Roger is a composer-improviser, and pianist/computer
performer. He was based in London (UK) until 1989, when he migrated to Australia. He has worked extensively
on the European
and North America. He studied the double bass with Eugene Cruft and was Principal
bass in the National Youth Orchestra (UK). He gave a solo performance at
Hall at the age of 15. He played bass with European groups such as the Berliner
Band, London Sinfonietta, Music Projects/London, Nash Ensemble, Sonant,
Spectrum, London Jazz Composers' Orchestra, and the BBC SymphonY
Orchestra. He has given premieres
Ferneyhough, Finnissy, Henze, Holmboe, Kagel, Knussen, Lovendie, Nicholson,
Wallace, Xenakis) and many have been written for him. He has also been
other ensembles (such as Spectrum and the Wallace Collection) and has worked extensively as accompanist with Hazel Smith (violin), John
Wallace(trumpet), Peter Jenkin (clarinet) and also with Gerald English (tenor).
He was the keyboard player with the eminent European jazz group Graham Collier Music between 1974 and 1988,
rejoining them regularly since, and after Graham's death in 2011, performing in a tribute concert at the London Jazz
Festival(2012). He has played both bass and piano with Sydney
Alpha Ensemble, and was amongst their featured soloists in 1995. He formed
the European group LYSIS in 1970, and it became austraLYSIS in Sydney.
Dean has worked with many musicians
(a list of the improvisers is here), ranging stylistically from Kathy Stobart
to Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Barry
Guy and the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra, and Kagel, Penderecki and Stockhausen.
Before moving to Australia in 1989, he played a solo piano concert at the Gap in
Sydney, and performed with Lysis at Sydney Opera House for the ABC.
Since being in Australia, he has given many solo performances
broadcasts for ABC 'Jazztrack'; dueted with Rob Avenaim and Tony Buck (percussion/electronics),
Jim Denley (flutes), Sandy Evans (saxophones), Colin Offord (constructed instruments)
and Daryl Pratt (percussion), and with Chris Abrahams, Serge Ermoll, Roger
Frampton and Mike Nock (keyboardists). He has also played and recorded as principal bass
Australian Chamber Orchestra; worked with Artisans' Workshop, Oren Ambarchi's
Cobra, the Sydney Alpha Ensemble, and with Watt; and formed, played and recorded
Dean has composed extensively, particularly for jazz and improvising ensembles
: one of his extended works was a feature for Ken Wheeler (trumpet/flugel)
enlarged Lysis, and is on Lysis Plus (Future Music Records, UK). With Hazel Smith, he
has created several text-sound works, such as Poet without Language, Silent
Waves, Nuraghic Echoes, and The Afterlives of Betsy Scott, recorded for
the ABC. His compositions include Elektra Pulses for string quartet (with
a solo cello work. His It Gets Complicated for piano/speaker
has been recorded by Michael Kieran Harvey, and released on Red House Records
RED 9401). His computer music has been presented at the International Computer
Music Conference and in many other contexts. His largest commission to date, SonoPetal,
was from the Australian Chamber Orchestra, supported by the Australia Council,
and he conducted it around Australia in 1996. He also has completed commissions
from Peter Jenkin, Rob Nairn, b'Tutta, Sydney Alpha Ensemble and the Wallace
Collection, and recently provided sound for an interactive multimedia installationa, Finitude, by Keith Armstrong and collaborators. His scores are available through the Australian
Music Centre, and published by RedHouse
Editions, La Trobe University Press, and in many books. Since 1998 much
of his work has been for cd-rom (Walking the Faultlines, released on
cd-rom from the International Computer Music Association), and for the web
(Wordstuffs, and Intertwingling), in each case, austraLYSIS collaborations.
He has developed
techniques of animation, first using VRML and now Jitter,
which establish extensive algorithmic interaction between sound and image
components of real-time performance works. Since 2011 he has collaborated with renowned installation artist Keith Armstrong, and with American video-artist Will Luers.
Amongst his more than 50 recordings are The Wings of the Whale (with Lysis;
Soma 783; now available on Spotify, iTunes,Amazon and at the Australian Music Centre), Moving the Landscapes (with austraLYSIS; Tall Poppies 007),
Xenakis Epei with Spectrum on the Wergo label, and music of American
on the Can' initiator, Michael Gordon, on CRI.
Roger is also intensely active in research. His book 'Creative Improvisation'
was published by Open University Press (UK/US, 1989), and is a highly theorised
yet practical book on improvisatory techniques. His companion analytical volume
'New Structures in Jazz and Improvised Music Since 1960' was also released
them, in 1992. A more recent book, 'Improvisation,
Hypermedia and the Arts since 1945', written in collaboration with Hazel
Smith, analyses and theorises improvisation in the arts besides music (Harwood Academic 1997). His book (with cd-rom), 'Hyperimprovisation:
computer-interactive sound improvisation' was published by A-R Editions (USA;
2003), the leading specialist publisher on computer music. Since then he has
published on Australian Jazz recordings (with the Australian Music
Centre), and has edited the Oxford Companion to Computer Music (2009), and
co-edited 'Practice-led research, research-led practice in the Creative Arts
(with Hazel Smith; Edinburgh University Press 2009). Dean is a subject in 'Jazz:
The Essential Companion', 'Jazz : the Rough Guide' and
Grove Dictionaries of Music, and of Jazz. His work, and that of austraLYSIS,
is reflected in more than a dozen index entries in the 2003 'Currency Companion
to Music and Dance in Australia' (eds. John Whiteoak and Aline Scott-Maxwell).
Dean is the author of numerous research articles, originally in biochemistry, and since 2006 in music cognition and computation.
Because of his
involvement with academia and scientific research as well as music and the
he has appeared as one of the Australian 'renaissance men' in some weekend
glossy magazines. Besides his musical activity, Roger has had a long career as research biochemist, becoming a full professor at the age of 35 at Brunel University, UK. From 1988-2002 was foundation director of the Heart Research Institute, Sydney, and from 2002-7 he was
and President of the University of Canberra, Australia. In early 2004, he
formed the Sonic Communications Research Group (SCRG) at the
University, together with Hazel Smith, and other research colleagues. In
2007 he joined the MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney,
as a research professor in music cognition. His research career outside music is summarised in the Wikipedia article on him (Roger Dean, musician), and on the MARCS website. He is interviewed about music and postmodernism, together with many other Australian composers and improvisers, in David Bennett's Sounding Postmodernism (Australian Music Centre, 2008; pp.186-194).
".... sparks of genius"... (John Shand, Artforce 105, 14; 2000).
BOOKINGS and Enquiries to : austraLYSIS Productions, PO Box 225, Milperra, NSW 2214, Australia.
Telephone : + 61481 309612. email : firstname.lastname@example.org.
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