EXPERIMENTAL MULTIDISCIPLINARY WORKS
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Following his graduation from McGill University in 1974, Dawson struggled with choices facing any composer at the start of their professional career. On one hand, within the context of the late 60's, modernism and abstract music were the mainstream that would offer an instant sense of being part of the "new music" community.
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On the other hand, he felt a strong attachment to the musical tradition from his formative years in Victoria that included the expression of emotion, psychological engagement with form and expression - a human physicality and tangibility that really seemed lacking in the "new music" language.

After a year of weighing the choices, Dawson decided to pursue new technologies and experimentation as a way of recapturing that sense of the human within a contemporary context. Part of this journey led to multimedia and theatrical performance. As luck would have it, the dynamic Montreal arts scene at this time offered an ideal setting for collaboration and exchange between artists. The next six years produced a series of unique works - each exploring new crossovers between media.
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COMPOSITIONS

THE CLOUDS OF MAGELLAN (1976-77)
      for Computer-controlled slides and Quadraphonic Tape.
      In collaboration with visual artist Suzy Lake.

BINARIES (1977-78)
      for 4 Dancers, Amplified Piano and Percussion.
      Graphic sound score with dance notation of choreographed
      contact improvisation techniques.

EXPLORING THE OBJECT (1978-79)
      for Amplified French Horn, Microphone System, and Mixer.
      READINGS FROM THE EDGE OF THE TROPOSPHERE (1978-82)
      Performance art piece for Reader with Amplified Body System and Mixer.

JOINT ACTIONS (1980-81)
      Performance art piece for Double Bass with Male Player and Female Dancer.

FAILSAFE (1980-83)
      Gallery installation piece with pressure vessel, carbon dioxide cylinder,
      temperature sensing system and computer monitor displays.

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