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the Genetic Choir blog

regular news about vocal instant composition ensemble Genetic Choir

Solo and Duet Improvisations Weekend

Invited by theartofvoice.nl, Thomas will give another masterclass weekend in intimate setting (max. 6 singers) in the cosy living-room studio of Yinske Silva in Amsterdam. It will be two days of training in a safe and supportive setting one of the most exposed situations of being a vocal improvisor 🙂: The Solo and the Duet.

When?
29 + 30 June – 10:00-17:00 – lunch included!

How much?
235,- euro

Where?
Roelantstraat 10, Amsterdam

How to reserve a place?
https://theartofvoice.nl/singing-as-a-swarm-solo-and-duo-improvisations/

And what will we do?
Improvising in front of an audience is a special skill that asks a lot from your technique and attitude as an improviser. In this masterclass, based on Genetic Choir’s Singing as a Swarm approach, we will totally focus on this special situation: How to create meaningful music when the music is not prepared and set? We have a small group and therefore can focus on your personal habits of standing in front of an audience with your bare hands. It is a masterclass for improvisers with experience. Maybe you have improvised a lot in different workshop circumstances already but seldom as a solo or duet performer and you want to develop that skill. Maybe you already have a lot of experience as a solo improviser but want to be challenged on what you usually do and get new inspiration through the Genetic Choir approach of instant vocal music. We will have a playful and absorbing weekend as we will perform Duets (in fact an extended solo situation), as well as Solo’s (which is a duet with yourself 🙂). Singing duets will teach us about singing solo and vice versa.

See you on the weekend!

More info and/or to reserve your place, click here.

Online Lecture to join next Monday: “Making Dementia Matter Through Sound”

Invited by the University of Cologne, Germany, there will be a Zoom lecture to join for those of you interested in the dementia project of the Genetic Choir and our recently published article.

Here the official invitation:

Dear Research Community,

we cordially invite you to our next exciting lecture of the “Phenomenology of Dementia and Aging Network” on Monday, 22.04.2023, 14.00-15.30 (CET, online via Zoom), held by Thomas Johannsen (Amsterdam).

The title of the talk is: “Making Dementia Matter Through Sound – The Stem&Luister project of the Genetic Choir

Thomas Johannsen is artistic director of the Genetic Choir Ensemble in Amsterdam and co-author of the recently published article “Making Dementia Matter through Sound – The Stem&Luister project of the Genetic Choir”: https://geneticchoir.wordpress.com/2024/03/11/scientific-paper-published-making-dementia-matter-through-sound/

He will give an introduction to the article’s findings and the Stem&Luister project itself, in which singers of the Genetic Choir employ an experimental approach to the voice and ensemble improvisation to make meaningful contact with people in advanced phases of dementia. The project has been running for four years now in a care home in Amsterdam, followed by anthropologist Marjolein Gysels, who is the main author of the article.

Everyone is welcome, so please spread the word to anyone interested. 

Zoom-link: https://uni-koeln.zoom.us/j/91365214213?pwd=cWFRQnZKcjlMY3RzNEdISHMzU09GUT09

Meeting-ID: 913 6521 4213 

Password: 252346 

Best wishes from Cologne and Kassel, 

Dr. Erik Norman Dzwiza-Ohlsen, M.A. Ragna Winniewski & M.A. Christine Keller, 
Phenomenology of Dementia and Aging Network,
Husserl Archives Cologne/a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne/NAR

Nederlands Kamerkoor, Buckminster College and University of Cologne

Just a note today about the way Genetic Choir practice is spreading internationally…

Last week, Thomas was invited to give a Genetic Choir workshop to the young, international singers of the NKK NXT programme of the Dutch Chamber Choir (Nederlands Kamerkoor).

A week before, he spent two days in Brugge, Belgium, sharing Genetic Choir practice with the students and teachers of the Buckminster College, an initiative of the Vrije Universiteit Brussels to “reimagine international, interregional, intercultural education for ages 10-18”.

picture from the Buckminster College website

Upcoming is an online lecture for the University of Cologne, Germany, and the “Phenomenology of Dementia and Aging Network”, about Genetic Choir’s take on working with people with dementia in the Stem&Luister project. In the lecture, Thomas will give an introduction to the recently published article ‘Making Dementia Matter Through Sound‘.

We’ll share the Zoom link for the lecture as soon as it comes available.
UPDATE –> it’s on Monday 22 April, 14:00-15:30 and the Zoom link is here!

Scientific paper published: “Making Dementia Matter Through Sound”

Anthropologist Marjolein Gysels has been shadowing the Stem&Luister project of the Genetic Choir since many years now, and a paper she wrote about it, co-authored by Chris Tonelli and Thomas Johannsen, has last week reached the status of a peer-reviewed and published scientific article!

In the current issue of the journal ‘Voices’ (www.voices.no), published on 1st of March, 2024, the paper is featured up front. Look here for the journal’s website or download the article directly via this link if you want to read it, or share it.

The paper describes many hands-on situations that Genetic Choir singers encounter in the work with people suffering from late-phase dementia, and places the methods of the Stem&Luister project in the context of scientific discussion about improvisation, music therapy and healthcare.

“Improvisers Without Borders” – a project that should be kept in the air

Today a call on behalf of someone else: The French improvisers collective ‘Fondeur du Son’ is supporting the website ‘Improvisers Without Borders’ since its creation a number of years ago. The website, where improvisers from any country can make an account and get connected with others, was developed with EU funding, but now has to be maintained from other sources, just to keep it technically running.

It is a great networking resource for European Improvisers and should be kept in the air!

Fondeur du Son is now asking help for just the basic yearly IT maintencance of the website, and Genetic Choir just donated towards it, as we think it is an important thing for the European community of improvisers. Please consider supporting it too, even just a few euros are already helping to reach the crowdfunding goal (now at 69%)!

Here’s the place to be and contribute: https://www.kisskissbankbank.com/en/projects/improvisors-without-borders-we-need-you-eb92c7db-4732-45c3-89b3-fc69a8275d79

Thanks already on behalf of all improvisers out there!

What’s in a song?

A song – there is so much inside! And it is not just the story, music and feeling that it expresses in its original form – each song can be seen as an Easter Egg of possibilities. Especially if you look it at from a Genetic Choir point of view.

Working with well-known-songs to improvise and create new music is a long term obsession of Genetic Choir work, and with the upcoming Old Songs, New Songs workshop on 9+10 March, we will have another weekend of improvisation research where everyone brings a song, and we see what we can do with it, musically, while instant composing together.

There are two places left in the group, so if you are interested, click here for the info and/or to subscribe.

Connecting Toronto with Amsterdam

Christine Duncan (from Toronto, Canada) was in Amsterdam and we shared a wonderful morning with a few Genetic Choir singers and improviser/musicologist Chris Tonelli singing, eating and talking.

Christine is the founder and leader of the Element Choir, which you could call family of Genetic Choir in the sense that they also love all sorts of human sounds, becoming music. 😃 The main difference is that the Element Choir is conducted while Genetic Choir is about the organism of singers swarm-composing themselves. The great thing about Christine’s way of working (a system of hand-signs that she researched and developed) is that she can easily work with big groups of 50 or 80 singers and very quickly instant compose with them, like she did in the Soundmakers project of Ineke Vandoorn and Mark van Vugt, that she came to the Netherlands for.

We had a lovely conversation, good food on the table and improvised for/with each other freely (Genetic Choir style) as a dessert. What a delightful encounter! Next time in Toronto?

Happy New Music

Which music will the new year bring? Let’s go for songs that nurture and confront, that bring new perspectives in hearts that have gone cold and stiff, music of hope and truth and humour, in any degrees that a moment asks for.

Wishing the world a year with wars ending and everyone in it a year with as much peace or movement/challenges as you wish for! 💫💫💫

For Genetic Choir, of course all music is New music. But in March we will look especially at Old Songs versus New Songs, in a weekend for experienced singers. For those who love short and sweet, there is a Genetic Choir intro workshop coming up, and also the intensive group training on Friday Mornings (eight times this Spring) is going into a new round with some exciting new perspectives on Genetic Choir training!

INTRO WORKSHOP GENETIC CHOIR
27 January – 10:00-13:00 – click here

FRIDAY MORNING SESSIONS
eight times on a Friday morning between 2 February – 19 April – click here

OLD SONGS, NEW SONGS
weekend workshop 9 & 10 March – click here

See you there!

the Genetic Choir

One spot left in masterclass weekend!

Next weekend (16/17 december) is a special occasion of Genetic Choir training: The possibility for you to get full individual attention as vocalist/improviser in a two-day masterclass by Thomas Johannsen (max. 6 participants).

Yinske Silva, initiator of the House of Voice and long-year Genetic Choir veteran, is hosting this weekend in her studio in Amsterdam-West.

There is one spot left, and no specific background is needed to join. Lunch and snacks/drinks provided 😄.

All info and registration via The House of Voice: Singing as a Swarm, here.

WhatIIIF? opens their door Wednesday at 20:30

Right at this moment, 30+ artists from all over Europe are improvising at Worm in Rotterdam. Researching the use of SPACE, performing and reflecting and performing. Five days and two nights, 2-6 October 2023.

There are two Genetic Choir singers/makers in this current gathering in Rotterdam and Genetic Choir stood at the cradle of this nomadic, peer-to-peer festival of interdisciplinary improvisers.

WhatIIIF? at Worm is opening its doors tomorrow evening:

Wednesday, 4 October, 20:30-22:30
@Worm, Boomgaardsstraat 71, Rotterdam

And you can follow all outcomes of this week’s research via the Open Improvisation Knowledge Base on instantcomposition.com

drawings: live on Monday @WhatIIIF? 2023 by Danielle Davidson