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Donkey Boy

Uninvited Guest postcard

Event postcard
As composer:
  • 2013: Facebook, the Opera, Royce Gallery, and Berkeley Arts. Book & Score by Dean Santomieri, with alto: Leann Petersen, tenor: Ben Clausen and DS: baritone/piano. A thirteen-minute opera following the organizing structure of social media, addressing the issues of privacy and alienation, with humor and pathos. Concert patron: "Robert Ashley meets Stephen Sondheim!"

  • 2014: Titanic Blue, performed by Luciano Chessa at the Royce Gallery. Scored for piano with introductory text. Recorded by Tom Duff.

  • 2003: Titanic Blue, premiered by Sarah Cahill (for whom it was written), at the Pt. Reyes Dance Palace.

  • 1984: Music for Theater: Choice, by Ellen Sebastian-Chang. Staged at Intersection for the Arts.

As guitarist, duos and ensembles:
  • 2014: Gino Robair's Neither Confirmed Nor Denied, at the Meridian Gallery; DS: guitar / voice.

  • 2011 - present: Santomieri-Farhadian Duo. Thea Farhadian: violin & preparations; DS: guitar & preparations. Avant-garde chamber music in structured and free improvisations drawing from the vocabulary of Contemporary Classical Music, with influences from their collective backgrounds in rock, classical, and Middle Eastern music. Performances: Berkeley Arts, Luggage Store Gallery, Little Schoolhouse, Crane House, Meridian Gallery, Garden of Memory Solstice concerts: SF Bay Area. Licht Blick Cinema and T-House, Berlin, GDR.

    Santomieri-Farhadian Duo website:

    Santomieri-Farhadian Duo, sound files:

  • 2012 - present: Ghost in the House: DS: voice and guitar.

  • 2013: With Gusty Winds May Exist, (Nancy Beckman: Shakuhachi, lyre and Voice; Tom Bickley: Recorder) Fukushima Memorial Piece: DS: text / guitar. Japanese translation: Nancy Beckman

  • 2012: Amy X Neuburg's Inbread Kisses, for large chorus and 4 guitarists; DS: guitar. Berkeley Art Museum.

  • 2008, 2010: Music to accompany Dawn McMahan's Solo Dance performance: Portrait by Means of the Sun, DS: guitar and Greg Scharpen: electronics. 21 Grand, Soma Arts and Bare Bones Butoh.

  • 1990s-2013: Malcolm Mooney & the 10th Planet. DS: modified EMS Synthi A / guitar.

  • 1992-1997: Donkey Boy with Luther Bradfute, multi-media duo, including synths, samplers, stories, songs, multi-image, video, costumes... active in the 1990's. Numerous Bay Area performances.

Guitar & Voice:
  • 2014: Solo. Turquoise Yantra Grotto.

  • 2014: Duets and solos with cellist Theresa Wong, Berkeley Arts.

  • 2013: Vexations for Improvisers, guitar and recitation of original poem: Letter from the Western Front.

  • 2009-present: Numerous solo and ensemble performances.

  • Garden of Memory Solstice Concerts, Berkeley Arts, Temescal for the Arts, Turquoise Yantra Grotto.

Author and performer:
  • 2012: I-Franzen, performance at the Ivy Room. 24 Mesostics on Jonathan Franzen's Freedom written and recited by D.S., based upon Jonathan Franzen's book: Freedom. With Suki O'Kane: drums and Michael Zelner: clarinet.

  • 2000: (bathtub), DS: Text / narration, with music by Greg Scharpen. Berkeley City Club.

  • 1998-2003 The Boy Beneath the Sea, DS: Text, narration & video, with musicians: Karen Stackpole, Bruce Anderson and David Kwan. Pacific Film Archive, Venue 9, Artists' Television Access, Berkeley Arts.

  • Various original stories with music performed at Berkeley Arts, Room Series, The Electric Voice, 21 Grand, ATA Gallery, Venue 9, Terrazzo Works (all Bay Area). Collective Unconscious (NY); Squeaky Wheel (NY); Ambient Ping / C'est What? (Toronto); thINC Company Gallery, (NY).

Narrator / Speaker:
  • 2013: Robert Ashley: She was a Visitor, DS: speaker, with UC Berkeley Chorus, Marika Kuzma: conductor, Berkeley Art Museum.

  • 2012: Pacific Film Arts Summer Screening: Tobias Wolff's Bullet in the Brain, DS: narration.

  • 2012: Fall of the House of Usher, DS: narration with Thomas Carnacki, ATA Cinema.

  • 2008-2009: William F. Nolan's Dark Universe, 13 Radio dramas, DS: announcer / actor.

  • 2006-present: Actors Reading Writers: Berkeley City Club, numerous readings.

  • 2003: Frederik Rzewski: Coming Together, with Sarah Cahill: piano; Steed Cowart: Conductor and a Mills College Ensemble, DS: speaker. Performed at Old First Church, SF and Berkeley Arts.

  • 2014: Santomieri-Farhadian Duo, interviewed and performed on Panamericana, on, Berlin, host Gabriele Schäfer.

  • 2008: Live Neighborhood Public Radio Broadcast, March 22nd 2008. Dean as Gavin Elster, author of Radio and its Occult Affinities: A Dark History of Radio, and Greg Scharpen as Hector Endive, radio host of Air Apparent.

  • 2002: A Book Bound in Red Buckram, DS: Story & recitation, New Mexico Radio Festival.

  • 2001, 2014: Interviews on KPFA by Dean Suzuki.

  • 2013 I-Franzen, live on KALX, DS: 24 Mesostics on Jonathan Franzen's Freedom; DS: texts / narration with Suki O'Kane percussion and Michael Zelner, reeds.

  • 2003: Terry Riley, Edge Festival: DS: video, to accompany Terry's live ensemble performance of A Rainbow in Curved Air Revisited, at Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley.

  • 2000: Videospace: Artifacts from the National Center for Experiments in Television; Berkeley Art Museum, DS: video to be played through the kaleidoscopic Videola projection system, with live musical accompaniment, DS with David Kwan.

  • Argumentum Ornithologicum: 21 Grand, Oakland, and other venues. A video based upon the JL Borges story.

  • 1991-1993: Twin, a video parody of David Lynch's Twin Peaks, which screened in the SF Bay Area (ATA, Roxie, Red Vic) and in festivals around the world.

  • 2014: Stephen Smoliar's review of Titanic Blue, performed by Luciano Chessa.
    Smoliar, Stephen. "Eight Hands Engage with a Piano at Pamela Z's Room Series Concert." Review. 11 July 2014: Arts & Entertainment. SF Examiner.
    Far more serious was his (Chessa's) opening selection, "Titanic Blue," composed by Dean Santomieri in 2003. This began with an announcement made through an electronic megaphone, whose circuitry (presumably) garbled the spoken text while making it sound highly official. This was followed by a piano solo with all dampers lifted from the keys. This provided an opportunity to experience the full reverberation qualities of the piano while also making the instrument sound as if it was being played under water, yet another casualty when the Titanic sank.

  • 2013: Stephen Smoliar's review of Facebook, the Opera:
    His composition was entitled "Facebook, the Opera." If the technology was "old school," the composition could not have been more contemporary. The libretto amounted to an extensive tour through all of the many ways in which "social networking" has devolved into the inchoate chatter of texts too trivial to even hint at the possibility of semantics. Petersen and Clausen served as a chorus, responding to Santomieri's petty observations with typical Facebook reactions, such as "Like," "LOL," and, of course, "OMG." Santomieri's deadpan delivery made the result as hilarious as it was perceptive.

    Smoliar, Stephen. The different sounds of voice at Pamela Z's ROOM Series concert." Review. 27 July 2013: Arts & Entertainment. SF Examiner.

  • Article: On the Origins of the Phonograph, and interview: Incredibly Strange Music Vol. II, (1994), Re / Search Publications, SF, CA.

Other instruments:
  • Customized ARP 2600, Serge Modular Music System, Organ, Modified EMS Synthi A, Industrial Oscillator.

  • Balthazar, DS: organ with electronics, performed at Cobalt Sun.

Solo Synth:
  • Garden of Memory, No Nothing Cinema… etc.

  • 2007: Pauline Oliveros' Red Shift, with trombonist Monique Buzzarté and 5 Oscillator players. DS: oscillator. Sacramento State, FeNAM Festival.

  • 2007: with Luciano Chessa (saw) (duet for customized ARP 2600 and Musical Saw) Maybeck Recital Hall.

  • 1983-2010: Performances at various venues, No Nothing Cinema, Terrazzo Works, Oasis, Maybeck Recital Hall, Garden of Memory Solstice Concerts.

Recordings (see also Music page):
  • 2015: Santomieri-Farhadian Duo, RedBlue, Black Copper Editions. Thea Farhadian: violin & preparations; DS: guitar & preparations.

  • 2013: Facebook, the Opera, Ova Luna. DS: libretto, music, voice and piano, with singers: Leanne Petersen, Ben Clausen.

  • 2000: The Boy Beneath the Sea, narration with music, The Foundry/Hypnos. DS: story / narration. Music by Karen Stackpole, Bruce Anderson and David Kwan.

  • 1999: Crude Rotation, musique concr¸te, 3" CD, Archipelago/The Foundry.

  • 2006: Hysterica, P-Vine (JAP); Malcolm Mooney & the 10th Planet, DS: synth / guitar.

  • 2011: Incantations, Milvia Son records, (LP) DS: guitar.

  • 2005: Mogadishu / The Moth, Malcolm Mooney & the 10th Planet, DS: guitar & riff (The Moth) Unfortunate Miracle Records (45).

  • 1989: The Ramonas, Out of the Basement, by the original all-female Ramones cover band. (LP) & Misdirected (45): DS: guitar.