Dan Senn (Tacoma, Washington)

PERFORMANCE, Thursday, July 24, 1997, 7pm, Tacoma Art Museum.

Dan 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.

Dan Senn's Site