Steve Peters was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and raised in the suburbs of southern California. He graduated from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where he studied music composition, worked at KAOS-FM, and played in rock bands. He wrote for OP Magazine and other publications, and with Rich Jensen produced Snapshot Radio, a monthly three-hour radio program devoted solely to the sounds of daily life.
In the mid-1980s Peters lived in New York City, playing mainly improvised music in the East Village. He also began working with dancers, and attended performance workshops with members of Meredith Monk’s company The House.
Moving to Santa Fé, New Mexico in 1988, he and Jonathan Scheuer soon co-founded Nonsequitur, a non-profit organization publishing recordings of experimental music and audio art. Abandoning the style of music he had played in New York, Steve recorded environmental sounds in the mountains and high desert, made radio art, recorded with singer Marghreta Cordero as Dueto Le Mômo, and was a member of Gamelan Encantada.
Moving to Albuquerque in 1993, he hosted radio programs on KUNM-FM, collaborated with choreographer Lane Lucas, and scored a documentary about painter Agnes Martin. Performing solo and with others, he developed a more subdued style of improvising with an array of small instruments, amplified natural/found objects, voice, field recordings, and electronics. This led to a more direct engagement with landscape and place, evolving into the site-specific sound environments that have since become his main focus.
Steve returned to the Northwest in 2004. He currently oversees the Wayward Music Series at the Chapel Performance Space in Seattle, works as a freelance producer, writer, and curator, and performs with the Seattle Phonographers Union. Some of his notable recent projects include producing the soundtrack album for the feature film Winter’s Bone, and attending a three-week Binaural artist residency in Nodar, Portugal. His solo work has been released on labels such as Palace of Lights, Cold Blue, Dragon’s Eye, La Alameda Press, OO Discs, and SIRR.