As an electroacoustic composer, Dan Lander never achieved a high status, but his activities as a radio artist, sound art speaker and promoter make him an important figure in Canadian musique concrète.
Born in 1953 in Oshawa, Ontario, Lander studied performance, video and sound in Halifax (Nova Scotia), but did not pursue his eduction after his college diploma, prefering to work outside of the musique concrète institution. He set up a home studio where he developed pieces using mostly speech-based material, while erning a living as an industrial labourer. Health problems gave him time to concentrate on his music career. From 1987 to 1991 he produced the radio art program The Probleme with Language at CKLN, Toronto. He also edited two anthologies of articles on sound art: Sound by Artists (1990) and Radio Rethink: Art, Sound and Transmission (1994). Apart from a few short pieces on compilation albums like Électro clips and DisContact!, his only major release is the 1995 CD Zoo (on empreintes DIGITALes), a witty and disturbing album illustrating his very personal approach to electroacoustics.
After a few years at the Ontario Arts Council, Lander was appointed Media Arts Officer in 1998.
Dan Lander is, I think, predominantly a radio artist. He has participated in numerous international broadcasts and has filled radio editorial and jury posts in Canada and Europe. I have only heard one other work by him which was on a Nonsequiter / RadiusCD. It was cleverly constructed from the manyvarious ravings and rantings which bombard late-nite American radio/tv audiences. (Sorry I’m a bit vague on all this, but I did not keep a copy of it, which in retrospect, was a bit silly of me.)
The man’s obviously produced bunches of other stuff too, however I have not encountered any of it during my foraging expeditions.[empreintes DIGITALes has released , IMED 9526 in 1995.] There are four tracks on this 10” vinyl record. — one on one and three on the other. The long composition is titled The Road Belongs to Everyone and I found it a somewhat unpleasant reminder of countless lost hours stuck in traffic on hot days when everyone seemed to be glued to their carhorns and nearby a couple of stoned kids with eternity stretched out in front of them thought it was the hoot of the day. The flipside contains three pieces which focus on the human voice. The first track sounds like an audience applauding a street performer in ever-increasing waves responding to the same activity, in the next sentences are reconstructed from single words and phrases and tell truths originally disguised with media rhetoric. The last track starts with a rumbling kittypurr which serves as cooling counterpoint to the dance of the kitchen machineries. Not an everyday event, but certainly one which will slip neatly into a collage salad.