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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

Upcoming workshops – An overview!

There are new workshops in the agenda, and a couple planned ones just coming up. Here an overview until Autumn for everyone who is interested or who is already longer part of the Genetic Choir workshop community!


When we improvise with our voices, sometimes sounds emerge which are language-like, or even very much like comprehensible words. How do we treat this moment when singers are on the verge of becoming improvising poets

25+26 June 2022, 10:00-16:30 – 135 euro
Studio de Eester, C. van Eesterenlaan 302, Amsterdam

2 places left as we speak, reserve here…


A Genetic Choir workshop is a musical stew with improvised ingredients. Everyone can participate without prior knowledge, because all types of voices and musical preferences are welcome.

3 July 2022, 10:00-13:30 – 37 euro
Studio de Eester, C. van Eesterenlaan 302
4 places left, reserve here…


Free intro workshops for people interested in becoming volunteers of this project, where you sing and make contact with people in the last stages of dementia. More info on Stem & Luister is here.

25 June 2022, 14:00-16:30 register for this date
10 September 2022, 14:00-16:30register for this date


In September starts a new 8-session flow for improvisers who want to deepen their technique. You can only join if you have done a Genetic Choir workshop before, so if you are new to us, join one of the workshops before the summer break first!

Dates: 16+30 Sept, 7+28 Oct, 18+25 Nov, 9+16 Dec
More info and for reserving your place, go here.

SYNERGY – a Genetic Choir workshop on the island of Texel

Surrounded by nature, the experience of the body and the voice is very different from when we are in the city. Time is experienced differently. With wind, sand, trees and stones as our allies in performance, this yearly weekend is about vocal improvisation & performance art with ears and eyes wide open!

1+2 October 2022 – 195,- euro including culinary lunches both days
outside locations and buurthuis de Waal on Texel

The workshop is organised by Atelier de Waal / Anet van de Elzen. More info and registration here.

BIM50: 50 years of improvisation!

Tonight and next week, the feast of 50 year’s of BIM is kicking in, with a Double-Bill in BIMHUIS on June 4 and an Improvisation Orchestra event in De Tanker on June 12 !

From now until end of October, the ‘union of improvised musicians’ in the Netherlands is celebrating their 50 years of existence, with intergenerational bands on all the big jazzpodia of the Netherlands, locally ’embedded’ improvisation events (‘BIM in de Wijk’) and talks and radio-podcasts about improvisation.

What most people don’t is that BIM and BIMHUIS are two separate entities: The first is the ‘union’ of improvisation musicians that founded themselves 50 years ago (BIM = Beroepsorganisatie Improviserende Musici). A few years later, they founded the BIMHUIS, which through the decennia grew from a musician’s initiative into an internationally renowned jazz venue. Today, they are separate organisations, but they honour the historical and visionary bond they still share.

See for the full programme the website of the BIM vereniging – www.bimpro.nl – which will be more and more updated and revamped in the next few months!

What is the connection with the Genetic Choir?

Thomas Johannsen is leading one of the intergenerational bands (with Nora Mulder, Raoul v/d Weide, Çiğdem Okuyucu and Estrella Acosta) that will perform in Bimhuis, Tivoli Vredenburgh, Pletterij Haarlem and Muziekgebouw Eindhoven in October. He also helped at an early stage to secure the funding for this half year of celebrations as director of stichting Here&Now, the organisation behind the Genetic Choir. Together with BIM vereniging and the BIMHUIS, the stichting applied for parts of the money and set up the organisational infrastructure for this feast of improvisation!

Though Thomas could not involve other Genetic Choir singers directly (the intergenerational bands had to be ‘new formations’), former Genetic Choir collaborators are involved in the production, like Turkish singer Çiğdem Okuyucu, who is singing in Thomas’ band and Annelie Koning, who will be part of the Improvisation Orchestra on 12 June.

Additionally, Thomas helped developing the concept for a 12-part Radio 4 podcast series about Improvisation, hosted and made bij Aad van Nieuwkerk (VPRO / Vrije Geluiden). The intro podcast (‘nulde aflevering’) is online now, click here to listen to it.

There is much to enjoy the next half year, hope you will come and tune in!

And if you are a professional singer/musician who is working with improvisation, consider becoming a BIM memberTogether we stand strong!


Health/Inequalities event on RUG with Genetic Choir speaker this afternoon

We will be part of this event this afternoon on Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG), organised by the Groningen Centre for Health and Humanities:

Choirs, Health, and Social Inequalities

The hybrid seminar will feature the choirmasters of the Choir with no Name (Kate Wareham), the Berlin Strassenchor (Steven Schmidt) and the Genetic Choir (Thomas Johannsen). Together with Chris Tonelli (RUG Faculty of Arts), they will discuss how music and singing can help people affected by homelessness.

When:Mo 16 May 2022 – 15:00 – 16:45
Where:Room 002, Oude Boteringestraat 34 & Online

Thomas will talk about the Stem&Luister project of the Genetic Choir and others projects with which the Ensemble carries out their ongoing ambition to (also) reach people and audiences who not easily get involved in (modern) art.

You can be part of it, live or online, see the RUG announcement for how to get in:


The Edge of Language – voice impro workshop 25+26 June

YES! Finally we are doing full weekend Intensives again, on subjects that we as Genetic Choir love to explore. 😎

And we start with an old-time favorite:


25+26 June 2022, 10:00-16:30 – 135 euro for both days
Studio de Eester, C. van Eesterenlaan 302, Amsterdam

Reserve your place here!

When we improvise with our voices, sometimes sounds emerge which are language-like, or even very much like comprehensible words. How do we treat this moment when singers are on the verge of becoming improvising poets?

It is fun to play with the sound of words, it is what children do a lot and it is a bliss to wander around and indulge ourselves in this word-sound playfulness.

But as improvisers, we are looking for more: clarity and depth of expression, not only in music but also when words come in to play. For the audience, the shift from music to words is sudden and momentous, because our minds work that way: they cling to understandable words and story whenever they can. So how do we handle this shift as improvisers? How do we keep the imagination open when words pretend to pin down all meaning? Can we serve both, the god of poetry and the god of music? Or even better: can we stay in the no-mans land between music and meaning, and take all our time to balance on the Edge of Language?

Want to become a volunteer singer for dementia/voice project Stem&Luister?

We have three new free intro workshops planned for the project Stem&Luister!
Er komen drie nieuwe gratis kennismakingsworkshops aan voor het project Stem&Luister!

More info about the whole project, and to download the free e-book – look here: www.stem-en-luister.nl

If after the workshop you decide to join the project, you will become part of the community of Genetic Choir volunteers who are singing with the elderly in the last stages of dementia in care home the Flevohuis in Amsterdam-East. The workshops are free, and if you join the volunteer group, so are the monthly training sessions in improvisation singing that will commence after the summer.
Als je na de workshop besluit dat het iets voor jou is, dan kun je je aansluiten bij de community van Genetic Choir vrijwilligers die zingen met de mensen in de laatste stadia van dementie in vepleeghuis het Flevohuis in Amsterdam-Oost. De workshops zijn gratis, en als je lid wordt van de vrijwilligersgroep, dan geldt hetzelfde voor de maandelijkse trainingen in improvisatiezang die bij het project horen en na de zomer van start gaan.

Dates for the intro workshops are at 14:00-16:30 on 28 May, 25 June and 10 September 2022.
Click here for the agenda overview of the Genetic Choir website, where you can reserve a place by clicking Inschrijven/Register on the appropriate date.

Klik hier voor alle data en om je plek te reserveren.

See you around!

Canadian institute includes Genetic Choir publication in their online library

We are happy to announce and feel incredibly honoured that the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation has included the recently published English translation of the Stem & Luister method (House of Song and Sound) in their international research library!

The Dutch or English version of the e-book can be downloaded from our brand new project website for free:


Or look at the announcement of the publication in the Research Library of the Improvisation Institute.

“Insect Sing-Along” – Opening Performance on 19 March

The clap of a butterfly’s wings and the buzzing sounds of sudden movement of an imperceptible brown moth. Eyes closed, these sounds are an intoxicating hum; drawn to the night like a lullaby.”

Het klapperen van vlindervleugels en de plotselinge bewegingen van een onopvallende bruine nachtvlinder. Met gesloten ogen vormen deze geluiden een bedwelmend gebrom; aangetrokken tot de nacht als een slaapliedje.

On March 19th, Genetic Choir singers are going to perform a special piece of work, developed with artist Ananda Serne for the opening of her exhibition “Insect Sing-Along” at PuntWG in Amsterdam. Read more about it below.

Saturday, 19 March 2022, 18:00-20:00 at PuntWG
Place: WG Plein t/o nr 80, 1054 DM Amsterdam

For those of you who have followed the Genetic Choir for the last 10 years, this new collaboration brings back memories of the 2013 Insect Concert at the Utrecht library, the 2016 Moth, Bird and Fox concerts we developed with Marcus Coates for PublicWorksUtrecht and the collaboration with Amy Cutler, creating live soundtracks for nature documentaries on IDFA 2018.
Ananda Serne is giving us another opportunity now to follow Genetic Choir’s keen interest in biological patterns for music creation and to explore insect behaviour and sounds by means of the human voice. Come and experience it!

Curator Àngels Miralda:

Ananda Serné’s korte film Insect sing-along (2022) werd ontwikkeld tijdens haar residentie bij airWG. Het werk toont de levenscyclus van een vlinder: rups, cocon, tot de laatste metamorfose naar volwassen vorm. Insecten zijn vaak onze naaste buren, toch worden ze over het hoofd gezien. De vorm van de vlinder verandert plotseling in een robotinsect ontwikkeld aan de TU Delft. Deze prototypes kunnen in de toekomst mogelijk helpen bij de bestuivingstaken van afnemende insectenpopulaties. De verrassende intrede van (nacht)vlinders in de geschiedenis van de technologie ontstond met een anekdote over de oorspronkelijke “computerbug” – een geplette nachtvlinder die in 1947 in een vroeg model van een computer werd aangetroffen.

Achter de filmprojectie lokt een neonblauwe gloed het publiek naar boven, naar een sculpturaal lichtwerk. Nachtvlinders hebben een vreemde fascinatie voor kunstmatige lichtbronnen. Er wordt gedacht dat ze in een constante hoek naar het licht van de maan vliegen om op deze manier te navigeren. Vaak verwarren ze kunstlicht met maanlicht, hierdoor blijven ze om een lamp cirkelen en lijken ze al het andere te vergeten.

Bij zonsondergang presenteert Serné in de tuin van puntWG een performance ontwikkeld in samenwerking met zangers van vocaal ensemble Genetic Choir. Tijdens de reguliere openingsuren wordt de film begeleid door een geluidswerk dat is opgenomen en ontwikkeld in samenwerking met stemkunstenaar Miyuki Inoue. 

Ananda Serné’s short film Insect sing-along (2022) was developed during her residency at airWG. It follows the lifecycle of a butterfly: caterpillar, cocoon, to the final metamorphosis towards adult form. Insects are often our closest animal neighbours, and yet, are overlooked in ecological terms. The final form of the butterfly suddenly morphs into a robotic insect developed at the Delft University of Technology. These prototypes could potentially help with the pollination tasks of dwindling insect populations. The surprising history of lepidopterans and technology stems from a remarkable anecdote of the original “computer bug” – a squashed moth that affected early computer operations in 1947. 

Behind the screen, a neon blue glow draws the audience upstairs to a sculptural light work. Moths have a strange fascination for artificial sources of light. It is thought that they fly at a constant angle to the light of the moon in order to navigate. They often mistake artificial light for moonlight and in this way lamps distract them and they seem to forget about everything else. 

At sunset and nightfall, Serné presents a new performance in the garden developed together with singers from the vocal ensemble Genetic Choir. During regular exhibition hours, a sound piece developed and recorded with voice artist Miyuki Inoue will accompany the silent film.

All voice/impro workshops are happening!

Dear singing friends, just a note that following the further opening of the Dutch lockdown, all Genetic Choir workshops are happening as planned. Be welcome!

Open Genetic Choir workshopFebruary 6th, 10:00-13:30 in Amsterdam.
place: studio de Eester, C. van Eesterenlaan 302 // costs: 37 euro
–> reserve you place here

The Stem & Luister workshop on January 29th is fully booked, unfortunately. But if you are interested in the Stem&Luister project, let us know through Geeske Coebergh and she will let you know when new intro workshops will be planned: geeske@genetic-choir.org

For those who want to train more extensively:

The Friday Morning Sessions for coming spring will be happening on
4, 11 en 25 maart, 1, 8 en 22 april, 13 en 20 mei
This sessions are for people with Genetic Choir experience to further refine their skills. You commit to eight sessions with the same group of singers.
Read more about the Friday Morning group here.

See you around… 🙂

Genetic Choir workshop on Sunday, 6 February

Looking past the current lockdown in the Netherlands, we have already workshops planned for the new year!

What is Genetic Choir singing, actually?

We improvise with the sounds we hear around us and the songs that play in our head. Every sound is interesting to us, from the beep of a microwave to the Ave Maria on the radio.
The Genetic Choir has no conductor who is organizing the music, we compose by means of what we call musical swarm intelligence: Just as birds decide where to go as a swarm in the sky, we believe that we can make decisions in the moment – together. We don’t have to agree beforehand on what kind of music we are going to sing. We just listen to each other and act. Which is not always easy of course and therefore we look closely at how musical and human interaction works when everything is possible. We play, experiment and develop constantly new ways of getting better in what we do: vocal instant composition.

Everyone is welcome and able to experience this. You just need the curiosity to explore voice, music and listening.

Come to the open Genetic Choir workshop that we organize on
February 6th, 10:00-13:30 in Amsterdam.
place: studio de Eester, C. van Eesterenlaan 302 // costs: 37 euro
–> reserve you place here

For those who want to train more extensively:

The Friday Morning Sessions for coming spring are planned already:
4, 11 en 25 maart, 1, 8 en 22 april, 13 en 20 mei

Read more about the Friday Morning group here.

Family of people with dementia and singers of all kinds: Join free workshops of “Stem & Luister”

New intro workshops are coming up for the dementia project of the Genetic Choir:

Tuesday, 16 November 2021 14:00-16:30
Thursday, 25 November 2021 14:00-16:30
Saturday, 22 January 2022 10:00-12:30
Saturday, 29 January 2022 10:00-12:30

Place: Flevopoortzaal, Flevopoort, Kramatplantsoen 101 h, Amsterdam

The workshops are for free, but registration is needed. To secure a place, write to Geeske Coebergh, coordinator of the project: geeske@genetic-choir.org

“Stem & Luister”, the method that the Genetic Choir has been developing with the Huis van Lied en Geluid project since 2019, has as a number of connotations in Dutch language:

the voice (stem), tuning in (afstemmen), listening (luisteren) and luster/brightness (luister). All these are all central words for us in the contact with people who are starting to lose their capacity for verbal conversation.

Read more about the project on our project page or watch the video below.