by Dan Senn
for Piano and Violin
duration 13-14 minutes
|La Bohéme was was first written in
Prague in 2009 but completed in 2020 at
in Watertown, Wisconsin, USA.
The title for this work, La Bohéme, arrived while taking a break from composing the initial sketch in Prague. Soon after leaving my Břevnov flat, maybe for lunch, I noticed a business nearby called the “La Bohéme Travel Agency” and so I named the work after Puccini’s opera. a pretentious title, for sure, but well deserved as 1) its pitch material had been 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 well of his love for opera and Puccini, and 3) my duet was operatic in nature, albeit without a vocal part.
|La Bohéme consists
of 8 smallish sections that are difficult to perform, not unlike
Martirano’s brilliant piano work. By the way, if Sal felt the spirit
moving him at the University of Illinois, for a class expecting, say, a
session 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 and
had been 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.
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.