Meet Jiro Maestu the Designer Behind L.A.’s Favorite Headwear brand
The OJAS founder created a custom build for Terminal 27. In his book about reggae sound systems, Sonic Bodies, author Julian Henriques describes the difference between hearing and listening: “Listening is a mental, social, and cultural process, a distinctive technique that has to be distinguished from the physiological facility of hearing. It is a relationship of the body as a whole.” This notion of embodied listening is well understood by Devon Turnbull, who builds bespoke audio equipment under the name OJAS. Whether in the form of single speakers or entire sculptural systems, Turnbull has spent two decades focused on natural sound that allows for such pure listening experiences. Turnbull developed OJAS in the background of his work as an audio engineer and clothing designer (he co-founded the influential Nom de Guerre in 2003). His early custom builds were personal passion projects until the ACE Hotel commissioned a few pieces. Though initially hesitant to commercialize OJAS, Turnbull began to see long-term benefits. “It allowed me to work on a scale that I otherwise couldn’t,” he explains. “I love the process of designing this stuff, making it with my hands. It’s one of the things I live for.” Turnbull describes the OJAS sound as “musical,” one that looks beyond the extreme frequency ranges of bass and treble to reproduce natural-sounding instrumentation. “The human voice, wind instruments, acoustic drums, and almost all string instruments live in what most people consider mid-bass to mid-range,” he describes. “The music lives there, and that's really where I put the majority of my attention.” Turnbull applied this approach to his Terminal 27 commission, an OJAS A9 system built with life-like sound and versatility for events. For this project and others, Turnbull draws from experiences with peers and legends in the audio and architecture worlds. “The significance of my memories in this space is more cultural than technical,” he says. “And I'm working on a couple of projects that really fuse architecture and sound design, to the point where the sound system will penetrate the architecture.” To celebrate the new pieces arriving at Terminal 27, as well as a special mix made by Turnbull, we asked him to share two vivid, transportive experiences that shaped him and the work he does with OJAS.