Daniele De Santis is a Berlin-based percussionist, drummer, and electronic music producer from Bari, Italy. Grounded in jazz, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern percussion styles as well as electronic music and sound engineering, his work takes shape as a varied constellation of musical activities driven by spontaneous multi-instrumentalism and eclecticism.
While working as a session and solo percussionist/drummer in the fields of contemporary jazz improv and chamber music for many years, De Santis has all the while tread a parallel path in the electronic music realm as a producer, prolific performer and editor/curator behind the Dromoscope platform. GRÜN, his most prominent electronic creatire, is a project that regroups a specific cycle of experiments as well as recordings and performances which De Santis has been workign on since relocationg to Berlin.
Driven by an enlightening first encounter with electromagnetism and its enormous potential as an engine for sound generation and physical automation, as GRÜN De Santis composes electronic music in terms of electrical circuit design and creation of modular sound objects. The GRÜN Machines have taken shape through studies and experiments focusing on electromagnetism as natural source and expression of life.
De Santis dedicated the project to the colour green, an archetypal symbol of what we usually call "Nature”. Merging electricity as direct sound source, field recordings of natural tactile noises and tonal parts (often live or recorded string instruments parts), GRÜN gives life to a chaotic sound magma that attempts to imagine sound as a living organism seen from the inside. Arrangement rules are based on a fully improvised performative approach following the organic rules of spontaneous gestural interaction with the Machines. A natural and unstable musicality is thus gradually revealed, for instance as momentary regular geometries emerging through the freeform of the living matter. At the project’s core is constant research into the creation of sound synthesis modules, recycling old electronic components, and looking toward a possible sustainability of electronic music production.
GRÜN's performances and workshops have been hosted by international festivals such as Berlin Atonal, CTM Siberia, STRØM and PHONO. The project's debut album, Supervegetale, has been released at the end of 2015 by Dromoscope Editions as the first chapter of the Antidigital Series, a cycle of four cassette releases produced and curated by De Santis. Founded in 20011 in Italy to promote electronic arts outside of the dominant straight club culture and to support improvisational performative approaches, the platform aims to sustain avant-garde electronic a/v languages in its home country. Dromoscope first took shape as a series of namesake Sessions dedicated to electronic arts, and straight away was actively supported by a rich osmotic network of artists. It gradually came to represent a likeminded collective and nowadays the label.
De Santis has been supported by Berlin Current since 2015, the same year that he began a new collaboration with Morphine label head and electronic music producer Rabih Beaini. In this pairing, which appeared this past year the The Jazzhouse in Copenhage and at CTM Siberia, De Santis returned to his roots as a percussionist. De Saneis and Beaini also performed together at CTM 2016's Opening Concert, as part of "For the Right Red Hand", which was commissioned by the festival and. The work was composed by Beaini and performed together with De Saneis, Sofia Jernberg, Rully Shabara, Sam Shalabi, Liz Allbee, Mazen Kerbaj, Tommaso Cappellato and Sharif Sehnaoui.
2016 sees De Santis workign on a new solo performance for prepared and self-made electroacoustic drums, which creates a connection between his peculiar approache to acoustic percussion and research as GRÜN. The project will premiere at Beirut's Irtijal Festival 2016.