Guild takes over Pegasus series
June 9, 2008 · Updated 3:59 PM
"The songs go on, but the singer has new backup.Peter Hwosch takes up his guitar at Pegasus Coffeehouse Sept. 1, to sing about personal introspection and global activism, in a seven-year-old series now coordinated by the Island Music Teachers Guild.Since series creator Korum Bischoff is also a guild member, the transition in mid-August was smooth. It's something that I've always done for Pegasus, but now I'm getting more support from the guild, Bischoff said.The arrangement benefits both institutions, Bischoff says; Pegasus is relieved of coping with complex licensing issues raised when musicians use others' material, while the guild inherits an up-and-running venue. According to Bischoff, the guild - an association of island music teachers who give individual lessons - has often been unable to fill the hall they share for recitals and other events. Tapping into an existing series expands IMTG members' outlets for performing, while broadening the range of musical styles Pegasus showcases. Hwosch is the second Pegasus performer taking the stage under the IMTG umbrella. He performs original material accompanied by acoustic guitar. Before he moved to the Pacific Northwest several years ago from San Francisco, Hwosch says he was so busy working on music for other people's projects that he didn't have time for his own.In addition, his growing need to integrate all the aspects of his life could not be addressed in the busy Bay area, Hwosch said.In the Northwest, he found time and space to meld spirituality, activism and personal life in his art.I've been a composer forever, Hwosch said, but now I am able to 'connect the dots' between what I feel and what I believe.I can't separate my spiritual path from my music any more. Hwosch says his belief system and spiritual underpinnings are the foundation on which his art is built.Deeply involved with his partner Leah Green in a peace movement called Compassionate Listening, Hwosch has helped structure encounters between such groups as Palestinians and Israelis, Germans and Jews.Dedicated to softening seemingly intractable positions taken by opposing groups, compassionate listening is described by Hwosch as the only activism that pulls people in, rather than pushing them away.'Compassionate listening' involves seeing yourself in every person, Hwosch said. We're all on the same ride. We're islands in the same ocean. Hwosch says that the principles of compassionate listening also inform the lyrics he writes. I am dedicated to creating change through recognition of our common humanity, Hwosch said. There is no 'us' and 'them'; there is only 'us.'Hwosch gives 10 percent of the proceeds of all CD sales to further compassionate listening, while 100 percent of profit from CDs sold in Israel and Palestine is donated. * * * * *Peter Hwosch sings original songs about personal, social and global issue for the Pegasus Coffee House music series at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1. The series is free, with a suggested donation of $4. Call 842-6725. "