Peter Gregson: Patina

Peter Gregson’s fifth studio album, Patina (released September 2021) offers a highly acclaimed musical journey through the concepts of finitude and absence. The challenge found him reimagining melody, harmony and the role of musical phrasing, reducing each down to their bare, honest essentials and creating an intimate soundworld in which they might leave their mark. Patina is also an innovative recording and technical achievement as the world’s first album specifically created to be listened to in Dolby Atmos.

Now the London-based producer, composer and cellist presents the Patina (Alternative Versions) EP, containing reworks of tracks from the original album by three talented musicians. Spanning ambient, electronic and solo piano reworks, the EP showcases the multitude of layers, moods and emotions contained within Gregson’s music.

Co-produced by Gregson himself alongside Laurie Anderson, Adam Miller, and 808 State founding member Graham Massey, the EP’s opening track “Patina” sees Gregson’s haunting cello line woven into a new and immersive ambient fabric. Minimal “droplet” pulses, steady beats and hi-hat variations create an ever-changing landscape of sounds on top of which Gregson’s original cello melody floats graciously.

Paperflag, known for his experimental percussion involvement in the AA Sessions collaborative project, also chose to rework title track “Patina”, yet for their version of Gregson’s track the poignant cello has been reworked into a steady groove and beat which slowly builds up towards anthemic bursts. There’s something highly abrupt and fabricated to these sounds which stands in contrast to both Gregson’s more organic touch, as well as the general mellow and free-flowing mood of the rework itself.

Pianist Frederik ‘t Kindt (part of Manchester band The Slow Show) provided two solo piano reworks for the Patina (Alternative Versions) EP. “Cluster – Piano Version” is a gentle track which amplifies and loops hidden details in Gregson’s original piece. A similarly tender atmosphere pervades “Don’t Wake – Piano Version”, with a single pulsating key providing the bed over which Gregson’s soft lullaby lays.

While Patina was an album filled with complexity through the meticulous arrangements of solo cello, analogue synths, piano and string orchestra, the Patina (Alternative Versions) EP adds even more layers and textures to the music. Be it through powerful electronica, avant-garde composition or stripped-down reworks, these new tracks explore hidden details and latent potentials in Gregson’s music with depth and emotionality. A second EP, Patina Piano, is set for release on the 26th of August, while Gregson’s sixth album, QUARTETS: THREE AND FOUR, will be issued by Deutsche Grammophone on the 11th of November.

© Deutsche Grammophon

Peter Gregson (b.1987) is a composer, cellist, and Deutsche Grammophon recording artist. His music is regularly sought out by the most exciting choreographers and dance companies in the world, including Theaterhaus Stuttgart / Gauthier Dance, Joffrey Ballet, PA Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, and Ballet BC. His acclaimed album Bach Recomposed has recently been choreographed by Kristian Lever at Hamburg’s Staatsoper. 

Amongst Gregson’s film credits are Roger Michell’s Blackbird (starring Kate Winslet and Susan Sarandon) and the late Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos as well as the soundtrack for the popular video game Boundless. Gregson’s music has also earned widespread recognition through the highly popular TV series Bridgeton (Netflix) and The New Pope by Paolo Sorrentino (HBO).

Balenciaga, Burberry, Dior, Ralph Lauren, Pat McGrath have all featured Gregson’s music in campaigns and runway shows, and more recently Gregson has collaborated with the Italian director Paolo Sorrentino again for the latest Bulgari campaign, providing his track 6.6 as then backdrop to the romantic film.

As a cellist, he has performed all around the world, from The Royal Albert Hall in London to a jazz club in Beijing; from the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg to Capitol Studios in Hollywood, which was filmed and released in January 2021. He is a prolific artist, with a body of work that can range from the atmospheric Somnia which was commissioned for World Sleep Day, to a
moody remix of Moby’s track Extreme Ways.

Undoubtedly, it was Gregson’s fifth studio album Patina which really cemented his name as one of the most innovative composers today. The highly acclaimed release featured an astonishing array of analogue electronic instruments, a string ensemble and his unique solo cello brought together to explore the theme of absence. Released September 2021, Patina was the world’s first album specifically recorded and designed for Dolby Atmos audio, mixed at London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios by Deutsche Grammophon. Patina (Alternative Versions) EP continues to explore the depth and complexity of Patina through poignant collaborations and reworks.

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