"The Sound of a Different Drum"
Deane Delli-Bovi is not a household name. He doesn't dress or act
as if he ever intends to be. He lives out in the woods and goes to work
in his barn. He enjoys his work and hopes someday to make a living at
it. But this is not just another job by another Joe. This is the
essence of the American dream. Not a bigger house, a flashier car or
keeping up with the Joneses; this is, 'I do what I do 'cause I want
What Deane Delli-Bovi does is create capture sound. He manipulates
acoustic phenomenon in ways that excite the ear. You would call him a
musician. That's because of the final product - the part you and I are
allowed to share. To watch him at his craft is to realize he is also a
sculptor; creating audio images as varied in texture, substance, and
density as any molder of clay or carver of stone. But there's even more
involved. Work station composers like Delli-Bovi are not constrained by
the physical limitations of space. In the labyrinth of realities he
calls his studio, caverns and shorelines abound. Spectacular sun-ups
and sundowns are mere moments apart.
When we spoke initially he was insistent I come out to the backwoods of
Oswego County to see him. His setup is impressive. Close to six figures
worth of computers and digitally interfaced equipment. His intent was
not to show off, not to let me see what he had. Rather he wanted me to
see what baggage I brought myself - carried around deep inside and only
drawn out by mixing the catalyst of high technology and a comfortable
chair. This is the litmus test between art and entertainment. Where
does it take me? To some preconceived destination where minds and
bodies arrive by the bus load? Dance-land and sing-along-ville are two
of the most common, which is fine, all of us enjoy those places. But
what if I end up someplace different? What if I end up out on my own?
Delli-Bovi is a bushwhacker. It's not a matter of the road less
travelled, it's not taking the road at all. Something's happening out
in the hills and he wants to be there.
What he's presented to the public thus far has been well received. His
layering of timbres and treatment of compositional form create
interesting musical tensions that never drift into dissonance. Not only
does this create the juxtaposition of excitement and relaxation, it
opens the door where radios fear to tread.
As I drove home, I saw the dear he warned me about colliding into. They
stood frozen in the headlights but safely beyond the shoulder of the
road. As I drove past, I listened to the tape he gave me for the ride.
My mind wandered.
Once, in a joke, my father told me all truths of the universe could be
reduced to food. For a minute I thought the old man might be right.
It's easy to picture America as a cultural salad bar. A little of this,
a little of that. Something spicy, something sweet. Everything unique
in it's own identity but tossed and blended together and served up as a
whole. The idea of trying to puree it, to blend it into one homogenized
gruel, is repugnant. We need Delli-Bovi and all the men and woman of
similar conviction. We would be lost in the absence of culture without
them. America was founded on the notion of standing up when told to sit
down. Now where would we be if we all did as we were told?
by C.S. McGrail, Central New Yorker Magazine December 1992