by Dan Senn
a theatre piece for piano & fixed media
for Piano, Pre-Recorded Prepared Piano and Projected Score
duration 12 minutes
and 10 seconds
CAGED was composed in Canberra, Australia, in 1980 for the pianist John Luxton. It uses a projected score, graphic and traditional, and is accompanied by pre-recorded sounds sampled from a prepared piano recorded and manipulated using a Fairlight Computer Music Instrument at the Canberra School of Music, Australia, in 1980 where Dan served as Lecturer in Electronic Music and Composition while directing the Electronic and Computer Music Studios.

The Fairlight CMI was a pioneering digital sound instrument made famous by English pop stars in ways trivial to contemporary music aesthetics. Without the monetary backing from this industry, however, the instrument may not have been further developed. This is much like what has occurred more recently with, say, amazing software like Ableton Live. Caged, however, was made by an experimental classical artist, a fluxus artist to boot, with an orientation toward non-linear and complex vertical textures that supplant the eight bar phrase and thus represents a starkly different creative approach to this amazing invention by Tony Furse

Caged was likely the first texture-based score to be composed at the Canberra School of Music on the CMI, a revolutionary invention initially developed at the Canberra School of Music (now part of the Australian National University) with the assistance of Don Banks. Dan designed and directed the Computer Music Studios, Australia, from 1980-1984.

CAGED, named after John Cage, referencing his prepared piano invention, is a "theatre piece", language commonly used at the time meaning a performer had an intended theatrical role beyond playing the music. Theatre lights and levels are designated in the scored, for example.

Stage Setup

Click here to see PDF of score

Purchase graphic score plus the .wav stereo
backing tracks from composer.

Listen to the backing sounds for this
piece on SoundCloud

Dan Senn working on the Fairlight CMI at the Canberra School of Music, Australia in the early 1980s. Click image to enlarge.

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).

Above photo was taken in by Tim Brook.