions about important film directors and celebrities he has worked with, and offers encouraging words of advice to artists beginning their music careers.
Peter Kater Interview – New in 2013:
New Age Music World interview host and publicist John P. Olsen had an opportunity to interview Peter Kater in early 2013. Today we are pleased to present a new interview with the esteemed instrumental music composer and pianist Peter Kater.
John P. Olsen: Thank you for accepting my interview invitation Peter, and for taking time out of your demanding schedule. Recently your piano with instrumentals album Light Body was GRAMMY® Nominated in the 55th Annual Music Awards.
Light Body is your eighth GRAMMY® nomination, which is a significant achievement in itself. Would I be correct by saying even though you are accustomed the prestige and recognition Nomination brings, that the Annual Music Awards Ceremony is always an exciting time of the year for you?
Peter Kater: Yes, it’s an exciting time of year and it’s also a time to stay very close to my center and remain true to the reason that I do music, and to connect with a deeper more intimate and profound part of myself, my experience and others. To get swept up into something as external as a Grammy Award or to look outside of myself for my happiness and contentment would be a mistake. However, having said that – yes, it’s very cool to be Nominated.
John: I imagine you have a chance to visit with old friends and perhaps meet new friends during the Music Awards Ceremony. One GRAMMY® Award winning artist you have collaborated with in the past is American flute performer R. Carlos Nakai. Would you like to tell us about your friendship and projects with R. Carlos Nakai?
Peter Kater: R. Carlos Nakai has been Nominated for a Grammy 9 times and unfortunately has not yet won, although he certainly deserves to. R. Carlos and I met in 1989 after I was turned on to his music and invited him to play on a CD of mine. Our first collaboration was on the album Natives.
We improvised the whole CD in a few short hours. We’ve known each other for decades and have had our ups and downs but whenever we get to playing music together either on stage, in the studio or in my living room it’s literally . . . magic. It flows like a mountain spring. It’s a connection we’ve always had. And yet, sometimes the human personality is not quite as fluid.
John: You have also collaborated with an impressive number of projects with popular film directors and award-winning celebrity actors. Who are some notable film directors and celebrities you have worked on projects with over the years?
Peter Kater: My favorite scoring projects were “10 Questions for the Dalai Lama” cause I really liked the film and subject matter and “How The West Was Lost” because it was such an important series (13 hour mini-series) that really exposed the truth of the settlement out west in the U.S. and what the heavy price our Native American culture paid. It was a very sad and poignant series where I found myself literally crying in the studio as I was playing the visual footage.
I also really enjoyed the work I did on Broadway and Off-Broadway theater productions. I was working with the very best in the business, director Marshall Mason: Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Lanford Wilson and amazing actors like John Malcovich, Joan Allen, Tyne Daley, Ethan Hawke, John Voight and many others. Being in the rehearsal process with these great talents for weeks at a time was definitely a highlight of my career.
I also enjoyed performing in the early years at the Sundance Institute and Film Festival as per the request of Robert Redford who really liked my music. And I have to mention my wonderful 10 years of playing with and for John Denver at his “Choices for the Future” Symposiums in Aspen, Colorado.
I met many famous influential authors and world leaders thru his symposiums. And I would be remiss in not mentioning my work with Kenny Loggins. Actually I could go on and on cause there have been so many amazing experiences but for that I may need to write book.
John: With a list of celebrities like you described I can see why Peter! Earlier releases like Light Body are wonderful arrangements showing your creativity as a composer and musician. Could you describe the theme of Light Body, which is based on seven Chakras?
Peter Kater: Light Body’s theme is of the 7 Chakras starting at the root chakra and working our way up. It was designed to create an experience of acceptance and illumination for people dealing with life changing circumstances from everything from daily stress thru disease and dying.
John: In addition to your superb performance on piano and synthesizers, Paul McCandless and Trisha Bowden have helped you transform Light Body into an outstanding instrumental album that indeed has award-winning potential. Would you like to tell us what musical instruments they perform and enhancements they bring to your recent GRAMMY® Nominated arrangement Light Body?
Peter Kater: Trisha sang some beautiful wordless vocals on the record really giving it a human compassionate feeling. Paul McCandless played oboe, penny whistles and English horn. Paul always adds a lot to any recording project. He is one my musical mentors and heroes.
John: Undoubtedly, a lot has transpired over the years since 1983 when you released your first solo piano album entitled Spirit. At what point during your career did you find the incentive to begin producing serene new age, instrumental piano music made for reflection and relaxation?
Peter Kater: I decided to go into the direction of deeper, more reflective music after I had three National Top 10 Contemporary Jazz albums and was touring playing jazz festivals around the country.
I realized then I definitely wasn’t feeling fulfilled playing that kind of music (even though I wrote and produced it) and wanted my music to fill a need in the world for greater healing, peace, love and compassion.
John: During your career as a music professional spanning three decades, you have released over 60 recordings, and over 100 soundtracks for movie scores for films or television, including off and On-Broadway theatrical plays. Could you tell us about the varying process of composing music for television or theater, verses composing music for an album?
Peter Kater: When you’re working with another art medium like film, theater or dance you’re in an interactive process and need to leave space and room for the other medium. You’re bouncing off each other and as result coming up with material you never would have come up with on your own.
John: Knowing you have lived in the U.S. in the state of Hawaii, has the natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands been a stimulus to your music?
Peter Kater: Actually living in Hawaii brought me such peace and contentment that I was actually playing less and less music. Therefore my move back to Boulder, Colorado last year has reignited my burning passion for the piano and for writing and recording music. I’ve always done great work from Colorado and it’s been exciting to feel that part of my “being” engaged once more.
John: Along with easy access you give fans at your website you also have Facebook and Twitter social media sites. Have your social media pages proven to be a beneficial outlet for exchanging ideas and information with your fans and visitors?
Peter Kater: I like being connected to my fans and people of like mind and heart and soul. It’s one of the good things about the internet. I enjoy it but I think it’s important to stay present in one’s life in a real physical and tangible way and not get lost staring at the computer screen.
John: I have a question I always like to ask a highly successful artist like you Peter. Would you be willing to offer any advice for pianists or artists in general who are just beginning their music careers?
Peter Kater: Follow your heart. Trust your instincts. Don’t second guess yourself. Don’t ask for too many opinions from others. Play each note like it’s never been played before in this space and time (cause it hasn’t been) and never lie to your instrument. Play what you’re feeling honestly . . . don’t pretend to be confident when you’re feeling nervous . . . don’t pretend to be happy when you’re feeling sad. Don’t be out going with your feeling introspective and don’t hide from your fears or your pain cause then you’ll never find your joy and bliss. And place “authenticity” before all else.
John: I read while taking piano lessons as a youngster, you struggled with early piano instructors because you wanted to improvise on “the classics.” Do you feel this desire to improvise early in life was an important factor with your success today, and if so, would you advise parents with young children taking music lessons to allow them “creative freedom” to explore too?
Peter Kater: I always wanted to play things my own way. But it was important for me to learn the basics and structure as well. In the early years there has to be that balance of learning and enjoyment. But most importantly, find a teacher that really inspires you and makes you feel good about playing.
John: Along with your numerous studio releases you perform live concerts, plus people can book a live home concert with you to perform during special occasions. Will you be performing live in 2013, and what can people expect while attending a Peter Kater concert?
Peter Kater: I’ll be doing plenty of concerts in 2013. Some solo and some with collaborators. I think people can expect a “real” experience. A lot of people have a “moving” experience and some even have a cathartic experience. I think the honesty with which I approach my music is felt within the listeners and as a result “real” feelings emerge and true “experiences” are had. But it’s a very personal and individual thing. Everyone has their own experience.
John: Your successes and achievements during your career is truly remarkable Peter. Of your many achievements, what would you say are the two most gratifying moments during your music career to date?
Peter Kater: The most gratifying thing about my musical career to date is that I’m still passionate about it. I still can sit down at the piano, solo of playing with someone, and have a real experience of wonderment, honesty and excitement. I’m still curious about what’s possible and I still love it. There’s nothing more gratifying than the enjoyment of making music and sharing it with others in the moment. If you’re attached to the past you’re not living in the present. And the “present” is all we ever have.
John: Thank you again for taking time away from your work for our interview Peter! In closing for now, is there anything you would like to express to your fans that have supported you over the years?
Peter Kater: Thanks for your good wishes. I really appreciate them and I appreciate the opportunity to talk about what’s important to me. And I also appreciate, very much, the people that listened to my music and have a personal experience through it that is there’s. The fact that I can create something, or channel something that can add to the life of another person in a positive and impactful way is truly wonderful. That is a gift to me in and of itself.
It’s an honor to be a musician and it’s wonderful to have a life filled with music flowing thru me and out into the world.
Thank you for listening! ~ Peter Kater ~
Visit the PeterKater.com homepage for news, and learn more on this great artist on the Peter Kater profile page and visit his music shop for special offers and to sample or purchase his albums. Photos and cover art are courtesy peterkater.com.