Bond drummer favours using technology in music

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Kolkata, Dec 16 — Terming his contribution to five James Bond films as a “day job”, renowned British percussionist Pete Lockett feels composers should use technology in music and employ it in their melodious vision.

“You can use technology to your own benefit. There is nothing negative about it. Everything’s positive, you can use them for your musical vision. It’s what I do,” Lockett, who was in the city for an event, told IANS.

Famed for his effortless juxtaposition of acoustic and electronic sounds, the tech-savvy drummer is also known as the “Bond rhythm man” by his peers for lending his drumming expertise to five films – including “Die Another Day”, “Tomorrow Never Dies” and “The World is Not Enough” of the Bond movie franchise.

“It (contribution to movies) is my day job. It’s fine but it’s not a part of what I do. I am more interested in solo work and my collaborations,” said the tattooed Briton.

Lockett has established himself as an artist of repute through his innumerable collaborations with international musicians – the likes of A.R. Rahman, Hariharan, Bickram Ghosh, Peter Gabriel, Ronan Keating and the Afro Celt Sound System.

With Indian master drummer Bickram Ghosh he has come up with the critically acclaimed “Kingdom of Rhythm”, while “Parallax Beat Brothers” with sound designer Scanner and “Taiko to Tabla” with Japanese drummer Joji Hirota have also received rave reviews.

His ability to handle a wide variety of drums and percussion instruments from across the globe with panache is another feather in the Briton’s cap.

“I prefer calling myself a multi-percussionist. It’s just not the tabla or the Japanese taiko drums I am interested in. Any kind of sound that appeals to my creativity is an influence,” said the London resident, who has rendered his eclectic repertoire of rhythms to an iPhone application called “Drum Jam”.

Having studied Indian classical music, including the tabla, for 15 years in London, his association with drums and percussion was a result of serendipity.

“I just came across drumming at a concert. It was a whole new path for my life, something which I really wanted to do at that point in my life,” said Lockett, who then started out as a punk drummer.

But it was a chance visit to a tabla concert that brought him in touch with Indian classical music and gave him a new identity.

“I came across a concert completely by chance. It was a free concert: Zakir Hussain was playing. I made a mental note, got really interested and pursued it,” said Lockett, who studied both north and south Indian music.

This musical pursuit opened up avenues for Lockett, who carved out a niche for himself in the drumming scene because of his expertise in combining different sounds, a trait he attributes to his upbringing in London.

“I live in London and it is a very multicultural city. A natural consequence of that is to bring all those different types of music into a common palette and the music I make without preconception is a consequence of that palette,” said Lockett, who first visited India about 10 years ago.

The drummer feels strongly about the upcoming musical talent in India.

“They (Indians) are really open to fresh ideas and know there are new ways to make music as well. Being classically trained doesn’t mean one should be restricted to it.

“It’s heartening to see that youngsters are being positively exposed to so many things, not just in music but in other areas as well. The future is bright,” Lockett added.

(Sahana Ghosh can be contacted at [email protected])


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