Turning to electric bass and guitar as a teenager, he got his first pro gigs in country bands playing street parties in small Midwestern prairie towns. During his years at Minnesota’s prestigious Carleton College he majored in Music and graduated summa cum laude. He was also influenced by a semester abroad spent near the ancient Buddhist and Hindu holy sites in Bodh Gaya and Varanasi, India where he also learned Indian music theory and studied the classical bamboo flute or bansuri. During college he won numerous national college jazz awards and caught the attention of legendary (ex-John Coltrane Quartet) bass player Reggie Workman. Workman offered von Seggern a free ride scholarship to the prestigious Jazz program at the New School for Social Research in New York City. During his NYC sojourn the young bassist learned the soul of jazz improvisation from master jazz bassists Gary Peacock, Cecil McBee and Lonnie Plaxico as well as Workman.
He also had the chance to learn jazz arranging and the deeper art of groove with session drum legend Bernard Purdie, culminating in a gig and recording session with Purdie and other New School students at Manhattan's famous Village Gate club. After completing the program he split for Tokyo, a hotbed of jazz and acid jazz in the early 90s. While there von Seggern played on gigs with the United Future Organization, Soul Bossa Trio, and other local luminaries as part of the Michael Emenau World Project. A job offer in Hong Kong led him there for what became an auspicious career as a session player and tour bassist for some of the biggest stars in the Asian music world including Andy Lau (House of Flying Daggers), Jackie Cheung and others. While in Hong Kong he became interested in electronic music and formed computer music duo with UK émigré Stephen Ives. DCL released two albums on local label Gogo Records as well as a number of remixes and track releases for both EMI and Universal.
The duo were well-known innovators in the Southeast Asian music scene and are still brought over to Asia to perform, most recently in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. In 2000, von Seggern entered graduate school at the University of Hong Kong, where he did research on the emerging local rave culture and music communities on the Internet and earned an M.Phil degree in Music. He returned to the US in 2001 where he continued his studies at the University of California-Riverside and received an M.A. in Ethnomusicology for his further work on understanding the development of music cultures online. Turning away from academia in 2004 von Seggern began working full-time in music technology, first at M-Audio and currently at Native Instruments.
He has also written two popular books on computer music for Thomson Publishing, Laptop Music Power and Ableton Live 6 Power. von Seggern’s latest musical explorations include his experimental techno/electro duo with Aaron Raab, Electro Tec Services, which resulted in the popular track The Professionals released on the LA IDM compilation Fateless Flows Volume 3 and heard on KCRW-FM and KUCI-FM radio stations in Southern California. He is also finishing up a jazz/electronic project with well-known Los Angeles studio musicians Steve Tavaglione, Judd Miller, Gary Novak, John Beasley and Dave Carpenter. His interest in virtual music communities continues to inform his projects including his net.label Vibration Institute, connected to a nightclub/performance space of the same name in the online virtual world Second Life. Recently he held an event at the virtual Vibration Institute in cooperation with the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art, streaming a live performance at the Museum by Argentinean sound artist Yaco and a techno set by John von’s Second Life avatar Johnvon Watanabe. von Seggern specializes in cutting-edge beats and sounds as well as creating new fusions and mixtures of music from genres around the world.
His experience as an international producer, session musician, academic and technologist has given him a uniquely global and futuristic perspective on the world of music, and an ability to consistently come up with fresh new sonic combinations. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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