Michael Gary Dean is a musician and composer that tangles a love for electronic music with the sweeping emotions of modern classical.
Originally from Western Canada, Dean quickly branched out, exploring new inspirations in Europe and in Québec, a French-speaking province of Canada known for it’s output of world-class artists and culture. After living in Ireland and taking in influences from the European electronic music scene, Dean relocated to Montréal to learn the French language and engage in the new media art scene. While working at CKUT 90.3FM, a community radio station, Dean became fascinating with the never-ending supply of the city’s wildly experimental music that wandered far from popular culture.
In 2015, Dean began performing electronic music under the pseudonym Wiklow at the MUTEK festival, an international event for music and media art. Dean’s approach was minimal and melodic, often employing “glitchy soundscapes – somewhere between Pole’s distorted dub and Burial’s storm-drenched shuffle” [FACT Magazine]. An audio-visual collaboration with visual artist Diagraf opened up several new artistic overlaps and collaborations, but most notably inspired the two to create an immersive audio-visual performance with surround sound and 360-degree video projections. Together, the pair toured “Liquid Architecture”, stepping through massive planetariums from Mexico to Dubai with the support of Montréal’s Société des arts technologiques.
While on tour, Dean developed a relationship with visual artist Push 1 stop. The two artists quickly hit it off and began working together in 2018. Their collaboration “Membrane” re-evaluated the current state of projection art, and instead took their audio-visual performance off-screen. Using transparent fabrics and thick smoke to project 3D floating shapes into venues, “Membrane“ is a highly sensorial and emotional live performance of electronic sound and projection art. Following a worldwide schedule that included festivals and venues like Sónar (ES, TR), TodaysArt (NL) and London’s esteemed Somerset House (UK), the duo relocated to Lisbon, Portugal to gain new artistic influences and begin a joint period of personal growth.
In January 2020, Dean visited his origins in Western Canada to complete an artistic residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. At Banff, Dean recorded “Abandoned Pianos”, a collection of music for piano and electronics originally written in Montréal in between tours. “Abandoned Pianos” marks Deans first release under his own name, confirming a new era of artistic maturity that combines all the elements of Dean’s exploratory past.
Dean’s current work spans between audio-visual installations to live performance, collaborating with studios, artists and festivals to create large-format works and immersive media experiences.