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Aankondigingen en terugblikken op Genetic Choir projecten, concerten en workshops verschijnen regelmatig op ons blog. Hieronder vind je de meest recente berichten.
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the Genetic Choir blog

regular news about vocal instant composition ensemble Genetic Choir

Let’s talk about improvisation! – Round Table Talk #2

After an inspiring first Round Table Talk Improvisation in November, there will now be a second edition:

On Sunday February 5th, 14:00-16:30
in the ONDERBUIK (Koningsweg 290, 3585LD) in Utrecht.

The first edition was organized last November on the occasion of 50 years of BIM. During the conversations, there was curiosity about the various improvisation initiatives throughout the country and the expressed wish to come together in this form more frequently. Improvisation ensemble and platform BUI therefore invites you to continue the conversation in Utrecht. The UNDERBUIK is a former nuclear bunker on Fort Lunet I and has now been used for a number of years as a musical breeding ground for young Utrecht musicians, managed by the BUI Foundation.

In this second edition we will continue with the themes that have been offered and new themes and perspectives will be addressed. Above all, the conversation is an encounter!

Free entrance, public, musicians, non-musicians, everyone welcome!
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/FrXHbJo2mAvQL6Sr8

(please park on Koningsweg, after the viaduct it is free, or come by public transport!)

Rondetafelgesprek Improvisatie #2

Na een inspirerende eerste gespreksmiddag in november, komt er nu een tweede editie van het Rondetafelgesprek Improvisatie.

Deze is op zondag 5 Februari, 14:00-16:30 in de ONDERBUIK (Koningsweg 290, 3585LD) in Utrecht.

De eerste editie werd vorig jaar november ter gelegenheid van 50jaar BIM georganiseerd. Tijdens de gesprekken kwam naar voren er nieuwsgierigheid is naar de verschillende improvisatie initiatieven door het hele land. Improvisatie ensemble en platform BUI nodigt jullie daarom uit om het gesprek voort te zetten in Utrecht. De ONDERBUIK is een voormalig atoombunker op Fort Lunet I en wordt nu sinds een aantal jaar gebruikt als muzikale broedplaats voor jonge Utrechtse musici, beheerd door Stichting BUI.

In deze tweede editie gaan we verder door op thema’s aanbod zijn gekomen en er worden nieuwe thema’s en invalshoeken aangesneden.

Bovenal is het gesprek een ontmoeting!
Toegang gratis, publiek, musici, non-musici, iedereen welkom!

Locatie: https://goo.gl/maps/FrXHbJo2mAvQL6Sr8

New year, Last places…

Dear Genetic Choir blog followers,

Genetic Choir in Japan, 2016

a Happy New Year to everyone!

Always a good time to look forward and back at the turning of the years. Doing so, I found this picture from six years ago at the beautiful shinto shrine in Tokushima province, Japan, where we performed (and where there was for sure a New Year ritual these days, to appease the kami ).

Here in Amsterdam, we start the year with upcoming workshops being almost full, which is lovely, but maybe there are people who still wanted to join? Here the update for last places:

There is one last place available in the Melody Makers weekend workshop. 21+22 January 2023. More info here.

There are three more places in the Friday Morning Sessions of 9:00-11:00 (eight mornings, starting in February). If you have done a Genetic Choir workshop before, you can reserve your place here.

The later Friday Morning group at 11:30-13:30 is already full!

There are also a few more places in the free Introduction workshop of Genetic Choir singing in the Stem&Luister project: this coming Saturday, 14 January, from 14:00-16:30. For reserving your free place and more info, click here.

The Ensemble has for 2023 already exciting things lined up, amongst which a documentary that we are going to make with Kim Brand and a pilot research about the effects of music in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam and several other partners.

We will update you about all this in the next mailchimp Newsletter, planned for half February!
(if you are not connected to the bigger nieuwsbrieven/newsletters yet, click here.)

Have a good start of your year! 💫

When it’s dark outside, find a melody or two…

It’s becoming more dark outside and the months are getting colder…
In order to get us through the gloomier winter months, Genetic Choir is opening its doors in January for a playful weekend of melody-making!

21 & 22 JANUARY 2023


Melodies are the storytellers of music. Just start singing a few notes and instantly there is a feeling/atmosphere, the beginning and promise of a much longer story. Melodies are also playful creatures, meaning that in bigger numbers they tend to swirl around each other, being looped and copied and transposed, creating ever-new relations and mixed identities, transforming to totally different music or ending in beautiful silences.

time: Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 – 16:30
participant fee: 135,- euro / reserve your place here
place: studio De Eester, C. van Eesterenlaan 302, 1019 JR Amsterdam

In this Genetic Choir weekend workshop, we look at how we use melodies in improvisation singing. Voice work and rhythm will feature along the way, but the focus is on weaving melodies and story. How do you go about it, as an improvisation singer? How do you make it personal and how does ‘meaning’ evolve? But also: how do you work together with other singers when inventing soothing and whirling melodies?

The Genetic Choir approach ensures that you don’t need any particular background to be able to join this workshop. Everybody works from his preferred musical style and own level of experience. The magic happens in the middle.

More info on upcoming Genetic Choir workshops? Check out the agenda.

Let’s talk about Improvisation! – this Sunday @De Ruimte in Amsterdam

Many things have been written and said about improvisation, and still it remains an elusive subject for each new generation of musicians. It’s easy to give up on it all together, because finding words for something that is so multi-faceted and open as improvisation seems often impossible (a popular motto being: “If you get, you get it. And if you don’t get it, there’s no use to talk about it!”).

Still, for all the things that have to happen in order to bring Improvisation to the stage (organising, programming, finding and developing concepts together, selling your act or album, teaching improvisation in whichever context, …) language is needed – somehow.

So at the closing of BIM50the celebration of 50 years of jazz and improvised music in the Netherlands – Dodó Kis and Thomas Johannsen are bringing together a broad range of people from different corners of the impro scene to spend some time to share and exchange ideas in a Round Table Talk. Musicians, programmers, journalists, educators from all over the country will bring their fascination or question to the table, within two rounds of exploration:

What are the essential aspects of improvisation and therefore, what connects us as improvisers, across all genres and approaches?

What is needed for a lively scene that nurtures the craft of improvised music?

Sunday, November 6th, 2022 – De Ruimte, Distelweg 83, Amsterdam

14:00 to 16:30 — Doors open at 13:45

Colleagues from whichever background, but also curious audiences, everyone with a big heart for improvisation, very welcome to join us this Sunday afternoon!

Admission is free, drinks and snacks available. 😀

To share the event on facebook and support the inititative with an ‘Interested’ or ‘Coming’:

podcast “Improvisation!” by VPRO/Radio4 features Thomas talking about Genetic Choir

In the wake of “50 years of jazz and improvisation in the Netherlands” (BIM50), Vrije Geluiden is producing a whole podcast series about the art of improvisation music for the Dutch Radio 4.

In the two-part investigation of ‘Vocal Improvisation’ (podcast #5 and podcast #6 of the whole series, vocalist-improvisers Greetje Bijlma, Kristina Fuchs, Rianne Wilbers and Thomas Johannsen talk about improvising with the human voice.

In the middle of it all, Thomas explains a thing or two about the Genetic Choir way of improvising!

Listen to it here:

Improvisatie! Vocaal (1) – about emotion, sound and text

Improvisatie! Vocaal (2) – about micro-tonal singing, trust and the presence of an audience

And for those who want to see vocal improvisation in action, come to the

Hidden Songs BIM50 concert

tonight in TivoliVredenburg!

21:00 hours, 14-10-2022, Club 9, TivoliVredenburg Utrecht

Genetic Choir singers participate in Freedom to Move on November Music 2022

Genetic Choir singers Ilyas Nadjafi en Yank Bicakci are part of Freedom to Move, a project of Sounds Now on international music festival November Music 2022!

They will give a concert-presentation tomorrow night in the Verkadefabriek in Den Bosch, together with ringleader Sofia Jernberg and the other selected singers, Jodi Gilbert, Rianne Wilbers and Paloma Lázaro Arteaga (each of them great improvisers in their own right!!).

October 12, 20.30 hrs in Verkadefabriek, ’s-Hertogenbosch. Bar is open from 20 hrs. Free entry!

The human voice literally crosses borders in this project:

At the invitation of Sounds Now, a network of European music festivals and cultural centers, singer and composer Sofia Jernberg is working for three days with five singers from diverse backgrounds. They were selected on the basis of an Open Call in which their motivation to participate was central. The participants are asked to leave their comfort zone and go on an expedition beyond language, voice, and musical barriers. The voice is given all the freedom to develop. So: Freedom To Move. The presentation of this intens journey is in October 12, 20.30 hrs in Verkadefabriek, ’s-Hertogenbosch. Bar is open from 20 hrs.

Five festivals participate in Freedom to Move and each selects its own singers with Sofia Jernberg as the connecting link. November Music kicks off this exciting project.

Sofia Jernberg
The Swedish-Ethiopian singer and composer Sofia Jernberg flashes rapidly past all limits of the vocal metier. With her flexible, expressive voice, this voice acrobat is equally at home in improvisational music, as well as performing contemporary scores and her own experimental excursions.
As a workshop leader, Jernberg can boast a wealth of experience. She studied not only jazz music but also composition. Jernberg has worked with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and improvisers such as Mats Gustafsson, Nate Wooley, Petter Eldh and Christian Lillinger. But she also plays a leading role in compositions by Arnold Schönberg (Pierrot Lunaire), Chaya Czernowin and Anna Thorvaldsdottir.

Part of the Sounds Now project, co-funded by the Creative Europe program of the European Union. In collaboration with HCMF (ENG), Wilde Westen (B) Onasis Foundation (GR) and Ultima (NOR).

BIM50 receives brilliant review in national newspaper NRC —> next concert tomorrow in Haarlem…

Last Mondays edition of Dutch newspaper NRC featured Thomas and the BIM50 project “Hidden Songs” in a cultural review that described Saturday’s concert at the Bimhuis as a ‘dedicated, intimate listening concert’. You can experience ‘Hidden Songs’ tomorrow evening in Haarlem’s jazz-hub De Pletterij. (tickets, click here) – and next week in Utrecht!

“Vocalist and composer Thomas Johannsen plays in his ‘Hidden Songs’ together with two astonishing singers from world music”

Read the full article further below or here on the NRC website.

Next to Genetic Choir singer/artistic leader Thomas Johannsen you will experience pianist Nora Mulder, double-bass player Raoul van der Weide, Cuban singer Estrella Acosta and Turkish singer Cigdem Okuyucu in unprecedented musical interplay of free improv and world music!

photos: Karen van Gilst

Genetic Choir sounds, world and jazz in Bimhuis, Tivoli, Pletterij coming up!

The feast of 50 years of Improvisation (BIM50) is now experiencing its climax with double-bill concerts with the five intergenerational bands on the big jazz podia of the Netherlands!

Thomas is leading one of them, soloing on Genetic Choir sounds and collaborating with amazing musicians Nora Mulder, Estrella Acosta, Raoul v/d Weide and Cigdem Okuyucu in his ‘Hidden Songs’ project.

1 October 2022 – Bimhuis Amsterdam (all five bands with short sets)

7 October 2022 – Pletterij Haarlem (double-bill, longer concert)

14 October 2022 – Tivoli Utrecht (double-bill, longer concert)

21 October 2022 – Muziekgebouw Eindhoven (double-bill, longer concert)

See all the other bands and events on www.bimpro.nl

vocalist en instant componist Thomas Johannsen valt in de smaak met zijn elementaire aanpak van improvisatie die hij met het Genetic Choir Ensemble ontwikkelt en uitvoert. Onlangs werd dat beloond met een werkbijdrage vanuit het Fonds Podiumkunsten. Voor BIM50 bedacht hij de ongewone combinatie van veteranen en jonge honden uit de wereldmuziek én de vrije impro samen in dezelfde band. Met de geest van de BIM-oprichters in het bloed en drie vocalisten op het podium, staat zijn kwintet garant voor avontuurlijke muziek waarin talloze stijlen verbintenis vinden.

Come and experience this! 😀

Tickets: click on the above hyperlinks per concert.

Try out Aikido – season is starting!

Huh, aikido? I thought this was the Genetic Choir blog?

You are right! But not everyone will be surprised about this announcement here. Aikido principles pass by in many disguises while training your voice and improvisation with the Genetic Choir. If you ever balanced a stick or have cut other people in half during a workshop with Thomas, you know what this is about. 🙂😎

So if you sometimes thought: I want to experience more of this martial art that combines sensitivity with decisiveness, mutual connection with standing your ground, here’s your chance!

The aikido season is starting with lessons on Monday and Thursday evening at the dojo of Kishinkai Amsterdam at the Tolhuistuin (just across the water at Amsterdam Central Station).

It’s the dojo where Thomas is training every week and guest-teaching every now and again.

Check it out on http://www.kishinkai-amsterdam.nl/contact
– The website is in Dutch, but English – also during the lessons – no problem!

Or simply send an email to Chuntug and Robert – the masters of the dojo – via info@kishinkai-amsterdam.nl

Trial lesson for free and an inexpensive first months to check it out – all possible.

And if you don’t live anywhere near, check out the nearest dojo in your city or town to improve your improvisation practice. Aikido is practiced in many different ways, and for that matter, any martial art should improve your sensitivity and split-second ability to make precise choices as a bird in a swarm of sounds!

fotos: Dennis Goedbloed

Watch Genetic Choir in live stream festival – between NOW and the coming hour!

The 24 hour IF festivalstreaming online as we speak – has no schedule for their audiences. You can only tune in and be surprised. But we were informed that Genetic Choir’s contribution will be streamed somewhere in the next 90 minutes…!

So if you have nothing to do, grab a beer or juice and get settled now, and watch the live stream HERE.

Just watched some great Irish musicians turning Irish folk into contemporary instant compositions…