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Frank Peterson Interview (Australian newspaper The Age chats to him about Gregorian)
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Frank's last performance in Sandra's band (1991) - digitised by Karina BojeRANK PETERSON was born on 20 December 1963, in the German port-city of Hamburg. Although Frank was never classically trained, his passion for music meant he soon taught himself to play keyboards and piano. His first experience at arranging and sequencing electronic music was with his Commodore 64 console.

:: early 1980s

Frank's first career was at Amptown, a Hamburg-based store specialising in the sale of equipment for music studios. While working there, Frank continued producing demo-tapes of his own material and eventually met up with Michael Cretu in the store. He played the demo-tapes for Cretu, who then invited Frank to come work with him in Munich at Data-Alpha-Studio. Frank agreed and went with Cretu to start out as keyboardist for his latest production, singer Sandra Lauer.

:: mid 1980s

Peterson's first major recognition came in June 1985, when he played the lead keyboard part for Sandra's smash hit Maria Magdalena. He continued to play in Sandra's band for a few more years, before going on to co-compose some of the pop-singer's future chart-topping hits (occasionally incorrectly credited as Frank Peter). Frank ended up moving with Sandra and Cretu to the island of Ibiza, Spain in the late 1980s.

:: 1990-1991

During the period at Ibiza, Frank and Cretu co-created the phenomenal single Sadeness Pt. 1. The project was mysterious, and as such would be called Enigma. To further retain a sense of mystery about the work, the producers took on pseudonyms, and so Frank Peterson was known as F. Gregorian. During the production of MCMXC a.D. Frank expressed his desire to leave Ibiza and return to Germany, as he never enjoyed living on the Spanish island. He was also looking to start producing some of his own projects.

Frank remained for the duration of the first album's production, before moving out of his apartment at Ibiza in January 1991 and returning to his hometown of Hamburg. Here he had to begin completely from scratch — outfitting a new studio and starting work on new, untested projects.

While holidaying in Spain, Frank had met Thomas Schwarz and both were eager to start composing and producing music. So once the two were back in Hamburg, Thomas introduced the keyboard-genius Matthias Meissner to Frank, and so the team was complete. These three composers and musicians would go on to form a formidable production force for many years to come.

The new team's first album together was Sadisfaction, released under the group name Gregorian, shortly after the debut of the first Enigma album in 1991. It had a similar approach in some respects to Enigma, but was primarily intended as a pop album with The Sisters of Oz on vocals. The first single was the brilliant So Sad which had ties with Sadeness, in it's use of Gregorian chants against dark, driving beats. From this album on, Frank would prove that he could consistently produce original, vibrant and groundbreaking music.

image-still from the video of Sarah Brightman's Royal Albert Concert, showing Sarah Brightman and Frank Peterson travelling (1997) - digitised by Netcore:: late 1991

Work had begun feverishly on a new studio, during which time Frank recorded demos in Madrid for a recent discovery of his, a singer he would one day dub Princessa. A few months later, he met Sarah Brightman and for two years they crafted a new sound and image for Sarah while the new studios were being completed.

:: 1993

The lead single Captain Nemo released in this year served as inspiration for the studio's name: Nemo Studios which was originally located across the street from Frank's apartment in Hamburg. Dive brought Sarah Brightman back into the spotlight where she belonged. She would become Peterson's most famous production, closest collaborator and ultimately his girlfriend.

Immediately after Dive, Princessa was called to Hamburg to record vocals for her album featuring many compositions from Matthias Meissner and Thomas Schwarz. Like all the previous albums, Princessa was a major success, especially in countries like Spain and Mexico. The songs on this album were published by Petersongs, the adminstrative company Frank had set up earlier that year.

Frank with his Gold Record at an award party for the album "Life In The Streets" (1994) - digitised by Funky Vibe Productions:: 1994

Frank along with good friend Alex Christensen co-composed and co-produced the album Life In The Streets which featured Prince Ital Joe and Marky Mark on vocals. This release and its subsequent singles proved to be one of Frank's biggest early successes. Frank and Alex Christensen also formed the group PeCh, although only a handful of singles and remixes have been released under the name.

:: 1995

The second Peterson-produced Sarah Brightman album called Fly was released. This had much more of a dance edge, as Alex Christensen was once again also involved. But it's success dwarfed that of Dive, especially with the hit-single A Question Of Honour which shattered Europe with its epic combination of soprano aria, dark electronica and pounding drumloops.

:: 1996

This year heralded the return of Princessa with her second album, the dance-driven Calling You, which now featured English lyrics as opposed to the Spanish lyrics of the first. Later in the year a new Frank Peterson song was to be heard on European radios: Time To Say Goodbye. Easily one of the biggest selling singles in Europe ever, it is an operatic duet between Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli. With such a precedent Frank began concentrating more on producing than composing from this period onwards.

:: 1997

The third album for Sarah Brightman, the amazing classical homage Timeless was soon released. Frank also composed and produced a full-length studio album for the Israeli traditional singer Ofra Haza which was released towards the end of the year.

:: 1998

Frank composed and co-produced with Christensen again the hit-single Let The Music Heal Your Soul for the project Bravo All Stars. This was to be a once-off single for charity and featured the vocals of many popular bands. Also released was the fourth Sarah Brightman album Eden, which combined pop with opera, and saw Sarah launching her first world tour the following year.

:: 1999

Princessa's third album I Won't Forget You released which Frank produced, with Thomas and Matthias composing most of the songs. In the last quarter of 1999 Frank moved residence and for convenience sake, Nemo Studios was incorporated into his new home.

Then on the eve of the millennium, an old Frank Peterson project was revisited and revamped. Gregorian's Masters Of Chant, was released late 1999, featuring a twelve man choir singing 12 classic pop songs, which were reinterpreted by Frank to provide an upbeat yet melancholic album. It was fitting then that this highly successful decade of Frank's solo-career, began and ended with the same project.

Frank at an award party for "Time To Say Goodbye" - digitised by Netcore:: 2000

La Luna was Sarah Brightman's fifth studio album and heralded the start of her new world tour which Frank greatly enjoyed co-ordinating. He states that he has always enjoyed being involved with live performances, as it is a refreshing change from sitting in the studio all the time.

:: 2001

In 2001 a new Gregorian album Chapter II was released as well as Sarah Brightman's Classics which featured both existing material and special new recordings.

:: 2002

Recording and mixing was finished for the forthcoming Princessa studio-release All I Want which was showcased first on this site. Also in this year, Chapter III from Gregorian was released in October.

:: 2003

This following year saw the publication of the new Sarah Brightman work entitled Harem as well as the new Gregorian album Chapter IV. The Princessa album and an all-new project Violet were both completed in this year — and both were also exclusively shown first on this site. Frank also continued work on Sarah's world tour for promoting Harem.

:: 2004

Gregorian released their fifth album, The Dark Side, while a live CD and DVD recording of one of Sarah's concerts – Live From Las Vegas – was also released.

:: 2005

Frank's Nemo Studios goes officially online referncing several new projects of his that are on their way. Gregorian released their greatest hits collection, The Masterpieces, which finally provided fans with a live DVD-recording of one of the concerts.

After more than eight years of bringing you news about Frank and his projects, you can rely on FPWeb to follow the development of his projects. There is no stopping his breathtaking song-writing, his infectious melodies and passionate arrangements. Whatever Frank composes and produces you can be sure it will be a true musical masterpiece.

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