James Labrie of Dream Theater Joins Symphony North on new Record

Folks, another huge announcement for us today! James Labrie, a longtime vocal hero of mine, and lead vocalist for progressive metal giants Dream Theater, has graciously joined Symphony North as a featured vocalist on our Bell Ringer album! My friendship with James goes back quite a ways. I knew him first as a powerhouse vocalist, but after getting to know the person behind the voice, I can tell you he's as genuine a guy as you're ever going to find. Then, as I got writing The Bell Ringer, I wrote a very personal song. It had some really big notes for a male voice, some C5s. I needed someone who could hit the big notes, but also deliver the calmer parts with humanity and edge by turns. I'm no

Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater on New Symphony North Record

We're thrilled to announce that Jordan Rudess of the progressive rock/metal band Dream Theater is featured on the upcoming Symphony North release! Jordan and I have been friends a long time, sharing music, meals, and quite a lot more over the years. Early in 2018, as I began composing for The Bell Ringer, I had an idea: Why not ask Jordan to play on the record? Jordan has a busy schedule, but he kindly agreed. One piece, in particular, seemed to make sense, too. A new rendition of an old Christmas carol favorite that I had written a frame around and on the main tune re-tooled it with a bluesy feel--a piano/voice song that a master pianist could really do something with. And I have to say, wh

The Bell Ringer Novel -- Update

Folks! What could be better than a Christmas tree made of books? Well, how about if my full novel of The Bell Ringer gets picked up for publication. That would work for me. Last week, my literary agent sent the full novel I wrote--a book which tells the deeper story of The Bell Ringer--out to 15 of the largest publishers in Manhattan. There's now way a traditional New York publisher would or could get a book out this holiday. It takes time to sell in a traditional book to the trade, e.g. Barnes & Noble. So, we'd be looking at next Christmas if one bites. But, I'm still excited and optimistic. The novel, by its nature, is able to explore depths you can't reach in a few dozen songs of lyrics a

Tim Hockenberry Recording Symphony North Songs!

Hey there! We're thrilled to share that Tim Hockenberry is singing on a couple Symphony North tracks from the forthcoming album, The Bell Ringer. Some will remember Tim from his time with multi-platinum selling Christmas rock bands. Others will remember him from his amazing run on America's Got Talent. Others still, will remember him for his hit song, "Christmas by the Bay." I'm always going to remember Tim for "The Monster"--I'll explain in a bit. I reached out to Tim when we got rolling on vocal selections for the album. Tim has a singular voice. Very unique. And I had some songs I thought were perfect for him. His first email response to me was simply a phone number and a heart emoji, whi

Val Vigoda Rif Video!

Hey folks, I promised you a video clip of Val Vigoda playing a rif from one of the new Symphony North songs. Well, here it is! Val is used to playing cool runs from her time touring with platinum-selling Christmas rock bands. So, it was amazing to see her playing through some song with verve! Yes, verve! I won't spoil the surprise of the full tune that this riff goes to--an instrumental I became rather attached to in the writing. But suffice it to say, Val nailed it! Can't wait for you all to hear her play on The Bell Ringer! Cheers for now! Peter

Michael Lanning Doing New Tunes!

We're proud to announce that Michael Lanning, who recorded and toured with platinum-selling Christmas rock artists, has tracked vocals on a couple of new Symphony North tunes. Michael's got an amazing voice, filled with character and soul. And we couldn't be happier that he's joined us on The Bell Ringer. The full double CD releases later this month, and will include the twelve original tunes, remastered, and with new voices on many, as well as twelve new songs. It's in this new set of twelve where we found the perfect match for Michael's voice. As much as the music, though, I've gotten to know Michael, who's one of those passionate, funny, people you love to talk to. We've traded so many st

Jody Ashworth & New Symphony North Tunes

Hey folks, So, another exciting development. Jody Ashworth, accomplished actor and singer, who, among other things, recorded with platinum-selling Christmas rock bands, will be singing two songs on our upcoming release of The Bell Ringer. Jody has an amazingly powerful voice. We got him on a tune where he can get into the Broadway belt of his. (It also happens to be my favorite new vocal tune from the album.) I had some really great conversations with Jody about characterization and coloring the voice to help push the narrative forward in the song. Jody instantly understood what I meant and needed. We're thrilled to have Jody be a part of some of the things we're doing here with Symphony Nor

Val Vigoda Awesomeness!

So, one of the thrills of writing and recording The Bell Ringer is working with amazing musicians. When I went looking for a great violinist to retrack some of the original twelve songs, as well as lend some humanity and vitality to new tracks we're releasing this year, I got extremely lucky! Enter: Val Vigoda! As it happens, Val now lives in my home city of Seattle. In fact, her immanent move puts her rather close to me in terms of absolute distance. Would woulda thunk it! So, what did I have to lose, I got in touch and told her about Symphony North and The Bell Ringer, and a few weeks later, BAM!, she's in the studio tracking with us. I have to pause to tell you that Val is both an amazing

Prepping for Double CD Release

Hey Folks, So, I wanted to share some news. Last year we released a twelve-song demo. Those twelve represent half of the full concept album and story. If you're following along, you know this year we're finishing the second set of twelve songs, for a grand total of twenty-four. We're set to release the full concept album of The Bell Ringer, but will likely wait until next year. Part of the process has been going back to the first twelve to remaster and make some changes. The most material change is that I'm replacing one of the female vocalists, and I'm replacing myself on three of the male vocal songs. I wanted the album to be character-driven, and I've got some amazing vocalists lined up t

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