In addition to producing three solo electric zither/zither-rock albums, Brian Dewan has collaborated with They Might Be Giants, The Blue Man Group, Sesame Street, Flaming Fire, The Music Tapes, Jed Davis and the Loser's Lounge. He's also an inventor of musical instruments, and has designed album cover art for They Might Be Giants, David Byrne and Neutral Milk Hotel.
His own music roughly breaks into two categories, vocal music and electronic music. His vocal music is of a sort that tends to reference folk music, hymns, century-old popular music and rock music. His first two full length albums, Brian Dewan Tells the Story (1993, Bar None Records) and The Operating Theatre (1998, Instinct Records) find him in this mode. His songs often contemplate the nature of submission to authority, and often take the form of a tale. They are by turns humoristic and contemplative. In live performance, he most often accompanies his singing with an electric zither of his own invention, outfitted with eight humbucker pickups and 88 strings, sometimes piped through a leslie cabinet or guitar effects pedals. He also plays a variety of other instruments, including autoharp, organ and accordion. His electronic music, either solo or in collaboration with his cousin, Leon Dewan, tends to be more sprawling and free-form, often evoking the raw sounds of early electronic music of a modernist bent.
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