by Dan Senn
for Fixed Media, Quad or Stereo
6 minutes and 32 seconds
|Action Speak was realised using a
clone of a
Korg MS-20 Synthesizer (Behringer K2), a
LaunchPad Pro, and Ableton Live 11 software.
It is a 4-channel, fixed media work, the stereo
version presented below to the right. The work,
composed and performed at FMEra Studio
in Watertown, WI, in December of 2022,
must be played loudly as using the built-in
speakers of an iPad or iPhone-like device are
like spying a large abstract painting through a
long, narrow tube. At a minimum, wear
earphones. Better still, headphones. Better
still listen using large airspeakers with a
subwoofer in a well designed room.
Action Speak is improvised throughout, not
algorithic, and consists of a thickish network of
complex and unique gestures, each minutely
shaped to explore the endless possibilities
of an analog instrument as patched
by the composer.
banner above was shot with an iPad
by the composer at FMEra Studio and is a photo
of a photo off the studio wall taken by
John Crocker at the Canberra School of Music,
Australia, on the stage of Llewelyn Hall
in 1980 of Dan performing his Scrapercusion
sound sculpture built in 1978 at the University of
Illinois, Urbana. The Korg MS-20 was issued in 1978, and used by Senn in his Jefferson Street Studio, Chicago,now burned to the ground. The banner bookends 42 years of artistic action by this interdisciplinary artist. The photo and work (AS) was completed on the first day of Winter, December 21, 2022.
"Actions speak louder than words",
or so she said.
Play loudly the stereo version of this work below.
| The 4-channel version of ACTION SPEAK was composed starting with
voice 4, then 3... with voices 3 and 4 put to the front
left-right (channel 1-2), voice 1 and 2 to back right-left (3-4) — a
distribution scheme I have used since the 1970s. Therefore, channel 1
is front left, channel 2 is front right, channel 3 is back right (while
facing forward) with channel 4 back left facing the same way. Playback
works well with this orientation but may be effective with
channel 1 paired with 4, 2 with 4, or 1 paired with 4, and 2 with 3.
Dan Senn (Prague-Watertown) is an intermedia/fluxus artist working in music composition and production, kinetic sound sculpture, experimental and documentary film. He has been a professor of music and art in the United States and Australia and travels internationally as a lecturer, performer and installation artist. He lives in Prague where he directs the Echofluxx festivals, and Watertown, Wisconsin, the USA, with his partner-collaborator, Caroline Senn. Dan's work moves freely between expressive extremes and languages depending upon the aesthetic joust at hand. Dan is cofounder of Roulette Intermedium in New York City, Cascadia Composers of Portland Oregon, and the Echofluxx media festivals in Prague. (read more).