More about Dan

Dan teaching in Beijing 2010

Dan teaching in Beijing 2010

Early years

I grew up in a vicarage in the Welsh Borders. Once school was done I spent a year serving beer to seafarers in Rotterdam, before heading off to Warwick University to study Engineering Design and Appropriate Technology (1980-83). Whilst there I got  inspired by the design of a Third World seed-drill, and set off on a path making unusual musical instruments, including the creation of a series of Electric Xylophones and the ‘Rickety Rack’.

The Eighties

Making instruments got me involved in musical performance and I began to focus on the less conventional possibilities of percussion and drum kits, playing in a number of outfits including the Eighties underground band ‘Jackdaw with Crowbar’, releasing records on the Ron Johnson label and recording sessions for the John Peel.
What I really liked was the exploratory end of live performance and site-specific work and it was during this time that I started working with IOU (ioutheatre.org), an important creative thread that continues to this day.  I also ran regular music workshops, taught and toured schools with the Warwickshire Multi-cultural Ensemble throughout this period.

The Nineties

I then moved to London  and switched my focus to digital things. Initially working as a researcher at the Bartlett School of Architecture, developing cityscape simulations, then going on to gain a postgraduate distinction in Computer Science at UCL with a special interest in the worlds of artificial life and adaptive learning. 
This then allowed me to work as a programmer and project manager, first with a ground-breaking software company in West London, and then, at the height of the dot com Internet boom, with a company in Hoxton specialising in virtual environments.

Two Thousand and On

A yearning for fresh air and hills led to the decision to move up north to the Yorkshire/Lancashire border, where I am now happily settled with my wife and daughter, and a workshop full of tools and equipment..
After a few years continuing in the Internet software business I took a job as a part-time Funeral Director (long story) but spent all my available time and energy developing ideas for BLOTT WORKS, which is now my full time focus and will be for the rest of my working life.