In the Genetic Choir, professional musicians regularly mix with people from other strands of life. They train themselves as a musical organism, a small human society that interacts in spontaneous sound, becoming music. The mix of people ensures the right balance for both musically arresting and unexpected compositions.
Virtuosity is a skill that in the Genetic Choir is redefined in the context of this utopian collaboration: Are you able to find your place in the compositional whole? And are you able to move, within milliseconds, to the place that the music asks from you?
Our music is related to chaos theory, complexity principles and the self-organising patterns of interrelated nodes in a living network. Genetic Choir compositions create meaning and beauty from seeming randomness, not unlike genes that multiply and mutate or oscillators that sync with each other after a certain tipping point.
As we are singers of flesh and blood, the human component plays a role as well: Intention, timing, taste – ‘free will’ against group tendency and the imposing logic of the music itself. In this way, the Genetic Choir touches traditional themes of the human condition – being initiator as well as small cog in the machinations of reality – and how this applies to living in the complex, networked society of today.
We create music that is heartfelt and unpredictable. We elevate an approach that operates through pattern-orientation and feedback cycles to a festival of sounds and musicality.
PHILOSOPHY AND BACKGROUND
The ambition of the Genetic Choir is to instantly compose, as a group, the music that any given moment asks for. Rather than being conducted, we want to be a choir that organises itself by the musical intelligence and intuition of all the members. Using principles of self-organisation and swarm intelligence, the Genetic Choir – as an organism – is the author and composer of all our music.
The Genetic Choir was started in 2007 when Thomas Johannsen started gathering friends and colleagues to explore all possibilities of the human voice, improviation and self-organizing systems in general, and the joy of singing.
Although Thomas functions as the artistic director of the ensemble, he is completely part of the swarm of singers when the choir performs, and does not fulfill any structuring role in the moment of instant composition. Sessions and workshops in which we train interdisciplinary swarm intelligence, vocal technique and improvisation are lead by different members of the ensemble.
We are looking at the whole range of the human voice, what generally is called ‘extended voice techniques’. But we also enjoy straight and harmonious singing, and whatever sounds we are making, we are always seeking to let the voice be ‘real’ (which actually is quite easy, but sometimes – when performing – feels like the hardest part).
Next to this, developing an understanding of how to work inside a big group of singers is an important part of the training: How to be one ‘agent’ of music amongst many, how to deal with your own desires/tastes/wishes and include them in the whole. We are also training musical principles like rhythm, sound textures and melody, but we always try to keep the system open for any type of music to appear (and not just the known genres of music).
The Genetic Choir is a professional & experimental singing ensemble that gives concerts and workshops all over the world and in various types of collaborations and circumstances. Our home city is Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
DONATIONS & ANBI
Stichting Here & Now, interdisciplinary instant composition,
is the foundation behind the Genetic Choir, registered as a cultural charity organisation in the Netherlands.
We are an ANBI foundation, which means for Dutch law that because of our charity status, donations to our organisation are tax-reductable.
Stichting Here & Now is erkend as 'culturele ANBI' (Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling).
Het doel van stichting Here & Now is het steunen van projecten en/of personen die tot doel hebben het interdisciplinaire vak van de improvisatie als professionele discipline (verder) te ontwikkelen, zowel binnen als buiten de reguliere kunstwereld.
Volledige naam: Stichting Here & Now, interdisciplinary instant composition
RSIN nummer: 855220247
KvK nummer: 63402513
BTW nummer: 855220247B01
algemeen contactadres: firstname.lastname@example.org
postadres: Rangeerderstraat 16, 1019 TN Amsterdam
bankrekening (IBAN): NL07 TRIO 0390 9316 40
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