Dean Stevenson

Musician | Songwriter | Composer

Wow. We did it!
We raised the Arco Set to a new height of spectacle.
For those who weren’t there, or would just like to re-live the event, see these…

10 boxes in my kitchen

…and all of them full of goodness to share.

The new album has arrived, looking and sounding just like we’d planned.

What a relief!

With the show this weekend, I hope we can deliver on the promise we’ve made you all. That being a new sound with a new presentation, in a new space on old instruments.

Sound good yes?

I will be.

Thanks so much to all the people who have been a part of this wonderful journey with Al and myself to this pointy point. We treasure your enthusiasm, advice critical appraisal and damnation all with the same intensity that we would take a kiss from a lover on the neck. That is to say, we have cared about what we have made and we care about what you feel.

Thank you so much.


On to MONA. How busy are you?

Time gets away doesn’t it?
You know that.
The best greeting I’ve heard yet is someone saying first “So, how busy are you?”
Cuts to the chase.
We’re all busy, some more than others. Either the world has sped up and we’re all busier, or we’ve ac-rewed poor time management skills which means we’re not getting as much done any more due to…distractions?!?!?!
You bet!

But here, I have mislaid my best intentions of spewing forth my workings to this page. A long time has passed and now I see the difference in my work since the last entry.
Tonight, I await the mail tomorrow which should bring with it CD’s bearing my name and that of the Arco Set. It’s release time! The show for release is this Saturday in the belly of MONA.
It’s the most ambitious solo thing to date for me and my family. The scale of it is awesome and frightening. 17 people in a world class room with a camera crew, a live audience and the absolute need to sell as many of these CD’s as god made flies to pay it off.

It will work.

It’s dangerous.

So it can’t fail.

Only the brave get ahead. Or the squeaky wheels.

This is bravery and my crew are awesome for following me into the darkness.

Arco Set. The Album.

The premiss for working exclusively with strings over a band is a fine idea: until you try to explain it. It sounds at first exotic, new, unique and many other adjectives around a creative step away from convention. But then, is it really that different?

Inspired by his performance of the Juliet Letters for the first MONA FOMA in 2009, Dean decided to re-arrange his own back catalogue of songs away from the band, and into the hands of a string quartet. Late nights of writing and exploring this new beast came to reality in Tasmania’s Amplified Festival the following year. It worked. And it rang a bell in Dean’s creative room that began an extensive journey towards this sound.

MONA FOMA the following year invited Dean to play again and this time a full new work was written for the event called The Cloud Suite: A 4 movement piece for voice, chamber orchestra and noise that crystallised Dean’s vision of the Arco Set direction.

The next year saw Dean, with producer Al Future, record the Arco Set for a full album of songs plus the Cloud Suite. This album showcased Dean’s melodic song writing and his ability to adapt grooves and rhythms into the string section, exploring contemporary song forms within the classical instrumentation.

The full album is available through iTunes and CDBaby.

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