Meet the Musician: Peter Eratostene
Peter Eratostene is an immensely talented bassist and musician in the Toronto music scene. He is proficient at both upright and electric bass and excels at many styles of music. These styles include jazz, classical, pop and many others.
Peter is a current member of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO). With TSYO he has performed with Shawn Mendes at the ACC for WE day for an audience of approximately 20,000 people. TSYO has also performed at Roy Thompson Hall and the Toronto Centre for the Arts. Peter is a former member of the Toronto All-Star Big Band (TABB). With TABB Peter has performed throughout Ontario as well as in Florida and Iowa to large audiences. He has performed with special guests such as Jackie Richardson and Drew Jurecka. During the summer of 2015 Peter composed a song and performed it with TABB. Peter has amazing sight reading skills which are called upon from big bands across Toronto as well as musical theatres and various other projects. A recent performance of his includes the production of Curtains with Bravo Academy. He also played bass for the soundtrack of the movie Al Purdy Was Here which was played at TIFF in 2015.
Peter also plays with various cover bands and is a co-leader of Charleston Relay, a rhythm section that plays and records for artists around Toronto. Charleston Relay has recorded with John River, a rap artist that has been featured on Much Music. With Charleston Relay Peter has played with many artists including Plaitwrights; together they have played countless bars and festivals in Toronto. Plaitwrights and Charleston Relay won Kollaboration Toronto and were sent on to Pasadena Los Angles to compete for Kollaboration Star. Peter also plays with the Salida Project, a horn driven rock band led by his high school teacher. Peter started playing in restaurants and festivals with the Phusion Band when he was in high school giving him early experience with performance and playing different styles.
Peter is currently finishing his undergraduate degree at York University. At York Peter is the bassist for the York University Jazz Orchestra, and is principal bassist for the York University Symphony Orchestra. He also plays with smaller jazz ensembles at York. Peter is not only skilled as bass player but is also working on his composition and arranging skills and is working towards creating a big band album of swing era style music. He is studying jazz with Jim Vivian and classical with Ed Tait. Peter is studying arranging and composition with Al Henderson and he is also studying with Barry Elmes. Peter leads the York Quartet, the quartet plays at various York events. Peter also leads another quartet outside of school.
Peter was selected by Barry Elmes to be on the Jazzology program in 2015, he has also played on Jazzology in 2014 with Taylor Forget as well as Sarah Thawer. Peter has received the Jazz FM Scholarship in Jazz for excellence in jazz performance. Peter was also nominated for The Mary Alice Stuart scholarship through Jazz FM 91.1. Peter also received the Barry Diemert Music Bursary for outstanding musical abilities and participation throughout high school.
1. When did you start playing your instrument?
I started electric bass in grade 9 and double bass in grade 12, however I did not start playing classical music until 3rd year of university.
2. Who is your biggest musical inspiration?
I enjoy all styles of music and draw inspiration from all of them. My biggest inspiration would have to be Snarky Puppy. I love the songs, arrangements and that within them they find spaces to improvise and interpret the songs differently live. I also can’t leave out my parents for always playing music in the house and taking me to concerts. My Teacher Ed Tait is a constant inspiration for me; he is an endless source of musical knowledge, advice and good vibes.
3. Who is your favourite composer?
As mentioned above the primary composer in Snarky Puppy would be at the top of my list “Michael league’ he also plays bass!As for classical music I have recently been admiring Strauss’ writing.
4. If you had to choose only 1 piece to listen to for the rest of your life, what piece would it be?
Anything off Snarky Puppy’s Ground Up record. I love listening to Beethoven 5 second movement.
5. If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?
I really don’t know what I would be if I wasn’t a musician. I always thought I would follow in my dad’s footsteps and become an engineer but I was not cut out for it.
6. What are some of your non-music related past times/hobbies?
I enjoy snowboarding, biking, baseball and watching movies and full TV series.
7. What is your life motto?
I try to be compassionate and friendly to those around me. Always come prepared and work as hard as you can. Try to spread good vibes wherever you are. In addition do not take yourself too seriously, have a light heart about things. I always reach for things I care about, I have learnt that if you care about something go for it (you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take kind of philosophy).
9. What piece/song can you not stand?
I don’t really think I have one anymore, whenever I get the family of not liking something initially I just flip my mind set and find something I enjoy about the piece, or just play it because it makes the audience happy, which therefore makes me happy.
10. What is your pre-concert routine?
I get very jittery before concerts, I like to move around a lot and cannot sit still. If I can eat a banana before playing that always helps too.