Born on 8 September 1947, Morris David Brough Pert was was a Scottish composer, drummer/percussionist, and pianist who composed in the fields of both contemporary classical and jazz-rock music. His compositions include three symphonies, piano music, chamber and solo instrumental music, choral music and “sonic landscapes” for electronic media; a late major work is “Ankh” for Carnyx and electronics.
Morris Pert was born and raised in Arbroath Scotland where he played in percussion, folk and rock bands and began to compose. He gained a Trinity College diploma in piano performance in 1967 and a Bachelor of Music degree from Edinburgh University in 1969. He then studied in London on a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music with Alan Bush and James Blades. He was a prize-winning student, notably the 1970 Royal Philharmonic Society Award for his orchestral work Xumbu-Ata, which was broadcast by the BBC. Pert’s other orchestral compositions include ‘Missa Festiva’ for choir and orchestra, ‘Omega Centauri’ for chamber orchestra and tape, ‘Sun Dragon’ for large orchestra and tape, ‘Sonores’ for solo piano, ‘Andromeda Link’ for solo violin and tape, ‘Eoastrion Op.30’ for E-flat clarinet, piano and tape, ‘The Rising of the Moon’ for large orchestra, ‘The Beltane Rites’ for orchestra, ‘The Ancient Kindred’ for orchestra, ‘Ancient Rites’ for choir and orchestra, ‘Chromosphere’ for five players and tape, ‘The Ultimate Decay’ for tape, ‘The Book of Love’ for percussion and tape, and incidental music for the Young Vic Theatre’s production of Macbeth, Peter Pan and The Tempest.
As a rock musician Pert spent two years (1970–1972) with Japanese percussionist Stomu Yamashta as a member of his ensembles “East Wind” and “Red Buddha Theatre”. In 1971 he founded the group “Come to the Edge” with Robin Thompson and Andrew Powell. After personnel changes in 1973 this band became “Sun Treader” (or “Suntreader”) and recorded two albums. In 1977 Pert joined the jazz-rock band Brand X for their second album, composing three numbers for their ‘Masques album’. He stayed with the band, touring extensively, until 1979.
As a session musician he played with many musicians, including Paul McCartney, Andrew Lloyd Webber, John Williams, Mike Oldfield, Sally Oldfield, Peter Gabriel, Peter Hammill, Jon Anderson, Elvis Costello, Bryan Ferry and Talk Talk. For Kate Bush, he played percussion on Kite, Strange Phenomena, Wuthering Heights, Breathing and The Big Sky, Boo Bams on the song Room For The Life and timpani on the song All We Ever Look For.
Pert died on 27 April 2010 at his home in Balchrick, Scotland at the age of 62.