Becoming Music: Conduction and Improvisation by Dino J.A. Deane

Dino J.A. Deane is a fascinating musician. Though not a guitarist, he occasionally plays some interesting stringed instruments. Better known as a pioneer of live sampling, Deane has played with John Zorn, Butch Morris, Jon Hassell, and Tina Turner. His book Becoming Music: Conduction and Improvisation focuses on the art of conduction, the process of, to put it simply, using the playing of live musicians as samples to create improvised music. Along the way the book imparts essential wisdom to any musician interested in the art of improvisation, or simply being in the moment. A must read, it is available from the merch section of Deane’s Bandcamp page.

Here is a terrific interview Deane did with Instant Takemitsu partner and recent GM interviewee Tim Motzer.


J.A.Deane’s Guitar Choir

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.

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