Digibone is Michael Dessen’s live trombone and computer performance environment, an animistic world of live electronics where the viscoelastic qualities of the slide trombone invoke shifting digital sprites and topographies. Building on a foundation in acoustic performance, Dessen has been integrating the computer into performances for over 15 years, digitally extending the trombone’s unique character into imaginative terrain within his electro-acoustic trio as well as solo format concerts. Using Ableton Live and Cycling 74’s MAX software, Dessen works with live processing/sampling, structured improvisations and algorithmic composition, often using a custom-designed practice mute to isolate the electronically processed sounds and turn the trombone into a kind of digital audio controller.
Digibone features prominently in all of Dessen’s trio albums, and his first solo digibone album, Digibone Forest, was released in October, 2019 by Accretions.
“Fantastically subtle, imaginative extensions of his trombone’s sound – feathery rufflings, pixelized halos, teasing curlicues and rasps…”
Signal To Noise, Nate Dorward
“George Lewis has played slide trombone and electronics with equal facility, and his former student Michael Dessen makes the two instruments work as one… Dessen switches between voluptuous lyricism and digitally distorted splatter, and his shifts between those poles never feel forced or arbitrary.”
Downbeat, Bill Meyer
“A slide-trombone virtuoso and computer musician of the highest order.”
All About Jazz, Robert Bush