Dan Cavanagh: Pamela O. Hamel/Board of Advisors Director of the Mead Witter College of Music, and Professor of Composition and Jazz Research
Hometown: St. Paul, MN
Academic/skilled background: BM Music Idea/Composition (St. Olaf Faculty, Northfield, MN); MM Jazz Research/Composition (College of Oregon, Eugene, OR), PhD Artistic Arts (Music Composition) College of Tasmania. I started my profession on the College of Texas at Arlington as Assistant Director of Jazz Research and Assistant Professor; served as Director of Music Trade Research, Chair of the Music Division, Interim Affiliate Dean and Interim Dean of the Faculty of Liberal arts in my 18 years there.
What’s your subject of analysis, and the way did you get into it? I’m a composer and jazz pianist. I’ve been taking part in the piano since I used to be 5 years outdated, and in my undergraduate years I gravitated in direction of a music composition diploma after spending a while as a math main. After graduate college (and certainly throughout), tons and many gigs! I performed in a band in my early ‘20s that had gained the “Greatest Unsigned Band in America” contest sponsored by Sam Goody. Between that and all of the live shows and gigs in school, I used to be hooked on the sensation on being on stage and sharing artwork with different people.
What attracted you to UW–Madison? I used to be drawn to the distinctive school within the Mead Witter College of Music right here at UW–Madison, in addition to the humanities and cultural scene right here in Madison that punches approach above its weight for a metropolis this dimension. My spouse and I are additionally from Minnesota and we’re thrilled to be again within the Midwest nearer to household.
What was your first go to to campus like? I got here in the course of a blizzard in February for my interview. Even by that have, everybody was heat and welcoming. I keep in mind the good meals at my dinners, however particularly keep in mind the great dialog and the shared pursuits and pleasure.
The pandemic pressured us all to rethink many issues we took with no consideration. Is there one thing you’ve realized that has helped you thru these difficult occasions, personally or professionally?
The pandemic helped me reground myself in my creative follow (which for me is piano efficiency, particularly involving improvisation, in addition to musical composition). I used to be reminded of the significance of the humanities to our human situation and expertise and I believe I had taken that with no consideration for some time.
Do you’re feeling your work relates in any strategy to the Wisconsin Thought? In that case, please describe how.
The Arts by their very nature are emblematic of the Wisconsin Thought. My artwork is for different folks. A place at a college corresponding to UW Madison comes with nice accountability to share and showcase that creative data. This has been a tenant of my life up to now, and having a college espouse that concept on the core of its being is a superb state of affairs during which to exist artistically.
What’s one thing attention-grabbing about your space of experience you may share that may make us sound smarter at events?
Improvisation is usually a realized ability involving understanding of artistic frameworks, limitations, and expression. Anybody can study to do it, imagine it or not.
I like to prepare dinner and love philosophy/aesthetics.