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Dan Senn
1951 -
United States of America, WI
D. Senn
Dan Senn (14/01/1951), an American multi-media artist. He is an intermedia artist in the Fluxus tradition; born in Watertown, Wisconsin. His work broadly encompasses music composition, kinetic sound sculpture, experimental and documentary film with all of these often present in any one work. A kinetic sculpture exhibition, for example, will be organized and controlled as if it were a composition for an ensemble of self-made instruments while fully functioning as a sculptural work. An experimental video may also be integrated into the presentation. In this Fluxus mode, with its roots in the work of John Cage, Dan tends to design and build his own instruments, write his own texts for vocal works, develop his own systems for notation and composition, and invent various methods such as for rhythmically mapping objects on video. His use of sub-audio frequencies to control movement within sound sculpture is his invention. Some just say "Oh well, he's from Wisconsin. They are like that up there," which is partly true. Even his more discipline-specific music, such as a piece for two flutes using traditional notation, includes systems unique to a single composition. Dr. Senn studied music and art at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse with Truman Dan Hayes and Leonard Stach, and at the University of Illinois in Urbana with Salvatore Martirano, Ben Johnston and Herbert Brun. His music is published by Smith Publications of Baltimore. Dan lives in Prague, The Czech Republic, and in Beaverton, Oregon, USA.
Mass for Heavy Rail: Requiem for My Father
Period:21st century
Composed in:2007
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass which is freely augmented with English verse
In memory of:Harold Alton Senn (d.2008), the composer's father
Mass for Heavy Rail: Requiem for My Father (2009) is for SATB choir, dance (optional) and backing tracks which were recorded from a sound sculpture of mine called a Too Flutter. The words are from Mozart's Requiem, a Latin text which is freely augmented with English verse. The main title is a double entendre referring to the Catholic text and structure of the piece, but also to its rich and often cinematic textures. The pre-recorded sounds are acoustic in origin, unaltered except for stereo location and filtering, with the heavy rail-like timbres derived from small metal disks (washers) spinning downward over threaded steal rods (cyclical rails). The sub-title for the piece, Requiem for My Father, is a dedication to my father, Harold Alton Senn, from Watertown, Wisconsin, who passed away just as the choral writing was begun in the summer of 2008.