DERU: EVERYDAY INSPIRATION

Komplete Sketches artist Deru, a.k.a. Benjamin Wynn, is an Emmy Award–winning composer and producer based in Silver Lake, L.A. In this short video, he talks about the daily studio rituals behind his unique sound.

ORGANIC ELECTRONICA

Deru is known for creating electronic music that sounds warm and alive in a way that is more often associated with recordings of acoustic instruments. That’s largely a result of his experimental approach to manipulating audio: With synthesizers like FORM, he’s able to create electronic sounds that retain the unpredictable, organic qualities of his sampled source material. He also uses varied methods, such as bouncing audio from the computer to magnetic tape, to add some of these same qualities into his digitally-produced sounds.

ALTER EGO

Aside from his artistic output as Deru, Benjamin Wynn is a prolific composer and sound designer for film, television, and stage, credited under his given name. He’s perhaps best known in the industry for his work on Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Wynn’s work with fellow composer Jeremy Zuckerman on the series Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness earned the pair their first Emmy Award in 2013, followed by another in 2015.

1979

Deru’s fifth studio album 1979, released in 2014, is an immersive collection of soundscapes, inspired in part by a mysterious box Wynn discovered in a flea market, containing articles, letters, photos, and other items compiled by the late philosopher Jackson Sonnanfeld-Arden. The album was released both on vinyl and on “the obverse box” – a custom-made projector containing the album and accompanying video. The album is available to stream here.

HEAR DERU USING KOMPLETE 11

Komplete Sketches is the result of a simple challenge issued to 24 innovative contemporary artists: Create a new musical idea using only instruments and effects from KOMPLETE 11.

As part of season one, Deru combined his personal library of acoustic sounds with multiple instances of FORM to create an evolving drone, layered with meandering melodies and a weighty bassline. Listen to the ominous, static-filled result here.

IN-DEPTH WITH ELECTRONIC BEATS

As part of Komplete Sketches, Deru gave a candid account of his musical beginnings, evolving processes, and his go-to tricks for overcoming creative difficulties. Read the full interview here.

DERU ON FORM

At the L.A. edition of Native Sessions: Creative Interfaces, Deru gave a live performance of the track he created for Komplete Sketches before breaking down its components and explaining how he created each one with FORM.

IN THE VIDEO