by Dan Senn
2 minutes and 5 seconds
In 1971, at the age of 20, I enrolled in private lessons in music composition and then a ceramics class at my undergraduate university. This was presumptuous, and risky, as I had composed little, only in secrecy, and had never taken an art course. Yet, from the moment I began composing/making art from scratch, not building kits, I was transformed as the mind-numbing chaos in my life lifted. I became centered, peaceful, even as I continued my studies to be a nobel school band director. And I soon realized this calm intensity was extended beyond my artwork. Everything improved as mind chatter unceasing slowed, then halted, uncovering an intellect I had not known. I could remember things, they stuck, writing these down in journals I keep to this very day. My grades improved and three years later I was accepted to graduate school as a composer and teaching assistant, a minor area in ceramics, at a prestigious university. In seven years, I cofounded Roulette Intermedium now in New York City. Within nine, I was a professor at a leading music school in Australia and today direct an international festival in Prague.
  Had I not been able to cross that frightening barrier in the autumn of 1971 and enrolled in these classes, my life would have been squashed under the weight of a decrepit culture and a raging internal blather.

It is now 2024 and little has changed. I must work, make original art, or lose the freedom it provides. Ceramics was replaced by experimental and documentary film. Electronic and computer music supplements my acoustic music. For years I designed and built kinetic installations and performed my own sculptural instruments. As I work, or produce the same for others, I am protected, spontaneous and free. To remain so alive, a gift to all, I make art while seeking difficult situations to instigate growth.

This is an existential truth about me—a tipping point of every decision.
I choose to live. DS010824
Dan Senn, DMA, (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).