Sound Art Workshops by Dan Senn

Sculptural Instruments.

Sculptural Instruments are designed to function fully as sculpture AND fully as a sound making device. Of all my instruments, the Too Lips, and associated fluttering instruments, best achieve this balance, a relationship I refer to as symbiotic. Therefore, due to the strength of this sight and sound connection, one never tires of watching and hearing the "moths" cascade down the stem of a Too Lips. The rhythms and sound colors are endlessly complex even while the action itself is amazingly simple.

The Lyde* instruments, on the other hand, are not strictly sculptural even if they are often displayed as part of an installation with the Too Lips. Instead, their strength is twofold: 1) a broad timbral range, from a beautiful continuous ringing sound (not unlike that of a Tibetan bell), to pitched wood block sounds, and, 2) a mobility which enables performance on the move. This last aspect propels these simple found instruments toward dance or, at a minimum, a motion in pursuit of interesting sonic space. Indeed, this is the foundation and purpose of the International Space Band intiative, where workshops are organized to teach the Lyde instruments and to enable larger groups of players to move within city environments in search of exquisite soundings.

The instruments used in a workshops will vary but always include my Lyde instruments and Too Lips sound sculptures. Both of these are mobile and both can be constructed, or reconstructed, in a workshop. These instruments are then supplemented by the human body and voice as an instrument, by simple corn shakers, wind up alarm bells, the nearby floor, walls and chairs as percussive sound sources, and then, in some instances, by other instruments of mine like the Fayfer Harp and Too Flutter.

* I have appropriated the Danish word for sound, "lyde," as a replacement for the more obvious "lid."