We Called Him Dino

If you’ve ever wondered why I become a recording engineer, here’s my “origin story”:

Gone But Never Forgotten

Dino J.A. Deane
Dino J.A. Deane

I met Dino more than 40 years ago with him having just moved to San Francisco after several years of his playing trombone with Ike and Tina Turner’s band… and later toured with Tina.  Like many who dared, he made his way to our rehearsal space to play some “out” music. Out There Orchestra was born.  As was part of the times in San Francisco, many of us experimental players made our way into “punk new wave” bands.  I did…. playing the Prophet 5.  Dino played the trombone running through guitar electronics.  

When I quit my ‘new wave band’, Dino convinced me and my boyfriend to turn our rehearsal room into a recording studio.  “Sure, why not?”  Bob (my boyfriend at the time) and I each put up $10K and OTR was born (Out There Recording).  That was 1981.  When the gear arrived I left for vacation with my Italian relatives.  Dino, Bob and the rest of the band setup the gear. 

When I returned from vacation, Dino looked up at me (not all that happy) and said, “Okay, we set it up, now YOU’RE gonna learn this shit”… and I did.  Forty years later, OTR Studios is the oldest commercial facility in the Bay Area.  The music that came out of OTR never would have happened without Dino’s commanding orders.  🙂

From San Francisco to New York to Oakland to New Mexico to Colorado and back to New Mexico, Dino found experimental musicians everywhere.  Along with his life long partner, Colleen Mulvihill (an important figure in the modern dance world) the two pushed the edge of creativity.  Below is only one of the obituaries people have written.  

If you want to hear some of the music Dino played and worked on with me at OTR, here’s his last album. We had a blast making this record.


Dino J.A. Deane

Friday, July 23 at 11:14pm marked the peaceful passing of Dino J.A. Deane.  He transitioned in New Mexico with his dearest friends, Joe Sabella and Katie Harlow, at his side.  Born on February 16, 1950, Deane was 71.

Over a career spanning more than four decades, this multi-instrumentalist, sound-designer and conductor demonstrated a unique and innovative approach to the world of music.  Dino pioneered the use of live-electronics in Indoor Life – a popular art/punk band from San Francisco during the early 1980’s. He played a trombone-controlled synthesizer which emulated the sound of an electric guitar and employed a tape-echo to create loops.

During the 1980’s Dino toured the world with Jon Hassell as the electro-acoustic live-sampling percussionist. That collaboration resulted in the ground-breaking Power Spot recording for ECM in 1986, produced by Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois.

During that same period Dino became a close collaborator in Butch Morris’s real-time composition creations called Conductions®, and in 1995 co-produced Morris’s epic 10-CD box set Testament, for New World Records.  Dino originated the term “live-sampling” – recording members of an ensemble while in performance, manipulating the sound, then playing back the recorded audio like an instrument. He is considered a master in this field of performance.

Dino had an extensive background in composition for modern dance, having created over fifty dance/music works with his life partner, dancer/choreographer Colleen Mulvihill. He had an equally long history creating sound designs for dramatic theater, working with writer directors as diverse as Sam Shepard, Julie Hebert, Christoph Marthaler and John Flax of Theater Grottesco.

Since 1995, Dino released several albums under his own name and directed the ensemble Out of Context. More than 400 hours of his compositions are being prepared for streaming release to preserve his legacy and his contributions to improvisation.

In November 2020, Dino published Becoming Music – Conduction and Improvisation as forms of QiGong, which is available through Bandcamp and other stores.

His music and writings are being preserved at: