The Savannah Morning News had following article on Stewart Copeland, entitled “Escaping from the Police”.
Stewart Copeland says he likes “to renew my virginity as often as possible.” Don’t call the supermarket tabloids. The man’s speaking metaphorically. Art and creativity, you know.
“I love doing new things,” Copeland said. “If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll do it different from somebody who’s done it several hundred times.”
Tonight, he’s trying something new at the Savannah Music Festival, joining violinist Daniel Hope and pianist Sebastian Knauer on the stage of the Trustees Theater to play the world premiere of his “Celeste.” The piece is named for one of his daughters.
“I’ll be there with my drum kit to ruin it,” says Copeland.
Hardly. Since his heyday with The Police, when he, Sting, and Andy Summers achieved mega-platinum, arena-rock celebrity, Copeland’s carved a lively career out of writing movie scores, operas, even ballets.
One of his biggest fans is Daniel Hope. Hope’s an eminent musician, at home on the planet’s famed symphonic stages, intimate with the thorniest passages of Bartók and Bach. At the age of 10, he was playing classics on British TV.
And he grew up loving The Police.
“I was obsessed with them when I was a kid,” he said. “To have a chance to work with Stewart is a dream come true. It’s just an incredible experience.”
The two met several years ago through a German TV show, “Durch die Nacht mit…” (Through the Night With…). The series introduces noted folks who were previously strangers; in their episode, Copeland showed Hope around Los Angeles, where he lives now.
During the show’s taping, Hope had the chance to jam with two-thirds of The Police – Stewart and Summers.
“It was an unforgettable experience,” he said.
Stewart had a great time, too. Soon he and Hope were talking of a musical collaboration.
“Stewart’s such an erudite musician, so open to learning about other forms of music,” Hope said. The piece premiering tonight, he said, is “very rhythmic, very funky. It has a wonderful feel to it, a dance feel. This is very much a departure for me. I’m very excited about this.”
In the composition, said Copeland, he’s trying to give Hope a chance to shine. “I want to make the violinist look like he’s the god of the violin,” he said. ”
The audience will hear several other pieces by Copeland. He’ll perform “Gene Pool” with three other percussionists. Several other compositions will be played by a 17-member orchestra assembled for the occasion.
“I’m really going to enjoy Savannah,” Copeland said. The experience, he said, should offer some relief from what he calls his “day job” – the reunion tour with The Police.
That tour has been wildly successful. Cranking out “Roxanne” and “Every Breath You Take” for audiences around the world since last year, the trio has hauled in more cash than most OPEC countries. After a break of several months, the band will hit the road again in May.
“It’s good for me, I guess, to be just out there playing the drums,” Copeland said. “But collaborating instead of dictating has been both a blessing and a curse. All three of us have been masters of the universe and lords of our own domains for the last 20 years. We appreciate each other and we bring out the best in each other. We also drive each other nuts.”
The whole Police tour, he said, is “simply an enormous enterprise, 50 trucks of equipment and all that. If I dent my pinkie, it’s of massive importance to a great many people.”
His time away from the tour, he said, lets him “rediscover myself as a musician. Savannah will be great for me. I get to feel the excitement again of doing something new.”
Sting and Summers, he said, “will always be part of me, and we’re deeply bonded as friends. But we know that, musically, we’re on different planets.”