Tango DJ

Peter DJs at events and often during the evening after visiting as guest teachers

D7C_0393Peter has been a Tango DJ for over 15 years.  For two years he was the resident DJ at the Eton Milongas, followed by seven years at Tango South where we ran our own monthly Milongas, Práctilongas and Prácticas, as well as special evenings with live music.  He now guest DJs at various tango events.

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Live Music

At our Summer Balls we had guest appearances from Tango Siempre and twice with Los Mareados, with whom Peter was invited to play. 

Providing and managing the sound system for live music  creates additional challenges for the DJ – it’s vital to have the right gear and to understand the technical requirements to provide a good experience for the both audience and the musicians.

Peter also regularly played solo classical guitar and on occasions  accompanied singers at our events.

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Music for Milongas

It’s vital the dancers can engage fully with the music without being distracted by any aspect of the music or the sound.

Peter’s approach to DJing combines three elements to ensure the music is as good as it can be :

  • the individual tracks selected
  • the way the chosen music is combined throughout the event
  • the sound of the music as experienced by the dancers, dependant on the quality of the recordings and the sound system.

Peter has several thousand specially re-mastered tango tracks.  The audible hiss and crackles often associated with old music has been removed and now represent the orchestras as they would have been heard when playing live.  Sometimes Golden age music can sound very thin, partly because of how it was originally recorded, but equally because of the way it has been reproduced and modified through the vinyl years, then on to CD.  The resulting narow frequency range can be very wearing on the ear after an hour or so.

People sometimes believe this thin and scratchy sound to be “authentic”  because that’s the only way they have ever heard this music.  However, these orchestras would not have sounded like this when they were originally danced to – live! 

Peter specialised in offering this gorgeous music in a way that reproduces the original live sound as closely as possible.  After all, this is what it was meant to sound like for dancing to!

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Creating the Sound

The music source is one side of the equation.  It must be complemented with carefully selected sound equipment, adequate to fill the room with sound, without being too loud or too quiet anywhere.  It needs to be adaptable so it can be tuned to the acoustics of different venues, and controllable to adapt to the ever changing dynamic and energy throughout the evening.

Peter always provides his own gear.  Where PA is already installed at a venue, it is sometimes of mediocre quality, and sometimes it has been thrashed by countless hours of disco music.  It is simply too risky to rely on unknown and untested gear for music as demanding and sensitive as Tango!

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What are you dancing to?

Peter pioneered the use of visual displays to inform dancers about the music being played.  (See pictures below). We’re glad to see that some other DJs have now adopted this useful addition for dancers’ enjoyment.

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Music Backround

Peter has been closely involved with music all his life.  His father was a semi-professional dance band musician and his mother was a singer and a keen ballroom dancer.  As a boy he sang in the choir at Holy Trinity Church, Paddington.  He was the boy soloist for the Christmas concert at Brent (then Wembley) Town Hall, and has sung at the Royal Festival Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral and Guildford Cathedral.  He continued singing as a choir member and soloist in and around London for many years, until Tango took over his life.

Peter studied classical guitar at the Royal Academy of Music in London and worked as a full time professional guitarist for a number of years.  He was a founder member of the Omega Players and the Omega Guitar Quartet under the directorship of Gilbert Biberian.  They performed in the UK and Europe and at several leading London venues including the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Wigmore Hall.  More recently he played live music on many occasions at Milongas.

As a professional coach and facilitor to high performance teams, Peter has used drumming extensively as a team building, coaching and development activity. 

Over the years Peter has designed and run a variety of Musical Workshops to help dancers understand tango music in greater detail, which helps improve their overal enjoyment of the dance.

We have also used drumming on Tango Music Workshops with great success.  There is more about  Peter here.

Just two of the ways Peter has informed dancers of the music and tandas throughout the evening

Projector & Screen on a Stage

TV Monitor & Stand on the floor

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