První Kniha
Duration = ci. 2 hours

drsných tanců od Dana Senna
An audiobook of 122 violin improvisations in 8 Chapters and an Epilogue.
Works best in Google Chrome.

The First Book of Rugged Dances (2024)
was realized using the childhood violin of Elayne Bender Senn purchased in 1929
from who-knows-where in Watertown, Wisconsin, USA. It was later played by her oldest daughter, Carol, also a violinist, and then presented to her youngest son, me, many years later. These improvisations were recorded in my Beaverton, Oregon studio in 2009 and further processed 15 years later at Studio FMEra in Watertown. They are performed using pulled nylon lines attached to key points on the violin as demonstrated in the photo above.

[See The Second Book of Rugged Dances (2024) that features improvisations on a prepared contrabass.]

There are 13 sets presented here in eight chapters plus an epilogue. Each pulled string improvisation uses 2-4 strings of the violin tuned to the same pitch (induces competing resonances), an techique explored in my contrabass improvs of the late 1990s. Special handmade contact mics were used.

The recordings were intended as 2nd generation sound sources for live performances or to accompanying dance or experimental videos. Still, they were concieved as complete, spontaneous compositions presented as such for the first time here in a format that invites further recombining, and thus, in a secondary performance role, again. It is therefore acceptable to present improvised performances directly from this webpage.

The idea for this
"Book" came after the Echofluxx 23 media festival in Prague and while collaborating with the Czech violinist David Danel, a gifted and versatile performer of traditional, experimental and improvisational music. David's work reminded me of these works and my past improvisational studio sessions. Prior to this festival encounter, I had hardly thought myself an "improvisor" in the common experimental music sense even if my performative output had depended so on improvisation since the mid-1970s.

The Epilogue sound files were likely improvised as test files in preparation for the Chapter sound files and then set aside. These have not been heard before this page was created—a "prelude" now acting as a "postlude".

These sound files to the right are not the highest resolution mp3 files but are satisfactory for demonstration and rehearsal. The original files are in .wav format and available from rakutoo (at) me dot com.

The play strip format to the right as it, agian, provids the option to hear each track alone or in combination with others. Not all browsers and computeres allow this. It may be better to use launch clips in software like Ableton Live. It is also acceptable to insert pauses in the files to make room for live performers (vocalists, dancers,
instrumentalists, speakers, improvisors.) DS012524

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).

Dan Senn (Prague-Watertown) je intermediální umělec působící v oblasti hudební kompozice a produkce, kinetické zvukové sochy, experimentálního a dokumentárního filmu. Byl profesorem hudby a umění ve Spojených státech a Austrálii a cestuje do zahraničí jako lektor, performer a umělec instalací. Žije v Praze, kde řídí festivaly Echofluxx, a Watertown, Wisconsin, USA, se svou partnerkou-spolupracovnicí Caroline Senn. Danova tvorba se volně pohybuje mezi expresivními extrémy a jazyky v závislosti na aktuálním estetickém souboji. Dan je spoluzakladatelem Roulette Intermedium v New Yorku, Cascadia Composers z Portlandu Oregon a mediálních festivalů Echofluxx v Praze. (Přečtěte si více).
     Chapter One 

d12 1
b11 2
g12 3
a#23 4
e05 5
g#03 6
g#07 7
c#01b 8
f09 9
c#07c 10
g#00 11
a#26 12
g10 13

Chapter Three

a12 27
a#25 28
b07c 29
b13b 30
c07a 31
c#06a 32
d#15c 33
d#16 34
d#19 35
d#24 36
e10 37
f06 38
f17 39
g03b 40

Chapter Five

a15 55
a#24 56
b06b 57
c02 58
c#03b 59
d#15a 60
d#21 61
d#22 62
e01 63
f08 64
f11 65
f14 66
f#53b 67
g04 68
g#05a 69

Chapter Seven

a09 85
b07a 86
c04 87
c06a 88
c06b 89
c07b 90
c#00 91
c#07b 92
d02 93
d07 94
d#25 95
f#49a 96

Epilogue (Gradually bring in all files at 1/3rd volume.)

a 109
b 110
c 111
d 112
e 113
f 114
g 115
h 116
1 117
j 118
k 119
l 120
m 121
n 122 
     Chapter Two

b07b 14
b08 15
b12 16
c00 17
c03 18
c#02a 19
c#02b 20
d13 21
f02 22
f10 23
f#2b 24
g02 25
g03a 26

Chapter Four

a17 41
a18 42
a#28 43
a#30 44
b06a 45
c#06b 46
d03 47
d04 48
d#17 49
f#01a 50
g03c 51
g06 52
g#06c 53
g#07 54

Chapter Six

a13a 70
a#22 71
b05 72
b09 73
b17 74
b18 75
d05 76
e00 77
e06 78
f#02a 79
f#49b 80
f#53a 81
g11 82
g#05b 83
g#05c 84

Chapter Eight

a10 97
a13b 98
a#27 99
b15 100
d08 101
d#15b 102
e02 103
e08 104
e14c 105
f#00 106
g07 107
g#04 108