Live Stage: J.A. Deane and David Dunn [us Santa Fe]

david1.jpgimage: David Dunn J.A. Deane and David Dunn in “an evening of expansive sonorities” :: May 8, 2010; 8:00 pm :: SF_X (Santa Fe Complex), Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Utilizing new electroacoustic instruments of their own design, J.A. Deane and David Dunn present an evening of expansive sonorities that explore leading edge improvisation and scientific sonification. Combining their unique skills ‘as significant figures in multiple contemporary music traditions (jazz, free improvisation, classical new music, electroacoustic composition, sound art, biomusic, early music, world music, and microtonal performance), this duo presents music that draws upon new understandings of both ancient and modern insights into the fundamental nature of sound to effect human consciousness.

Also featured is the premiere of 4 Plus 4, an 8 channel collaborative sound piece by Philip Mantione and Martin Back. Each will precompose 4 channels of sound in a blind collaboration to be mixed live for the first time.

Deane performs upon a one-of-a-kind “lapsteel dulcimer” whose design is informed by the traditional Chinese qin, modern Western amplified plucked-string guitars, and the most recent innovations in digital modeling of string acoustics. Essentially the instrument is comprised of three monochords playable in both directions with an amazing arsenal of novel techniques. The resultant sound can also be modified through a palette of powerful signal processing devices.

Dunn uses a novel set of non-linear chaotic oscillators capable of generating an infinite variety of “auditory behaviors” emergent from their status as autonomous electronic systems. Based upon the theory of “biological autonomy” and new principles in cognitive science, these circuits represent an alternative design philosophy for the creation of electronic sound synthesis. More akin to living systems than information processing devices, these circuits produce a dazzling assortment of complex noises and pure tones that emerge as a type of self-organizing machine conversation. The resultant textures provide a stream of constantly changing sonic worlds for Deane to imitate, challenge, submerge into, or redirect. Together, these musicians and instruments interact to produce some of the most imaginative and challenging soundscapes in contemporary music. All of the final sounds will be heard through a state-of-the-art, 8-channel surround sound system.


J.A. Deane has appeared on recordings with Ike & Tina Turner, Brian Eno and John Zorn, while producing an equally diverse range of his own music for both large and small ensembles. Deane pioneered the use of “Live Electronics & looping” (playing trombone with Indoor Life and Butch Morris) and “Live Sampling” (playing electro-acoustic percussion with Jon Hassell). He has created theatrical sound designs for writer/directors Sam Shepard, Joseph Chaikin, Julie Hebert, Christoph Marthaler, and Theater Grottesco, winning critical acclaim in the United States and Europe. He has also composed and recorded music for over fifty dance works in collaboration with choreographer Colleen Mulvihill. Deane has appeared as a musician throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia, working with Butch Morris in his Conduction projects since 1985 (Conduction #3). In 1996, Deane moved to New Mexico where he works with a number of ensembles including the acclaimed Out of Context conduction ensemble. Out of Context has performed a real-time score to the classic 1932 silent film “Peter Pan”, a concert at the Georgia O’Keeffe museum “playing” the photographs of Edward Weston, a concert “playing” the book – 1” = 25 Miles, by Sumner Carnahan, a theatrical score for Theater Grottesco’s Wenomadmen, released 4 critically acclaimed CDs, and contributed new signs and gestures to the Conduction Lexicon. In 1999 Deane began researching Human BioAcoustics, Five-Element Theory, harmonics and non-locality, exploring connections between the meridian system and the body’s natural ability to come into energetic balance through the use of low frequency sound waves.

David Dunn is a composer who performs, lectures and engages in site-specific interactions and research-oriented activities. Much of his current work is focused upon the development of listening strategies and technologies for environmental sound monitoring in both aesthetic and scientific contexts. He was an assistant to the legendary American composer Harry Partch and remained active as a performer in the Harry Partch Ensemble for over a decade. Other mentors included composers Kenneth Gaburo and Pauline Oliveros, in addition to Polish theater director Jerzy Grotowski. He has worked in a wide variety of audio media inclusive of traditional and experimental music, installations for public exhibitions, video and film soundtracks, radio broadcasts, and bioacoustic research. His compositions and soundscape recordings have appeared in over 500 international forums over five continents. Besides his multiple books, recordings and soundtracks, he has been anthologized in over 50 books and journals and been the recipient of over 35 grants and fellowships for both artistic and scientific research. Dunn was the recipient of the prestigious Alpert Award for Music in 2005 and the Henry Cowell Award from the American Music Center in 2007.

Philip Mantione


Apr 7, 2010
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