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Some thoughts on The Devil in The Design project
I think it is important for an artist to communicate in as many ways possible his/her vision of their inner/outer environment, and to describe how their art forms portray or communicate that view to others. In terms of the music you may have heard on this site, and other offerings in CD format, or live performances, you will have noticed that apart from rare instances, there is no beat or obvious percussion involved. This is because in the main, incessant beats get on my wick! Life is about breath, breathing in and out, holding and expelling energy that through various means becomes channeled into the areas where it is needed to sustain life. For a work to have life, it must have only one rhythm, that of breath.  Now I know that many will scream “but drums are about life too!” and they are, but they address a different expression of life and are an exuberant manifestation of physical energy. What I am creating with ‘beat-less’ music is something akin to waves, undertows and tides. It is not arbitrary choice that finds such words used, as I grew up by the English Channel, and have spent many years near large bodies of water and so these rhythms have become an integral part of my own psyche. These rhythms are also internal, we are after all mostly water and respond to the physics of gravity and lunar tidal rhythms. 

In terms of the project name, The Devil in The Design, I would ask you to look beyond any theological concept around the word ‘Devil’! I can assure you that I in no way subscribe to any dualistic Judeo-Christian concepts. I use the word ‘Devil’ to describe an unstable, unpredictable but wholly integral set or sub-set of actions that change a particular pattern or array of phenomena. Inasmuch as this applies to musical works, it replaces the concept of ‘composition’ and to some extent, ‘arrangement’. The Devil in The Design sets out to create an atmosphere that while based within the complexities of debate between ‘electronic’ and ‘electro-acoustic’ music, disregards in an autonomous manner any constraints proponents of these forms would seek to impose.  Thus, this music is somewhat unclassifiable in any facile way because it seeks only its’ own levels, moves to its’ own vagaries and desires; it exists beyond categories however much others would like it to be tidily pigeon holed. Ambient? Not always, but sometimes inasmuch as ambient is described in a manner much like flitting peripheral vision. Chaotic? Only by way of timbral intersections and collisions. In any case, the music is Electronic, that much we can agree on, because it would not exist in this form were it not for electricity; that seems too obvious to state, but sometimes we lose sight of that important fact. 

I admire the facility to improvise perhaps more than any other. To me, it indicates a frame of mind that is willing to be boundless, unfettered by the predictable and expected. Composition and arrangement pre-form ideas that others will be expected to receive in one way only, like a painting or photograph, and to expect the same from the artist again, and again. There is no doubt that this plays into the human love of nostalgia and certainty, and that has its’ place to be sure. To create outside this set of expectations means to risk losing or holding the listener, but it also carries its’ own expectations too. The Devil in The Design wants you to never expect the same thing twice, or at least the same thing in the same form. You may be fooled into thinking you are listening to something you have not heard before, but in reality, it has been reprocessed using another set of affecters and so it just seems different. This is acceptable to the philosophy, much in the same way that one wave looks like another, same ocean, same crash of surf, but is not, and never is or will be.