The GM spotlight was focused on sampling pioneer/lap steel dulcimer player, J.A. “Dino” Deane in the Instant Takemitsu post a few years ago. It seemed appropriate to spend more time with him on the eve of his new release Zen Noir, on which he directs the Out of Context Electric Guitar Choir, made up of six guitarists and two percussionists, using a method called Conduction.
Conduction, developed by the late cornetist/composer Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, is a vocabulary of signs and gestures transmitted by a conductor to an orchestra, providing instantaneous possibilities for altering or initiating harmony, melody, rhythm, articulation, phrasing or form—a kind of middle path between notation and improvisation. Given that Conduction is all about gesture, it made sense to post my Skype interview with Deane, so he could demonstrate some of the signs employed. I urge you to check out this video where he explains how this new method of music performance works and expounds brilliantly on a variety of musical subjects. He was also kind enough to revisit the GM questionnaire and provide an update on his live performance gear.
What led you to create more non-mainstream music?
It was a combination of the music I was listening to in the early ‘70s (Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Gil Evans, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Igor Stravinsky, Joni Mitchell), and relocating to San Francisco, where I got very involved in the free jazz, theater, dance, and world music scenes. I felt like I was attending this amazing music school of life experience, taking classes in each of these thriving and diverse communities of creation.
What music inspires you? Past and Present.
I have always, and continue, to be inspired by music that has heart, conviction, and a point of view, played by people who’s purpose in life is to be that music. The style or genre really doesn’t matter.
How did you get better at your current style?
You have to figure out (define) what music is for you, and then you have to commit to it. You have to live in that world, regardless of what is going on around you. If the music you’re playing doesn’t bring you joy—what are you doing? If it does bring you joy, then it’s all you can do. You really have to find your unique path and then commit.
What are you trying convey with your music?
I am really trying to provide an opportunity for the listener to go on a personal journey. That has been my goal for some time now. Music/structured sonic information, is pure magic and has the potential to allow the listener to experience a state of wonder. That is where I want to go, and that is where I want to take the listener.
Which do you enjoy more: recording or playing live and why?
There really isn’t a separation between the two for me anymore. I record just about everything (I always have), and every time I play is a performance. The only thing that varies is how many people are in the room. I’m not trying to be glib; I honestly try to view every time I play as if it’s the last.
Which instruments, amps, effects, plug-ins and software do you use to create your music, and why?
I have always played instruments from the wind, string, keyboard, percussion, and electronic families, and now I have added the baton (Conduction). Ultimately, they are all just tools, and it really comes down to what you do with whatever set of instruments you choose.
That said, at this point in time my tool set has evolved into this configuration based on a combination of sound, flexibility, build, and travel-ability. I don’t think of this rig as a collection of gear, but rather as a single instrument.
This Lap Steel Dulcimer (by Quintin Stephens) has the electronics of a Line 6 modeling guitar in the bridge and a pick-up in the nut.
A National Lap Steel Guitar (modified by Yozo Suzuki) with 4 strings, a single string bender, humbuckers in the bridge and the nut, and a kill switch
This Uni-Flute (by Windy Dankoff) is a shakuhachi style wind instrument but unlike the shakuhachi is chromatic.
This is my current Sampler/Live-Sampling performance rig:
* Roland SP-404-SX sampler
* Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface plus a Belkin powered USB hub
* An Ipad2 running: Audiobus, Samplr, ThumbJam, BeatHawk, and Loopy
* Akai MPK mini and Korg nanoKey (as controllers)
Pedalboard: signal flows right to left
Black Arts Toneworks (custom) Ritual/Pharaoh dual fuzz > EHX Slammi polyphonic pitch shifter> DOD FX-17 wah/volume > Fulltone OCD overdrive/distortion > Boss DD-20 delay/ looper (mono output to amp 1) > Pigtronix Infinity looper (a DIY controller for the Infinity Looper on a stand) > Zoom MS70 CDR multi effects (stereo out to amps 2 & 3).
With whom would you like to collaborate and why?
I recently moved to Colorado and am finding my way into this new musical community. I have a duo called DSD with a great drummer/percussionist, Shawn Medeiros and we are just starting to take it out of the shed and up on stage.
My goal now is to pull together maybe a dozen musicians from this area to form a Conduction ensemble. I had a great ensemble in New Mexico Out Of Context that explored Conduction for 15 years. So I am very interested in collaborating with musicians here who want to go on a truly rewarding journey into a world of real-time collaborative composition. It is a ride like no other.
I am also doing more Conduction workshops nationally and internationally. It is a real joy and very rewarding to collaborate with musicians in different locations, with different backgrounds and abilities. My next one is in Austin Liminal Sound Series in Austin, Texas, put together by my good friend Bob Hoffnar (pedal steel).
What is your latest project? When will it be available and where can people in different parts of the world get it?
As I stated earlier, I record a lot. Every once and a while events just sync up and a number of things become available at the same time. That just happened, so here is the what and the Where.
Zen Noir is the guitar choir.
GUITARISTS : (panned from left to right)
GUITAR Mid-’70s Gibson SG
PICKUPS 1 stock pickup, 1 DiMarzio Super Distortion pickup
EFFECTS Fulltone BassDrive > EHX Holy Grail Plus reverb > Boss DD-20 > Copilot FX Antennae 2 ( LoFi ring modulation, Sample Reduction and near theremin sounds) > EHX 2880 Looper > Boss DD-20 delay > Ernie Ball Volume
AMP Gibson Skylark
GUITAR 1974 Gibson ES-175D
PICKUPS Stock Gibson ’57 Classic Humbuckers
EFFECTS Morley Pro Series Volume > Dunlap Crybaby 535 >
AMP Polytone Mini Brute II
GUITAR 1962 Sears Silvertone
PICKUPS 1 lipstick pickup
EFFECTS EHX Holy Grail Plus > Homebrew Electronics Tramp tremelo/pre-amp > Effects Section of the Boss 303 sampler
AMP 1973 Fender Champ
GUITAR Ibanez AH 10
PICKUPS Custom AH Special
EFFECTS Fractal AXE FX 2 > Boss RC 20 XL
AMP Music Man 112 RD
GUITAR Mid- ’60s Harmony Rocket
PICKUPS original single-coil pickup
EFFECTS Boss Tuner > Ernie Ball Volume > Radial Tonebone >
EHX Freeze > EHX Micro POG > Digitech Whammy > TC Electronics Flashback 4X
AMP Gibson Skylark Amp (late-’60s)
GUITAR – Fernandes Les Paul with glass mirror fretless fingerboard,
Improvised tuning with 2 bass and 4 guitar strings
PICKUPS Stock humbucker bridge and sustainer/humbucker neck
EFFECTS Boss TU-2 Tuner > Boss GE-7 EQ > Devi Ever Hyperion > TC Electronics Flashback > Cusack More Louder Boost > Fulltone OCD > Boss TR-2 Tremolo > EHX Frequency Analyzer > EHX Micro Pog > EHX Memory Boy with EV-5 Expression pedal > EXH Q-tron Envelope Filter > EHX Bass Balls > EHX Freeze >Ernie Ball Volume
AMP Fender Blues Junior
The release of Zen Noir is the official opening of the High Mayhem download store. It’s the first of 31 releases from the archives over the next 31 days, including three titles of mine
2/25/15: 1″=25miles / OOC
3/1/15: Taiji Pole
3/2/15: WNMM / OOC
Hipsample can be downladed and listened to here.
For a limited time you can buy Hipsample and get Without Desires free. Forward PayPal receipt for download purchase to firstname.lastname@example.org, type Without Desires in the email, and it will be sent to you within 48 hours.
Instant Takemitsu is a multi-media trio composed of Dino J.A. Deane – Lap Steel, Sampler & Electronics: Tim Motzer – Guitars & Electronics: Dejha Ti – Visuals
SHAPESHIFTERS can be downloaded and listened to here.
You can go to this link to get the backstory on all of this.