Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Dean, Roger (Thorton)
Dean, Roger (Thorton), composer, pianist, bass, computer artist, author; b. Manchester, UK, 6 September 1958. Grew up in Ledbury (Herefordshire) and Gloucester, (UK). His parents were Cyril Thornton Dean (b. 1895, d.1963) and Kathleen Ida Dean (b. 1920, d.2002). He studied the contrabass with Eugene Cruft in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and privately (1962-1968).
After graduating from Cambridge University, UK, obtained a PhD in biochemistry, before moving to London to pursue music more intensively, while continuing a career in scientific research. Founded the creative ensemble LYSIS in 1975. In December 1988, he moved to Sydney, Australia, becoming an Australian citizen in 1992 (and holding dual nationality). He continued his careers in music and science, transforming LYSIS into austraLYSIS, and focusing increasingly on computer-interactive electro- and acoustic music and intermedia. In 2002 he also became Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Canberra, Australia.
He has performed in the mainstream of British modern jazz, as pianist with Graham Collier Music since 1974; and in freer improvisation in Europe with the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra, the Hoarded Dreams Band of Graham Collier; and numerous small groups including his own LYSIS. Since living in Australia, he has evolved his ensemble austraLYSIS into a cutting edge computer-interactive and networked improvising band, as well as being involved in multimedia work, particularly that involving real time manipulation of text and image, together with sound. austraLYSIS has performed in 30 countries.
He has worked with a very wide range of jazz musicians internationally, such as Arild Andersen, Derek Bailey, Connie Bauer, Ted Curson, Jim Denley, Barry Guy, Palle Mikkelborg. Paul Rutherford, Terje Rypdal, Tomas Stanko, Cathie Stobart, and Eje Thelin. Together with his partner, writer Hazel Smith he has explored new ways to combine music and text, recently extending this to embrace interactive hypermedia possibilities, for web and cd-rom. Improvisation has remained prominent, and he has delved deeply into computer-interactive comprovisation, using patches written in Max for the austraLYSIS Electroband. His key collaborators in the Electroband are saxophonist Sandy Evans and sound manipulator Greg White. In 1997 he rejoined forces with Graham Collier in the Jazz Ensemble. He has written two books on improvisation processes, and a third (with Smith) developing a theoretical framework and detailed analysis of improvisation across the arts since 1945.
Lysis Live (1976); Cycles (1977); Dualyses (1978); Lysis Plus (1979); Superimpositions (1980); Arc of Light (1981); The Wings of the Whale (1987); Moving the Landscapes (1992); Windows in Times (1994); The Next Room (1995); Australian Piano Miniatures (1994); Poet without Language (1994);
Network Vol 1 (1995); Assembly, Australian Computer Music Association Vol 2 (1995); Nuraghic Echoes (1996); Music Now (1996); A Day in the life of the Clarinet (1996); The Chris Mann Project (1997); The Jackson Mac Low Festschrift CD (1997); Present Tense (1997); Walking the Faultlines (1996-7); What Is Music? (1998); Cyberquilt (1999) Hope (includes Dean's Hope: The Spear and The Boat) (1999); Trace (includes Dean's Traces of Reason (1999); Lysis Lives : ReSounding in the Mirror (2000); Acouslytic (2000); Uluru (2001); Poet without Language (excerpt by Hazel Smith and Roger Dean of 'Homo Sonorus') (2001); International Anthology of Sound Poetry (2001); Network Sounds, New Music Network New Music From Australia (2002); Chaconne Brass: We Are Not Alone (includes Dean's Flying for Brass Qunitet) (2001)
Graham Collier: Midnight Blue (1975), New Conditions (1976), Symphony of Scorpions (1977), The Day of the Dead (1978) Tryptych (1978), Something British (1985), The Third Colour (1998); John Wallace: The Solo Trumpet (1978); Greg White : Circa (2001); also creative contributions by Roger Dean to Hazel Smith's Simultaneity and Rik Rue's Three Nocturnal Windows (1994)
Several of Dean's compositions for improvisers are published in Dean's books (q.v.), and by La Trobe University Press, RedHouse Publications, and the Australian Music Centre.
Publications on music (selected):
R.T. Dean 'Creative Improvisation : Jazz, Contemporary Music and Beyond'. Open University Press, UK/USA, 1989 (pp. 136). This book was published with a tape by LYSIS of performance, analysis and guidance.
R.T. Dean 'New Structures in Jazz and Improvised Music since 1960', Open University Press, UK/USA, 1991 (pp.230)
H.A. Smith and R.T. Dean 'Improvisation, Hypermedia and the Arts since 1945', Harwood Academic, 1997 (pp. 334).
R.T. Dean 'Hyperimprovisation : Computer Interactive Sound Improvisation', A-R Editions, Madison, WI, 2003. With a CD-Rom of software, algorithmic interactive patches, and sound works, by Dean and others.
Research Articles (peer-reviewed and/or edited):
(this list excludes many critical reviews written for journals such as Coda, Jazz Journal)
(1977) R.T. Dean, 'Jazz Vibes: Bebop and After', Jazz Journal 30, 4-7
(1991) R.T.Dean and H.A. Smith " Digesting the Message: A view of Texts for Interpretation, Reconstruction and Improvisation", Sounds Australian, 29, 38e
(1992) R.T. Dean (editor) 'Eleven Views of Music Improvisation', Sounds Australian 32. Includes three additional contributions by Dean :
A11) 'Editorial: Eleven Views of Improvisation';
A12) 'Assembling.... Improvising', an edited conversation between Rik Rue and Roger Dean; and
A13) 'Improvising the Listener: The Listener Improvises', an edited conversation between Simone de Haan and Roger Dean.
R.T. Dean and Paul Dyne (1992) 'Improvising Ideas and Education', Music In New Zealand, 19, 43-46
R.T.Dean (1993) 'Elektric Impulse', The Strad, 104, 740-742
H.A. Smith and R.T. Dean (1993) 'Thinking and talking : David Antin in conversation with Hazel Smith and Roger Dean', Postmodern Culture, Vol 3, issue 3. Accessible online as ANTIN.593.
R.T. Dean (1995) 'I might call my work...' Sounds Australian 46, 15
R.T. Dean (1997) 'Jazz, Improvisation and Brass' , in the Cambridge Companion to Brass (eds. J. Wallace and T. Herbert), Cambridge University Press, pp 217-235
R.T. Dean (1997) 'Polyphonies of pulse : on the control of pulse and meter in computer-interactive improvisation' MikroPolyphonie, an international peer-reviewed electronic journal based at La Trobe University, Melbourne (http://farben.latrobe.edu.au/mikropol)..
Author or coauthor of 42 articles in The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Second Edition. B. Kernfeld ed., London, Macmillan.
Smith, H. and Dean, R. T. (2002). "The Egg The Cart The Horse The Chicken: Cyberwriting, Sound, Intermedia." Interactive Multimedia Electronic Journal of Computer Enhanced Learning 4(1): imej.wfu.edu/articles/2002/1/index.asp.
Smith, H. and Dean, R. T. (in press, 2003). "Voicescapes and Sonic Structures in the Creation of Sound Technodrama." Performance Research.
R.T. Dean (submitted). 'In A Silent Groove: Pauses, Frames and Expectation in Miles Davis' 'Shhh/Peaceful', Leonardo Music Journal.
R.T. Dean (Southern Review, in press) "Creative Arts, Creative Research and the Politics of New Media."
BBC (Jazz In Britain, Jazz Club, Music in Our Time), Australian Broadcasting Corporation (abbreviated ABC below).
Videos of TV performances for BBC and ABC; unissued recordings of broadcasts UK, in National Sound Archive; extensive recordings of the work of austraLYSIS 1988- present. Several works available on the web, notably at the ABC 'Listening Room' site, and at the Digital Music Archive (UK).
Radio interviews and programmes on Improvisation for BBC and ABC.
Created incidental music for a series of performance art works with the dance/theatre company Kinetic Energy, and collaborated with visual artists such as Peter Lyssiotis, Darani Lewers, Alan Davie, and with the writer Hazel Smith.
Impetus 1979; ArtForce 2000 (available on Australia Council Website); Avant 2001. Numerous newspaper articles, and reviews. Dean is a subject in the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (and the New Grove Dictionary of Music); and in Jazz The Rough Guide; and various other dictionaries.
Features and prfiles on the Internet:
Profiles are at the Australia Council Website; the Australian Music Centre Website; the Australian Sound Design site; and the University of Canberra site. Links to these sites, and additional information on Dean is available at the austraLYSIS website, www.australysis.com.
Creative Development Awards and Grants from the Arts Council of Great Britain (1979-1987), and the Australia Council for the Arts (1992-present), often for LYSIS or austraLYSIS.