While most of us dream.....engineers do!
Born and raised in the Netherlands to musical parents, Emile Pesik had to fight for his place in Sound Engineering, he got there, but it was not an easy journey.
Emile Pesik texts to say he is waiting outside the Hop pub in Forest Hill. It's 12.30 pm London time, a sunny but chilly February day. The bar is nice and quiet with plenty of free seats to choose from. Emile is looking enthusiastic, his facial expression is curious and welcoming. Emile begins by telling how things began. "The household where I grew up in the Netherlands was always playing music, it was a necessity and my parents were very musical." As Emile began his teenage years he noticed himself beginning to observe music more critically and could spot poor quality recordings and bad mixes."I was developing my critical ear it became intense and I started spending alot of money on music."
He left school in 1989 not knowing quite what direction to go in. "My parents advised me to take a year out and think about what I wanted to do, I took employment selling white goods and then worked in a computer shop for four years. During this time I decided to enrol in a sound engineer-production course. The course was very hands on with bands creating demos. It was during this course I realised that this was definitely what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be, not just as a hobby, but as a career."
Due to financial circumstances the dream was put on hold and in 1994 Emile moved to Switzerland from his native Netherlands to work in Tech support-IT. Emile was frustrated at just doing mundane work to pay the bills and realised that if he was going to seriously fulfill his dream of becoming a ft engineer, he would have to take some brave risks and relocate. "I always loved London and felt at home here when visiting at an early age, I luckily had a job offer here in IT come up and I packed my bags."
London was great to be in but once again Emile found himself stuck in IT, he was in the right place, but the wrong job that was taking up all of his time. After afew years he quit IT and claimed Unemployment Benefit so that he had more time to focus on sound engineering."Ideally I wanted to become a producer, it really appealed to me the idea of taking a bands dream and turning it into a reality, I knew I would have to be living on less money and be in poverty for a while in order to have more free time to dedicate to it."
Emile began a plan of action, he made contact with a professional sound engineer named Andy through a friend and asked if he could become his assistant.The answer was a yes and in August 2005 he began as assistant at 333 Mother Bar in Hoxton. "A dive with character, I was advised to just watch on my first night. The first very important lesson I learned was how to coil leads correctly because if wrapped them incorrectly, the inner strands will become weak and break. My assisting became a weekly thing and I was very keen to learn, it was a win win. I was learning for free and Andy had an assistant for free."
Emile needed to earn a living and again he went back to work in IT. The sound engineering assisting part time kept him sane and gave him hope. "it was a lifeline, something to look forward to away from the boring nine to five." Andy had faith in Emiles capabilities and before long Emile found himself being left by himself to mix. A big opportunity presented itself and Emile was asked by Andy to attend a three day musical event in west London and that he would be paid to do it. "Luckily my full time employer was ok about it and let me go, I learned alot in those 3 days."
In 2009 Emile began assisting at Zenith Bar in Islington and was left to work by himself alot more. "At first I was out of my comfort zone, and it was scary but I knew I had to do it, it was a huge confidence builder and I felt Independent, " he says with a smile. Unfortunately the slot at Zenith Bar ended due to it being offered to another engineer.
Not long after things began to look up again, Andy had been promoted to head sound engineer, another engineer retired which gave Emile a spot with "proper work at a proper venue named the Hope & Anchor where I felt happy and back in my comfort zone I found myself working on a digital mixing desk in which I had no experience but my IT skills really helped." Emile became comfortable working with both digital and analogue thus learning both sides of the coin.
Through the Hope & Anchor, Emile then went on to working with a band named 'Factory Dolls' at their live gigs "It was very scary when I found out I would be doing a 400 capacity venue but I like to push myself." Emile currently works with a band Named 'Fjokra'. "The lead singer had texted me in regard to working with them at a festival.I love this band because they are professional and have ambition, I want to be around bands that aim high because I aim high," he smiles.
Emile offers some advice to up and coming sound engineers "Take any work offered to you, even if it is not your thing, you will learn new skills, and always be polite to everyone you meet, it's called karma."