Cellist | Sitarist | Vocalist
1989: MK18/The Field-B5-B13-SE15-SE5-SE4
A long time ago the Yelding family moved with travelling fairs and later became a part of Circus history. Their occupations included hawkers, carriage painters, puppeteers, musicians, clowns, wire walkers and bareback horse riders. Pete’s first name comes from his Grandad on his Mother’s side – a socialist artist from Goole whose family, the Bottomleys, worked the railways.
Moving between an estate in a small town near Milton Keynes and off grid communes in Norfolk & Suffolk via his Mother’s illustrated caravan, Pete grew up playing Cello in Western Classical ensembles, in Rock&Pop bands, with Djs at raves, with Mandinka Griots and Gnawa musicians. He was then awarded a scholarship to study Composition at Birmingham Conservatoire, where he also began training in Hindustani music on Sitar. Seeking to bring together the many strands of his practice, he went on to study his Masters at Goldsmiths. He combined further exploration of his unique cello playing style with interrogating legacies of empire that run through musical discourses. This deepened his relation to the flows of musical knowledge that have shaped his life.
Pete continues this kind of research in his practice. His training in Hindustani music, on sitar, cello and vocals also continues as a life long pursuit. He performs regularly, in numerous contexts from weddings and restaurants to festivals and concert halls. In composition, performance and improvisation, his vocal, cello and sitar techniques overlap, creating a musical voice that is easy to recognise for its melodically intricate and texturally visceral qualities. His work has taken many forms, from solo performances to interdisciplinary collaborations. But songwriting, improvisation, and a politicised wit remain constants at the centre of his practice.