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Morris David Brough Pert (8 September 1947 – 27 April 2010)was a Scottish composer, drummer/percussionist, and pianist who composed in the fields of both contemporary classical and jazz-rock music. His compositions include three symphonies, piano music, chamber and solo instrumental music, choral music and "sonic landscapes" for electronic media; a late major work is "Ankh" for Carnyx and electronics written for eminent trombonist John Kenny.
Morris Pert was born into a musical family and raised in Arbroath, Scotland where he played variously in percussion, folk (Triad) and rock bands (Vegas) and began to compose. He gained a Trinity College London diploma in piano performance in 1967 and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1969. He then studied in London on a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music with Alan Bush (who considered Pert one of his best pupils) and James Blades. He was a prize-winning student, notably the 1970 Royal Philharmonic Society Award for his orchestral work Xumbu-Ata, which was broadcast by the BBC. Pert's other orchestral compositions include Missa Festiva for choir and orchestra, Omega Centauri for chamber orchestra and tape, Sun Dragon for large orchestra and tape, Sonores for solo piano, Andromeda Link for solo violin and tape, Eoastrion Op.30 for E-flat clarinet, piano and tape, The Rising of the Moon for large orchestra (Premiered by Hiroyuki Iwaki and the Waseda University S.O.), The Beltane Rites for orchestra(a BBC commission), The Ancient Kindred for orchestra, Ancient Rites for choir and orchestra, Chromosphere for five players and tape, The Ultimate Decay for tape, The Book of Love for percussion and tape, and incidental music for productions of Macbeth (Young Vic) , The Tempest , and Peter Pan (Eden Court).
As a rock musician Pert spent two years (1970–1972) with Japanese percussionist Stomu Yamashta as a member of his ensembles "East Wind" and "Red Buddha Theatre". The group created a sensation with performances at The Roundhouse in London. In 1971 he founded the group "Come to the Edge" with Robin Thompson and Andrew Powell. After personnel changes in 1973 this band became "Sun Treader" (or "Suntreader") and recorded two albums. In 1977 Pert joined the jazz-rock band Brand X for their second album, composing three numbers for their Masques album. He stayed with the band, touring extensively, until 1979.
As a session musician he played with many musicians, including Paul McCartney, Andrew Lloyd Webber, John Williams, Kate Bush, Mike Oldfield, Sally Oldfield, Peter Gabriel, Peter Hammill, Jon Anderson, Elvis Costello, Bryan Ferry and Talk Talk. Among his awards are five gold albums, an American ASCAP award and a NARAS Grammy Award nomination.
He also taught piano as an associate professor at Trinity College London, an activity that probably inspired "Moon Dances" and "Voyage in Space".
A pioneering composer, he saw himself as a musical "explorer", adopting modern techniques of sonority and percussion writing, but nevertheless avoided excesses of cerebralism believing sound and emotional communication to be of fundamental importance. His musical language is marked by a degree of rhythmic and metric complexity and a non-ideological use of serial technique that remains open to aspects of tonality. Another important feature of his music is the degree of improvisation required of soloists, generally in response to a pre-recorded tape. The extramusical stimuli were often cosmological, ranging from generally solar or lunar themes to the more specifically astronomical: "Alpha Centauri", "Omega Centauri", "Chromosphere" etc. or inspired by the wisdom, culture and artefacts of the ancient and medieval world, especially his Pictish forebears, but also drawing on Lucretius, Taoism, Carmichael's Carmina Gadelica and the Bible. Composers mentioned on his website were Arne Nordheim, Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis. Other discernable influences included Tadeusz Baird and Reginald Smith Brindle, as well as the Polish avant-garde.
Pert built a studio in northwest Scotland, where, among other activities, he worked on a projected fourth symphony (of which no remnants are known but which was to be titled "De Situ Albanie") and on solo piano suites; he also explored electronic music and worked with Japanese soprano Natsuko Mineghishi and her ensemble Klang Collective, based in Melbourne and the American musician Bob Warseck.
Pert died on 27 April 2010 at his home in Balchrick, near Kinlochbervie, in Sutherland, Scotland at the age of 62.
Pert played drums, congas, tam-tam, timbales, flexatone, vibraslap, marimba, vibraphone, timpani, tabla, gong, bell tree, tambourine, bells, kalimba, shaker, jawbone, assorted percussion and keyboards.
|1972||Stomu Yamashta & Come to the Edge||Floating Music|
|Stomu Yamashta's Red Buddha Theatre||The Soundtrack From "The Man From The East"|
|Caravan and the New Symphonia||Caravan and the New Symphonia|
|Bloodstone||Train Ride To Hollywood|
|Jack Lancaster And Robin Lumley||Marscape|
|1976||Quantum Jump||Quantum Jump|
|Bryan Ferry||Let's Stick Together|
|Bryan Ferry||Extended Play|
|John Williams||John Williams And Friends|
|John G. Perry||Sunset Wading|
|Brand X||Moroccan Roll|
|Elkie Brooks||Two Days Away|
|Arthur Brown||Chisholm in My Bosom|
|Family of Love Avec Jeane Manson Et Demis Roussos||La Bible||2xLP|
|Chris de Burgh||At The End of a Perfect Day|
|1978||Rod Argent||Moving Home|
|Kate Bush||The Kick Inside|
|The Walker Brothers||Nite Flights|
|John Williams||The John Williams Collection|
|Nik Turner's Sphynx||Xitintoday|
|John Williams||The Best of John Williams|
|Adrian Wagner||The Last Inca|
|Wings||Back to the Egg|
|Cheryl Lynn||In Love|
|Cherry Vanilla||Venus D'Vinyl|
|The Dukes||The Dukes|
|Marianne Faithfull||Broken English|
|Colin Blunstone||Late Nights in Soho|
|Gordon Giltrap||The Peacock Party|
|Marti Webb||Take That Look Off Your Face|
|Peter Gabriel||Peter Gabriel|
|Graham De Wilde||Clouds|
|Peter Green||Little Dreamer|
|Mike Rutherford||Working in Line|
|Kate Bush||Never For Ever|
|Mike Rutherford||Smallcreep's Day|
|Brand X||Do They Hurt?|
|Lucio Battisti||Una giornata uggiosa|
|Stonebridge McGuinness||Corporate Madness|
|Mike Rutherford||Time And Time Again||7" single|
|AJ Webber||Clevedon Pier||EP|
|Peter Hammill||Sitting Targets|
|Peter Green||Blue Guitar|
|Eberhard Schoener||Time Square|
|1982||Trevor Jones||The Dark Crystal Original Soundtrack|
|Peter Gabriel||Peter Gabriel||"Kiss of Life", "Wallflower"|
|Mike Oldfield||Five Miles Out|
|Louis Clark Conducting The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra||Hooked on Classics 2 – Can't Stop The Classics|
|Esther Ofarim, Eberhard Schoener, Wolf Wondratschek, Ulf Miehe||Complicated Ladies|
|1983||Anthony Phillips Band||Invisible Men|
|Andrew Powell And The Philharmonia Orchestra||Play The Best of The Alan Parsons Project|
|Alain Chamfort||Secrets Glacés|
|Elvis Costello & The Attractions||Punch The Clock|
|Nick Heyward||North of a Miracle|
|Graham Parker||The Real Macaw|
|1984||Talk Talk||It's My Life|
|Mike Oldfield||The Killing Fields|
|1985||Freeez||Idle Vice||as Maurice Pert|
|Kate Bush||Hounds of Love|
|1986||Talk Talk||The Colour of Spring|
|1988||John Martyn||One World|
|The Adventures||The Sea of Love||as Maurice Pert|
|Alexis Korner||Alexis Korner And... 1972 – 1983|
|Gerry Rafferty||North and South||as Maurice Pert|
|1993||Wilding / Bonus||Pleasure Signals|
|1994||Big Jim Sullivan Band/Tiger||Test of Time|
|1998||Brand X||The X-Files: A 20 Year Retrospective|
|Marianne Faithfull||A Perfect Stranger: The Island Anthology|
|Mike Oldfield||Five Miles Out / Crises / Heaven's Open||3xCD, Comp|
|1999||Bryan Ferry||In Your Mind|
|2000||Talk Talk||It's My Life / The Colour of Spring / Spirit of Eden||Box + 3xCD|
|2002||Kate Bush||The Kick Inside / Lionheart||2xCD|
|2004||Night||Night / Long Distance||CD, Comp|
|2006||Mike Oldfield||Live at Montreux 1981||DVD|
|2008||Stomu Yamashta||Floating Music & The Man From The East||2xCD|
|2009||Mike Oldfield||The Mike Oldfield Collection 1974-1983|
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