Deru - We Will Live On
Record Release & Listening Party
10.25.22 - Tuesday - 7pm - 11pm
you are invited to a private listening event of the new Deru album
at rykn la, a soon to open hotel in the arts district dtla
an autonomous piano will perform the album live, exactly as it was recorded,
in a hidden atrium of rykn
experience the full vinyl album in a separate analog hifi listening room
we hope you'll enjoy the beauty + heartbreak captured within
the ephemeral nature of a once only existence.
cocktail & sips by kodo mezcal project
We Will Live On was made with a Disklavier (an acoustic piano outfitted with solenoids that allowed it to be digitally controlled) and custom made software to sequence it. This made the piano appear to play itself. Technology seemingly embedded with humanity.
Written with the backdrop of news about the worsening climate crisis and pandemic isolation, made themes of legacy, loneliness, helplessness, love and hope emerge.
The title, We Will Live On, is meant as a question. Will we? And if so, in what way? Will this outlive me? Will technology outlive all of us?
Beauty in the face of fear. Art to fill the void. The piano playing in an empty room. The piano man nowhere to be found.
A piano under digital control opens up new playing styles, idiosyncratic to the computer itself. Phasing, density and tempo are aspects that can be explored past human playability. Music that feels both analog and digital.
The sequencer is based on geometries inside a circle. Six shapes with various numbers of sides fill a circle. A dot rotates around the circle, and as it intersects a shape a note is triggered. The note can be any pitch, duration and velocity.
It can be delayed or played multiple times. The lengths of the sides of each shape can be skewed, along with their spacing to one another, thereby altering the rhythms. All of these states can be saved as presets, and morphing in-between presets allows the piano to smoothly fall out of one pattern and into another.
Because these patterns are based on geometries and not equal divisions of a measure, they are not metric, like most of western music. The result are patterns that have structure and groove, yet sound somehow other. Because the sequencer can morph presets, the patterns are malleable between states of order and disarray, which become another compositional aspect to explore.
The same data that was used to compose the album was interpreted into visuals by Gunther Kleinert (Monotonstereo). Frequency and loudness values of each song were extracted and transformed into vertical lines of different densities, overlayed by hatched blocks that represent the pitches. These digital files were then printed using a pen plotter (a robotic arm that can hold pens), so the same type of digital-to-analog process was used for art as for the music.
Benjamin Wynn (DERU) is an Emmy Award winning American composer, sound designer and music producer.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music from the California Institute of the Arts, and has released 4 albums under the name “Deru”, as well as scored television, film, and dance.
Wynn was the co-owner and founder of a music and sound design company in Los Angeles called The Track Team along with Jeremy Zuckerman. Together they worked on numerous projects, including “Avatar: The Last Airbender" and "Legend of Korra” for Nickelodeon. They won an Emmy Award for music editing for “Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness” in 2012, and another Emmy for the same project in 2015.
In 2007, Wynn (as Deru) collaborated with British composer Joby Talbot on the score to Wayne McGregor’s ballet, Genus, based on Charles Darwin’s book, On the Origin of Species, commissioned by the Paris Opera Ballet. The ballet premiered at the Palais Garnier in October 2007 and was commissioned for a second round of performances in November 2009. The ambitious eight-part score combines electronics with a 10-part choir and string instruments. The score is available on Ant-Zen and Dear Oh Dear Records and was featured in the 2009 documentary, La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet.
In addition to his scoring work, Wynn is a founding member and Creative Director of The Echo Society, a Los Angeles based composer collective and non-profit organization that premiers new orchestral works in singular, one-night-only events.
kodo mezcal project
the kodo mezcal project was born as a collaboration with jed, founder of wolf spirits.
we selected four agave varietals from countless sample batches sourced throughout palenque surrounding oaxaca.
we designed four information labels printed on agave pulp paper, highlighting exact details of production, distillation method & names of mezcaleros in the regions produced.
we're honored to work with an importer who focuses on transparently supporting mezcaleros distilling wild/heirloom varietals of agave with experimental fermentations.