by Dan Senn
for Piano and Violin
duration 13-14 minutes

La Bohéme was written in Prague in 2009, the final version completed in 2020 at Waterhouse Studio
in Watertown, Wisconsin, USA.

The title, La Bohéme, arrived while taking break from composing the work in Prague. Soon after leaving my Břevnov flat, I noticed a business next door called the “La Bohéme Travel Agency”. And so the piece was named after a travel agency! but also Puccini’s opera. A pretentious title, for sure, but well deserved as 1) its pitch material was borrowed from a single symmetrical phrase in Salvatore Martirano's virtuosic piano work "Cocktail Music”, 2) Sal had been my principle composition teacher and I knew of his love for opera and Puccini, and 3) the work is melodramatic, albeit, without a vocal part.

By the way, if Sal felt the spirit moving him while teaching at the University of Illinois, say, a class in 20th Century Orchestration, he might instead sing an entire Puccini opera at the piano! Besides being a first rate bee bop pianist, Sal had been raised in the home of Sicilian immigrants in the Bronx. Has was weaned on opera.

The full score and parts are available from the composer  but may be previewed as a video here. Sound alone of the entire piece scan be heard by clicking play below.

Dan Senn (Prague-Watertown) is an intermedia 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).

Photo was taken in Prague of the composer at the Echofluxx
Media Arts Festival
by Caroline Senn.