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About the Music of TDITD: Phil Ogison

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Photo by Catherine Tammaro

Some thoughts on The Devil in The Design project by creator, Phil Ogison.

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 theological 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 the nature of these forms would seek to impose. Thus, this music is somewhat unclassifiable in any facile way because it seeks only its' internal levels, moves to its' own vagaries and desires; it exists beyond common categories.

I think it is important for an artist to communicate in as many ways possible his or her vision of their inner and outer environment, and to describe how their art forms portray or communicate that view to others. The prime element of life is breathing, 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. What I am creating with 'beat-less' music is something akin to breathing in the form of waves, undertows and tides. It is not arbitrary choice that finds such words used, as I grew up beside the English Channel, and have spent many years near large bodies of water and 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.

I admire the facility to improvise perhaps more than any other. Improvisational ability indicates a frame of mind that is willing to be boundless, unfettered by the predictable. Composition and arrangement pre-form ideas that others will be expected to receive in one way only, like a painting or photograph, static in time. 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. This is acceptable to the philosophy; one wave looks like another, but is not, and never is or will be.

Phil Ogison was born at Folkestone, Kent, England in 1948. He has lived in Canada since 1963. In 1966 he began to develop his musical skills and experimented with various forms of tape manipulated electronic music. He remained active in experimental music for most of the 1970s and 1980s, and continues to the present.

As TDITD he performs mostly at The AMBiENT PiNG venues in Toronto Canada and collaborates with other ambient and experimental artists in the area. Other collaborations include The League of Imaginations with Scott Johnson [Lonely Flight, Weird State Inbetween, Low Frequency,Pilot] A Pretty Sonic Splatter with Anne Sulikowski [Building Castles Out Of Matchsticks] and Subduction Current with wife Catherine Tammaro [Multi Disciplinary artist]
Phil is currently collaborating with renowned painter, Menno Krant on the VESSEL project. Links to their site can be found on the front page.



The Stage Is Set
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TDITD stage setup, March 28-06, The AMBiENT PiNG