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As a producer, sound artist and a composer, Dan Samsa has been working towards his latest project Contours. Having grown up in the vibrant London Borough of Lewisham immersed him into the underground music scene of South London, regularly performing live and DJing - it’s no wonder, then, that the UK sound and scene has made such a powerful mark on his music. Having been influenced by the likes of Kamikaze Space Programme, Dillinger, Lemon D, Photek, Clark, Special Request and The Future Sound of London there is an obvious IDM element present in his work, reflecting the hard-hitting and uncompromising rhythms of techno and UK jungle. However, it’s his classical training and experience performing with live acts such as Kae Tempest that enabled him with the technical skill to create such immaculate constructions. In the same vein as innovators such as Morton Feldman and John Cage, he is intrigued by music not only as an auditive phenomenon, but also as a spatial and social manifestation; he therefore meticulously curates his recordings to allow for the impact of space, then performing it in a way that envelops the listener and challenges their notions of what sound and music can be. His most recent ‘Contours’ album at R&S Records sub label Apollo can testify to this; it was recorded with a 360° microphone while performers were being directed around spaces such as Southwark Cathedral.

Photo By: Cigdem BORU

With Dan Samsa’s application of space as if it were a musical instrument, our regular modes of listening are undone. The album having been conceived within linear and circular structures, it was conceived as an ode to time and the potential of change. ‘It’s the sheer diversity of music as an artform that excites me,’ says Dan Samsa, bringing together time, space and a wide realm of musical registers into a seamless whole where all are equal. At the heart of the Contours album is a deeply biographical element; as his mother used to sing Dan folk songs when he was growing up, folk vocals are woven into the ‘Contours’ album, that both revisits and explores important elements that have made an impact on the composer in the past.

Dan has already operated under the 'Warsnare' ALIAS, having released a number of electronic EP’s. One of them, ‘Warchestra’, came into existence during his travels in South America, where he collaborated with Brazilian musicians and merged their sound with UK styles. At the Albany Deptford he produced a sell-out live 360° show of the album, including live orchestral instruments and receiving outstanding reviews, including a 8.9 by DJ Mag. He was awarded an associate composer position with Gabriel Prokofiev's Nonclassical, which explores the in-betweens of classical and experimental music, and recently co-organised the 360° sound festival 'Array'. Dan was commissioned to write an orchestral piece for CoMA (Contemporary Music For All) and is currently working on a second orchestral commission for the Southbank Sinfonia that will be performed at St. John's Smith Square in September.  He produced three sound installations for the Vache Baroque Festival last summer, including one where he again demonstrated an aptness for conceptual works and hybrid modes of expression by combining interviews with a Syrian refugee with passages from the Aeneid. This year he is producing a multichannel installation exploring the connections, both musically and socially, between tribal rites of passage and European rave culture. He has a collaboration planned with viola player Alison D’Souza, choreographer Ukweli Roach, the London Contemporary Orchestra and the dance crew Birdgang, showing again that in Dan Samsa’s universe, music is not just a creation, but an intervention. Having refined his techniques and ideas throughout his never-ending research into the outer edges of music, Dan Samsa is now releasing his debut album on Apollo. Having been produced to work as a live surround sound show as well as in stereo and an online 360° VR-experience, it’s outcome is to demonstrate an entirely new way of approaching music that will influence many in the years to come.



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