My name is Pete, I am an "Italian from Glasgow, Scotland" (home call MM0TWX) and I have been living in Geneva, Switzerland, for well over 10 years. I am a university professor, teaching disaster risk reduction to graduate and doctoral students.
I am also a professional recording and performing musician, however. A George Benson-style smooth jazz guitarist, for many years I've been almost exclusively a studio artist.The music I composed, recorded and produced together with my wife, Scottish major labels singer Angela Higney, has appeared on some 200,000 CDs worldwide to date and I have written the soundtrack for two award-winning mountaineering documentaries.
Then, the new millennium brought about the demise of the recording industry. The two record labels we were signed to went out of business, and that may well have been the end of my professional involvement in music. Mercifully, I was able to completely "recycle" myself on the live performances scene. Since 2009, I have been playing an almost incredible average 120 live gigs per year. I mostly play small clubs - and I don't make any real money - but I also happen to perform at big festivals. What's important for me, though, is that I share the stage with absolutely extraordinary, mostly Brazilian artists. Over the years I have been the lead guitarist for Maico Pagnano, Diego Gadenz, Grupo Sambaiao and, especially, Brazilian superstar Diana Miranda. Playing music at this level, night in and night out, is in itself the greatest reward.In the video below, you can see me with the great Brazilian singer/songwriter Diego Gadenz, performing at a major jazz festival.
My ham radio passion has taken many forms during the last 30 years. I have had my fair excitement of HF DXing and contesting - including operating from a few DX locations (S79, J3, 4J, 4L, 9Q5, 4U1UN, 4U1ITU) - but I always liked wandering around the many sectors of the hobby. I hold the DXCC Honor Roll, the 5BDXCC, 160 DXCC and I have 198 zones confirmed for the 5BWAZ. I have done quite a bit of satellite work and VHF weak signals, particularly meteorscatter.
Currently, my streamlined, super-high-tech HF setup includes a double-rx Flex 5000 and an Expert 1K-FA solid state PA. An IC-970H provides for VHF/UHF and an IC706MKII for operating mobile. Antennas are quite simple at the moment: two full-size delta loops, one for 20 and one for 40 metres.
Besides ham radio, my other hobby/passion/obsession is mountaineering. Living for the most part of the year in Geneva is a mountaineer's dream: you have literally hundreds of high-altitude, spectacular rock, ice and mixed routes within one hour driving from home. That makes a bit of a change from Scotland, where you have to drive for hours to get to the bottom of any serious hill, whereby serious means a height of about 3,000 feet (just above 1,000 meters). And when you get there, it usually rains.
For many years now I have been practically an CW ONLY operator, both for DX'ing and for ragchewing, something I enjoy more and more.
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