Born in 1953 in Openshaw, Manchester Peter McGarr studied Music and Dance at Mather College and is self-taught in Composition. For several years he taught steel pan, achieving the Outstanding Performance Award from Music for Youth, for his steel band Orchestral Steel. He has been nominated as Music Teacher of the Year at the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship. He was also presented with the George Butterworth Award for contemporary music from the Society for the Promotion of New Music.
In Dry Stone Walls of Yorkshire, live performers combine with a pre-recorded soundtrack to evoke the atmosphere, sounds and memories of this landscape. Parts of the soundtrack are field recordings made on and around Saddleworth Moor. It had i's UK premiere on the 23 October 2012 at St Leonards Church, Shoreditch, London. Performed by CoMA London Ensemble. It was commissioned for CoMA by Howard Jones, Artistic Director of Open Score 2012.