April 2015 – Michael Lisle Dunn (ex U Kay Hytz, The Cast, composer of Production music for libraries including Connect, Universal Music etc and commissions for Channel 4 UK, World Health Organisation etc) has just completed his Fifth Digitiphony (Electro Orchestral Symphony). The concept of Digitiphony first occurred to Michael in 2007. Coming from a background that involved both Classical Music Training and playing in bands, he had long sought a way to reconcile the two extremes of his formative musical experiences, and the idea of composing longer form music for orchestra and electronic instruments increasingly began to seem the perfect way to achieve that.
Michael’s first attempt at this emerging new genre was “Digitphony” (2008), a twenty minute, four movement mini symphony and was performed by Michael’s former band U Kay Hytz. When the band split in 2011 the obsession had grown into an urge to create full length Electro Symphonic Pieces in the style, referring more to the orchestral aspect, which was in itself becoming more achievable with the growth of large orchestral sample libraries. Digitiphony 2 (2011) and Digitiphony 3 (2013) followed, with each attempt Michael’s vision of what he wanted to achieve was becoming more defined, and the balance between orchestral and electro more stable. They also grew in scale, with Digitiphony 3 running at just over an hour. Digitphony 4 (2014) was named, and dealt with the issue of, “Dichotomies” – irreconcilable differences – for in many ways the whole idea of Digitiphony had become a quest to reconcile the irreconcilable musical differences in Michael’s musical psyche.
Digitiphonies are, like more traditional symphonies, incredibly complex to create. They deal with many musical themes and audio textures within the same envelope, so just writing them is not to be taken lightly. To also perform, produce and record them is in many ways more than the work of one person, but Michael had written four of these epic works in a little over 5 years. His obsession with them was increasing, not diminishing, with each one he wrote, and the workload, combined with his other musical responsibilities and projects, was becoming overwhelming. Even before the completion of Digitiphony 4, friends and family were starting to tell Michael he should take a break from writing these mind-draining works to recover. He didn’t listen, now totally preoccupied with the concept behind Digitiphony 5. He wanted to write a five movement work that had a movement for each of the five currently acknowledged character types – Choleric, Supine, Melancholic, Phlegmatic and Sanguine. He started work, taking no break, and whilst working on the third movement, suffered a stroke. Severely affected all down his right side it seemed he would not even be playing musical instruments again, let alone writing Digitiphonies. However, with much hard work, many tears, and support from Physiotherapists, Doctors and Occupational Therapists he has made an almost full recovery. As soon as he was physically able he resumed work on Digitiphony 5, and 10 months after the stroke that could have finished both him and his dreams of creating the perfect 21st Century longer form Electro Orchestral Symphony he completed the last movement.
Digitiphony 5 is due to be released May 2015. Digitiphony 1 to 4 are all available in internet music stores, Spotify, iTunes etc
Full stream of Digitphony 5 available here
“Why Digitiphony – a composer’s thoughts here
Digitiphony excerpts on Youtube here
More info – here