At least once a year, producer Frank Peterson retreats with his headphones to raid his extensive music collection in the search for new repertoire. It takes a lot of instinct and inspiration to choose the songs for a project like Gregorian. "Not every song is suited for the Gregorian sound scale," he explains, "so the songs have to be chosen very carefully for Gregorian." Luckily, Peterson's immense music knowledge seems inexhaustible and there are no limits to his creativity. How else could it be that we find a Eurythmics ballad next to a Tears For Fears pop tune in the Gregorian repertoire? Or a Peter Gabriel song next to a Lenny Kravitz rock track?
However, with Gregorian all of this fits in and forms a unit - well-known melodies in a completely new sound transporting the listener into the timeless world of Gregorian chant. There has been at least one Gregorian album release a year, so that the series has reached Chapter VI in 2007. It shows once more that there are no limits to Gregorian with songs from Coldplay to the Everly Brothers, from Björk to Queen and Lenny Kravitz. It's not about music genres or a "hip" factor, the songs are the only thing that counts.
Moreover, Gregorian has long become a music genre in itself. In spite of the Masters of Chant projects which regularly meet with the Gregorian fans enthusiasm, the ever busy Peterson also takes his time for refreshing excursions. Gregorian's The Dark Side, for example, was dedicated to hard rock songs from Nine Inch Nails, Sisters of Mercy, The Rasmus, The Doors and others. "For this album, we sent the older audience home so-to-speak and invited the younger generation," laughs Peterson who is very well aware that there has never really been any generational conflict within the Gregorian audience. Young and old are happily united at the numerous live concerts. Talking about live performances: by now, there are two live DVD releases and three DVD clip compilations which were recorded all over Europe and which show the impressive live shows of the ten classically trained singers in their monks' costumes together with their full live band. The latest DVD was filmed in the medieval Kreuzenstein Castle near Vienna in autumn 2006 and was released in Europe in March 2007 (will be released in the U.S. January 2008).
Another outstanding special was released in Europe November 2006 in the form of Christmas Chants which relied on the established originality of Gregorian and held its own against the flood of Christmas releases by easily entering the Top 30 of the German album charts at this difficult time in the market and it went on to become the most successful Christmas album of the year. Gregorian will embark on their first US tour in October followed by their first tour of Japan. In December, there is another chance to see Gregorian live in Europe on their big tour of churches which will bring the choir and band to 17 places of worship in Germany during the season of Advent.