This is Peter's ever-growing online repository of his entire recorded musical archive from youthful rock bands, to college experimentalism, to works perhaps best forgotten. Virtually all of the audio herein are unreleased and uncirculated demos and other 'pre-market' releases that would otherwise never be heard again by human ears. Please peruse the exhibits below with a sense of adventure and appropriate understanding.
Rachmaninov All-Night Vigil (Vespers)
2019 remaster by Peter Benjamin
Conducted by Richard Sparks at PLU's Lagerquist Concert Hall in 1996.*
The All-Night Vigil was composed by Sergei Rachmaninov in 1915. It features Church Slavonic, the traditional language of the Russian Orthodox Church. An all-night vigil is a type of sacred music that accompanies a traditional Orthodox liturgical ceremony, similar to Catholic and Lutheran styles of liturgy. This piece is said to be one of Rachmaninov's personal favorites. It's also one of mine and performing it was one of the most profound musical experiences of my young musical life.
*The original audio of this recording was very quiet and used little to no compression. The remastered version below features lesser dynamic range and the result, in my opinion, is even more nuance and articulation in the performance.
Peter played guitar in not one, but two separate Radiohead tribute bands before seeking his fortune in the Northwest country music scene in the early 2010's. First, Backdrifters played a handful of shows in Seattle before disbanding. A few years later, Radioland rehearsed a set in preparation for a Halloween show at a local venue that never materialized.
The Roans (2008-2010)
The Roans were a psychedelic roots rock band led by singer-songwriter Nate Gullickson on loan from the the commonwealth of Montana. Peter's stint with this band- which persisted for most of it's ignominious career as a studio project- was somewhat short lived playing only two or three shows and co-producing a three song EP called Ebb. Below are three of the tracks from that release featuring Peter on lead guitar and backing vocals. This EP was recorded during the same studio session as Peter's first record For Your Enjoyment & Leisure. On another note of trivia, Nate Gullickon was the last bass player for Edisyn (below) before they finally disbanded in '08.
EDISYN Archive (1998-2008)
Edisyn was a Seattle-based alternative rock band that released three records before disbanding in 2008. While their official output was somewhat limited due to their arduous recording habits, the quality was high and still holds up well to this day. Below is an in-process compilation of much of their unreleased recordings from initial demos to live recordings, etc. Quality is wide-ranging...
Live on KEXP's Audioasis (2003 & 06') - A rite of passage for Seattle bands of this time (perhaps still) was playing live on KEXP, where music was said to have mattered....
Live @ The Crocodile (July, 2006) - This is a rough and ready board mix given to the band by veteran sound tech Jim Anderson in '06. After founding member Terry Mattson left the band, friend Dave Banuelos joined the band for several months to a year or so while they tried- ultimately to no avail- to resurrect Edisyn's former promise. Dave's style worked especially well on the more aggressive tunes and these tracks showcase that.
Peter's guitar rig:
"-The Heritage H170 - flame maple arch top all mahogany double cut LP-style made by a pretty famous American guitar manufacturer.
-2000 American Deluxe Telecaster (I bought from Terry)
Amp: Fender Hot Rod DeVille 2x12
Effects: pedalboard with various pedals including DL4, EH small stone, big muff, etc.
Looking back, this was a very nice setup for me and I definitely wish I still had the Hertige which I sold out of financial desperation at some point. Such is the life of a rock musician...."
Live @ The Central Saloon (2001?) - This is a live EP demo recorded by Shaun Disch at the Central Saloon in Pioneer Square in Seattle. All three songs ended up being released as studio tracks on Edisyn's debut self-titled release which can be found on the 'PB releases' page of this site.
Peter's guitar rig -
Guitar: 90's era Gibson LP Special w P-100 noiseless pickups. This is by far one of the coolest and best sounding guitars I've ever owned. I often call it my first real electric guitar after my ill-advised love affair with shredder style axes, which you can hear on earlier Edisyn demos. Alas, it, along with Sean's Aria Pro (also featured on this recording) was stolen after stupidly leaving it in my truck at a friend's place in Federal Way- the guitar theft capital of the world.....
Amp: Peavey Classic 50 4x10 combo. Meh...
Effects: Hard to remember exactly what I was using at this point but may have been some shoddy conflagration of a rack mountable Lexicon effects unit for delay/verb/modulation, a 'wah' pedal, and a cool overdrive pedal that Terry lent me. Needless to say, things were still coming together for me rig-wise at this point.
White Noise - Demo (2000?)
"Affectionately (or derisively) referred to as 'The Roland Demo,' this was Edisyn's second attempt at a demo recording and was produced during a time when they did not have a drummer. The drums, therefore, are electronically programmed by Terry Mattson using the sound bank and sequencer from a Roland workstation. Personally, I don't think they sound horrible- just a bit quiet for most of the mixes. Cheers to Terry who, in addition to playing bass and programming drums, basically dragged the rest of band kicking and screaming into making this demo. I'm glad we did and feel that it still sort of holds up in some ways. Sean's voice, for example, sounds especially youthful and agile at this point. Enjoy..."
Guitar: Parker Nitefly - You can really hear the brittleness of this very artificial sounding instrument that came and went out of fashion sometime in the late 90's to early 2000's. The last of my shredder guitars...
Amp: This whole thing was recording direct likely using a sans amp preamp and/or my old digitech RP-1. Yikes..
Effects: Internal to the recording system, I believe...
in re (1998?)
in re was Peter's first post-college band and was co-led by keyboard player and composer Eric Goetz. They labeled their sound 'smooth metal' acknowledging the equal portions of progressive rock, hard rock, and jazz-rock fusion elements that influenced their writing. They release one demo on cassette, which is why the recordings below sound a little 'warbly' and sonically inconsistent. Tape degrades over time and produces a range of unwanted sonic artifacts as a result.
Peter's guitar rig
Guitar: Jackson Performer Series
Amp: Sans Amp Pre, MosValve Power amp, into a Peavey 4x12 cab. Not good.
Effects: Digitech RP-1