Dan Senn (Tacoma, Washington)
PERFORMANCE, Thursday, July 24, 1997,
7pm, Tacoma Art Museum.
Senn is a sound artist who came to contemporary music by way of
the visual arts. Trained since early childhood as French horn
player and vocalist, he began studying ceramic sculpture while
in music school at the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse where
he was introduced to raku pottery, an ancient ceramic method which
fundamentally shifted his aesthetic. In 1978 he began building
sculptural instruments which he now exhibits and performs widely.
On and off since 1978 he has been developing a computer software
program entitled the Raku Composition Program, a powerful personal
composing system which, like his instruments, exhibits the peculiar
paradox of raku... that is, highly considerate, non-linear systems
which exist to confound the will and talent of the artist. Since
1974, he has kept personal journals, a practice which has crept
into his performance and installation work over the last ten years.
His videos, which he calls "percussive videos" exist
in unedited form and are characterized by a frame-by-frame rhythmic
mapping of a single object or territory played back over clusters
of monochrome and color videos. Over the last few years he has
toured Europe, New Zealand, the U.S. and Canada exhibiting and
performing his sculptural instruments and art. In November 1996
he performed and exhibited at Festivals in Krakow and Warsaw Poland,
and was awarded the Artist Trusts 10th Anniversary Presidents'
Award in June 1997, Seattle.
Dan Senn has a doctorate in
Music Composition and Ceramic Sculpture (minor) from the University
of Illinois where his principal instructors were Salvatore
Martirano, Ben Johnston, and Herbert Brun. At the UW-LaCrosse
he studied art with Leonard Stach and music composition with Dr.
Truman Hayes. He has been a Lecturer in Electronic Music at the
Canberra School of Music in Australia, an Associate Professor
of Composition at Ball State University in Indiana, and a Visiting
Professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. In
1995 he was awarded the McKnight Composer-in-Residence Award for
the State of Minnesota where, among other projects, he produced
the Catacombs of Yucatan Sound and Video Installation within a
remote limestone cave located in the southeastern corner of that
state. In 1993 he founded Newsense Intermedium, an non-profit
presenting organization specializing in experimental performing
arts for which he is now the Artistic Director. His scored music
is published by Smith Publications, Sonic Arts Editions, and AM
Percussion Publications. His recorded music is available from
Newsense Intermedium, Experimental Musical Instruments, and the
Penelope Loucas Gallery.