By Lauren Jelicic
Ryerson’s “one minute mile man” has reached his destination, and he’s ready to stop and take a breath after months of hectic scheduling.
Peter Katz, a fourth-year theatre student, is preparing for the spring release of his debut album, The One Minute Mile Man. The 14-track CD is a compilation of songs written and performed by Katz, who describes his style as a mix of theatrical jazz, blues and folk.
“It’s an acoustic album with some violin and a lot of harmonies,” says Katz. “And the acoustic guitar is what I love, it’s my style.”
The album itself has been in the works for almost two years, but a demanding school schedule and running his own company, Shape-of-a-Boy Productions, which showcases new works from performers, forced Katz to postpone making the CD several times.
“I’ve wanted to record for a long time and I got fed up with putting it off,” he said. “I decided that I had to get this done, so I cleared my schedule.”
For the last two months, Katz has been working nonstop alongside his producer, Christopher Baron. But recording wasn’t always easy. For 14 days straight, Katz worked until the early morning hours to perfect and complete the album. After that, it took a month to put together the CD booklet. The process, he said, was at times tedious and intense.
“I would be there in a tiny room, with no circulation, staring at my fingers, on take 45, trying to get it right. At certain points, it was difficult not to screw up,” he said.
The title of the album, The One Minute Mile Man, also took some time to coin. Katz, who thought of it while driving in his car one day, is still somewhat unsure of its meaning.
“I just started thinking about what it would be like to all of a sudden be the fastest runner in the world. No physical change, no training, no nothing — just all of a sudden you’re the fastest runner in the world. The cover of magazines, on television, Olympic gold medals. What would that be like? If you had never cared about running, never cared about being famous, never wanted any of those things, but they were suddenly thrust upon you and you were expected to be so happy about it, how would you feel?”
Katz hopes he can find the answers to some of these questions in the near future. But for now, he remains focused on performing frequently and promoting his company.
The completion of The One Minute Mile Man was definitely a relief for Katz and it is gaining publicity as the date of its release approaches.
In celebration of the new album, Shape-of-a-Boy Productions is hosting a release party March 5 at Reilly’s Bar and Grill on Yonge Street.
The party is geared toward the Ryerson community and features a performance by Katz and an opening act by fellow Ryerson student and friend Matt Hryhorsky. Katz is scheduled to play a one and-a-half hour set. A band will accompany him for most of the night, but to keep the root vibe, he’ll play a few solo songs. Tickets are $10 at the door (including the CD) or $5 for just the show. Doors open at 9 p.m.