As some of you may know, I've been a practicing jazz, progressive and improvisational musician almost as long as I've been making electronic music, basically ever since the 80s. When I got my first record contract for electronic music, in the mid 90s, I kind-of abandoned my ensemble-music ambitions, even though I kept practicing those genres with different people behind closed doors. Releasing and performing only electronic music for the public was great for a while, but it wasn't long before I yearned to play jazz, progressive rock and other ensemble forms in front of audiences again, indeed with a band. So, I formed The Strato Ensemble in 2013, an improvisation-based band that is intended to blend the best of everything I do. It's an entire band of people who specialize in improvisation (meaning spontaneous composition, not tamboral or self-indulgent noise the way most improvisational ensembles practice). I also blend the band's style with electronic ambient music, all of the electronic techniques I've come to learn and understand. It's a very fresh and ideal type of ensemble situation for me, and, in my opinion, The Stratos Ensemble has most of the same expanse and emotion and texture that my electronic music holds.
There's only one catch: too many people still don't seem to understand the value of improvised music and/or why it's actually good. For some reason, they still maintain an age-old bad impression, or some kind of stereotype about it. So, I recently posted this video of myself explaining improvised music and why it has value. The video is actually an outtake from a Stratos Ensemble EPK and interview we did a few years back. At the time, I didn't want this portion of my interview shared because I thought it might offend people. Now, I'm realizing that my little spot is totally fine, because it's basically just a seasoned musician harmlessly standing up for what he believes in. I hope everyone finds it well, and I hope it serves as something at least slightly informative. I share it with the best of intentions.
-Dean De Benedictis
You can also go here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I70QQGm4hxs) to see the full Stratos Ensemble EPK that this portion of the interview was originally intended to be a part of.