For violin, improvising drummer, with optional string quartet. Commissioned by Vancouver New Music in 2007 for Marc Destrubé and Kenton Loewen. Can the power of music overcome and calm the forces of negativity? I think good musicians should be able to play together. Marc is a fantastic "classical" violinist, Kenton is a fantastic improvising rock drummer. I like putting musicians together who at first glance would seem incompatible. So Marc and Kenton meet in my piece Burn. In the Vancouver New Music show where Burn had its premiere we brought the other musical interests of Marc and Kenton to fill out the program. The Axelrod Quartet, of which Marc is the leader played Beethoven, and the Pissed Off Wild, in which Kenton is the drummer played some of their songs. String quartet and rock band in the same show? Uncommon on the concert stage, but normal on your iPod. I don’t have a good audio recording with the actual performers yet, so this is a ‘virtual’ recording of the piece.

Here is a link to the video of the first performance of Burn 3. This forms part of a tutorial I did for 10 Essentials , where I described how to use various pieces of software in composing this piece.

Burn (virtual performance) 


Burn 1

Burn 2

Burn 3

Burn 4

Burn 5

I've also made a version of two movements of Burn for the Canadian recorder player Terri Hron. I've called this version Brule. Here is Terri playing Brule on her CD Bird on a Wire.


Brule score



Needles was written in 1995 for the Winnipeg-based ensemble 4play. The work is my attempt at simulating a musical journey through thought processes- how your mind follows one path for a while, then at some point you are suddenly thinking about something else without exactly knowing how you got there. The title NEEDLES is not a reference to my new neighborhood in Vancouver, but is a small town on the border of California, Nevada and Arizona that claims to be the hottest spot in the continental USA.

’With so many contemporary com-posers out to baffle listeners with abstractions that often fly above their heads, it is always comforting to find a relief from pretentiousness in the music of Vancouver’s Peter Hannan. This is not to suggest that Hannan deals exclusively in levity. In matters of musical architecture, he approaches his craft with seriousness, but seldom with the gravitas to be found in many au courant works. This turned out to be true of Needles, a fleeting piano quartet that the composer wrote in 1995, and that opened this first concert in Standing Wave’s current season. It is a blithe score in which Hannan achieved exactly what he set out to do. In his own words, that was "to stimulate a musical journey through thought processes-how your mind follows one path for a while, then at some point you are suddenly thinking about something else". Pianist Marguerite Witvoet, violinist Sheila McDonald, cellist Peggy Lee, and clarinetist Francois Houle brought off its dancelike rhythms and quirky tunes with extraordinary virtuosity and finesse." The Georgia Straight December 14 2000



(4play, Winnipeg, December 1995. Lori Freedman, clarinet, David Stewart, violin, Amanda Forsyth, cello, and John Hess, piano)


for clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and piano was commissioned in 2000 by the Standing Wave ensemble. This piece is about the dynamic of duos , and since the piece is written for Standing Wave, the duos might express something about the dynamic between individuals in the group. It is also a tempo continuum - the machine: each new tempo is in a rational proportion to the preceding tempo ranging from dead slow to (slightly fast) heartbeat to dark breakbeat.

Your Ghost: My Machine 

(Standing Wave, Vancouver, November 2001. Francois Houle, clarinet; Rebecca Whitling, violin; Peggy Lee, cello; Lauri Lyster, percussion; Marguerite Witvoet ,piano.)


for saxophone quartet was commissioned in 1998 by the 40 Fingers sax quartet in Toronto. The piece is in 5 sections.

Fast Truck Bop 1

Fast Truck Bop 2

Fast Truck Bop 3

Fast Truck Bop 4

Fast Truck Bop 5

(performance by Saxophilia , Vancouver, November 2000