He Studied with Philip Dadson (The Scratch Orchestra) at the University of Auckland in 1994. During this period he began developing his work primarily with the electric guitar, employing preparations and extended techniques. In early 1992 Dean began playing guitar in the rhythmic, free-noise trio Thela until it disbanded in 1996. He then started the solo project White Winged Moth – electroacoustic compositions of extended techniques on guitar, piano and percussion, et al. – in tandem with the creation of Formacentric to release his recordings.
He has participated on records from Sunburned Hand Of The Man collective, been a member of The Tower Recordings, and continues to perform and record with various electroacoustic/improv musicians. His most recent activity has been as an equal collaborator with Werner Dafeldecker and Martin Brandlmayr in the experimental deconstructed-Pop band Autistic Daughters.