By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – As a lawyer, Wayne Peterson is accustomed to the rhythm of a judge’s gavel, but lately the Morinville barrister is moving to the beat of a different drummer – a literal one. Peterson has given over a part of his studio loft apartment to a drum kit, keyboard, mixing board and plenty or amps and microphone stands, all arranged for area residents to jam with or without him.
As for Peterson himself, his musical journey started at the age of five when he began to learn piano, an instrument he’s played off and on throughout his life. However, it wasn’t until his divorce six years ago that the lawyer’s passion for music really exploded. Around that time a bass player acquaintance encouraged him to try the keyboard.
“He said, ‘You should get a keyboard,’” Peterson recounted. “He pushed me and so I did. I’ve got several boards since but that’s when I first started playing with somebody else, and I’ve been spending more and more time doing that and just enjoying the hell out of it.”
Peterson said when he originally looked at expanding his building on 100 Avenue he’d envisioned creating within it a venue that would serve as an open stage where local musicians could jam and hone their musical talents. Two years later the area became a loft apartment with a living room area large enough for a band to play and record in.
“It isn’t what I’d originally intended in terms of the physical space, but I’m doing the best I can with this space to do what I’d originally intended to do,” Peterson said, adding he hopes to provide an opportunity to get local musicians out of their parents garages and basements and into a dedicated place that has some decent equipment. “Some of the equipment is fairly cumbersome – like a drum kit and keyboards and stuff, and if it’s all here and they’ve got mikes and the ability to record some of what they do, then that’s what I built this for.”
The lawyer said he wants to make the facility – time permitting – open for musicians who just want a place to play that is set up and ready for them to simply plug in and go. “It’s not like I have to be involved as one of the players,” he said, noting the only requirement would be the musicians would have to be pleased with the equipment and its layout and he would have to be somewhat happy with the type of sounds being generated. “I’m not into German Death Metal or anything like that, but I’m pretty wide open.”
In addition to the musical instruments and amplification equipment, Peterson’s set up includes some recording equipment that although not big studio quality is perfectly capable of helping local musicians record a demo. “My equipment is not state of the art but it is all here,” he said. “Keyboard players and drummers just have to show up. A drummer just has to bring sticks if he doesn’t like the ones I have. Guitar players just have to bring their guitars. They don’t have to bring anything else. It’s all set to go.”
In addition to being open and receptive to other musician’s projects, Peterson said there is room for more in his own musical project, a group of musicians that have been jamming with him for a while in the loft apartment. “We don’t – at present – have a regular drummer,” he said. “I have a very good guitar player who is fairly regular in coming, but we could always use another.”
Peterson said although he does not have any aspirations to be on stage on a regular basis, he is not adverse to it either. “I’m just happy to sit here and jam and have fun,” he said.
For more information on using the facility, contact Wayne Peterson at his law office – 780-939-2048.