Meet Kristian Sharpe, teacher at SF Garnish & who has been teaching at dBs Music Bristol’s FE centre since 2015, delivering lessons across live sound engineering, music production, MIDI and audio sequencing, music industry and acoustics.
Kristian’s love for making music began on the Optigan, an optical keyboard, similar to a Hammond Organ. Having developed keyboard skills before he hit double figures, Kristian went on to complete several grades on the cello and then started playing the drums in secondary school.
Around the time Kristian discovered the drums he was also introduced to Cubase on an Atari ST, a MIDI sequencing software package, and soon discovered the world of making music using computers and synths. The passion evolved and he steadily became a sought-after drummer in the city of Plymouth, going on to play in several bands, tour Northern Europe, and sign a deal with an independent record label.
Kristian’s interest in music production and composition continued to make great strides, culminating in his founding of The Propagation House Recording Studios in 1998, a full board residential recording studio in North Devon that has hosted clients such as James Sanger (Dido / Keane / Appleton Sisters), Klaxons, Hundred Reasons, The Levellers and more.
In 2000 Kristian chose to leave the North Devon studio in search of new pastures, city life and new contacts, and found himself working in Edge Studios in the heart of Plymouth. It was also around this time that Kristian joined London-based band, Rushmore, which resulted in a number of gigs to industry bods in London, where he was later introduced to UK producer Mike Spencer, who he worked alongside on the production of Liz Horsman’s album ‘Roaming’ released on The Red Club.
The next stage in Kristian’s musical journey took him to Livewire Youth Project, where he worked as the in-house engineer for their recording studios. The project brought free music lessons and recording studios to the young people of Cornwall, where Kristian also taught drums in lots of schools as a peripatetic tutor, working for IMS.
It was around this time in 2007 that Kristian studied a degree in music at The University of Plymouth, which saw him become an associate lecturer there after graduating, where he still occasionally delivers lectures in Sound and Music to Motion Picture and Music Technology alongside his work at dBs Music.
Outside of the studio and the classroom, Kristian has been lucky enough to perform on stage with many wonderful artists such as Joss Stone and James Eller (The the / The Pretenders) and has continued to enjoy a career both on stage and in the studio as a freelance musician/producer.
In 2012 he integrated production and percussion skills and performed under the name of ‘The Dubstep Drummer’. Using Ableton Live and drum triggering, Kristian performs a completely live set of heavy beats, agile melodies, and soaring soundscapes. Kristian was also a key member in the ensemble during Eden Project’s ‘Festival of Light and Sound’ undertaking the roles of co-producer, ambisonic playback management, and electronic drummer for a series of twenty-three dates that brought lasers and surround-sound vocal and string orchestras to a mesmerized public.
To this day Kristian has accrued a list of releases on Catskills Records, Sony BMG, and Lo Recordings, to name a few, and when he’s not teaching or performing, Kristian enjoys making deep, wonky lo-fi dubby grooves, the wobblier and wonkier, the better.