EXPIRED: 04/27/10 – Morris Pert, 62, loved astronomy, cosmology and astrophysics but instead of following his brain and becoming a scientist, he followed his heart and became a musician, expressing the mysteries of the sciences through percussion and electronica. He ended up collaborating with some of rock and pop’s elite, including Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney, Kate Bush, Bryan Ferry, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Mike Oldfield, Phil Collins, Talk Talk, Peter Gabriel and Brand X.
Pert earned a bachelor of music at Edinburgh University and studied composition and percussion at the Royal Academy in London. He was also an associate of Trinity College London in piano teaching. While at the academy he won several composition prizes, including the 1970 Royal Philharmonic Award for Xumbu-Ata, his first orchestral piece.
A two-year period working with Japanese percussionist Stomu Yamash’ta followed, with performances, recordings and musical collaborations in several European music festivals. It led him to form his own experimental music group, Suntreader.
In the 1970s, he was considered one of the most prominent composers of his generation, receiving regular BBC commissions for orchestral works. At the same time, he was a leading percussionists in popular rock music.
He wrote three symphonies: the first, The Rising of the Moon, was premiered in Tokyo under Hiroyuko Iwaki in 1981; the second, The Beltane Rites, was commissioned and performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and the third, The Ancient Kindred, was premiered by the Munich Opera Orchestra under Eberhard Schoener on German television in 1980. Ancient Rites for choir and strings was commissioned and performed in Glasgow by the John Currie Singers.
He received five gold albums and just completed his 5th album, Chromosphere, in his small studio in the far northwest home in Balchrick, Kinlochbervie, Scotland.