Vocal Instant Composition


From Insects to Good News (concert!)

paasLegoNext Saturday, 19th of April, the Genetic Choir performs once more in collaboration with the Vorlesebühne Utrecht.

The evening will be under the spell of Easter: “Het goede brengen van slecht nieuws” (Good ways of bringing bad news) is the theme around which writers and singers will convene. It starts 20:00 in the Houtzaagmolen in Utrecht and it has been rumoured that you can get very nice food before – if you reserve it before Thursday by contacting the Vorlesebühne.

For the happy occasion of this continuing collaboration, listen here to the welcoming piece that was created during the Insects Concert in the Library – our last pairing up with Vorlesebühne writers in November.

The text you hear in this recording was written and read by Hiekelien van den Herik.

After vocally embodying insects, embodying Good News this Saturday will be a piece of cake, of course. Come and listen!

Date: 19 April 2014

Time: 20:00

Place: Houtzaagmolen De Ster in Utrecht, Molenpark 3




Conclusion “Phrasing project” + Workshops coming up!

Last weekend, the research project between the Genetic Choir and Instant Composition dancers has come to a first conclusion with performances in Utrecht and Amsterdam. A process of unexpected discoveries, moments of amazing poetry and a lively struggle with the subject matter:
How to combine voice and movement -> improvisation singers and improvisation dancers in one instant composition performance?

We are fond of our fellow researchers and want to give a big thanks to Marisa Grande for the collaboration and to the other dancers who exchanged their time and expertise with us: Virag Deszo, Maria Michailidou, Johnny Schoofs, Mark Alexander Nukoop, Sarah Kate Gardiner. We are already planning to follow-up this promising exploration with more sessions of the research ensemble.

marisa_lowresBut there’s more: If you would like to get a good impression yourself of this subject matter – “voice / movement / phrasing” – there are several workshops coming up that you could consider joining:

Firstly, Marisa Grande is giving the workshop

“Weaving a dialogue”

next week in Utrecht, where the interconnectedness of movement and voice in improvisation will be the central topic. More info about her workshop on 12+13 April, click here.

The next two Genetic Choir workshops will also address phrasing in their own way, and as always body-work and movement will be involved in our musical explorations:

“Melody Makers” in June


“The Edge of Language” in September.

Both workshops are open for pioneer participants to inscribe now. More info on these two workshops, click here.


This weekend: Two Concert-Performances with Dancers

The Secret Life of Phrases

29th of March (Amsterdam) and 30th of March (Utrecht)


Two Concert-Performances as a conclusion to our research into voice and movement improvisation

A musical phrase, just as a movement phrase are the DNA of any music/dance improvisation performance. They are building blocks, that combined create more complex structures of dance, composition, story…And what are phrases themselves made of? Sounds, tones, rhythmical relationships in music, and for physical performers: smaller pieces of movements and the way they are pieced together in tension and timing.

Dance & Voice Performers/Researchers: Sarah Kate Gardiner, Maria Michailidou, Johnny Schoofs, Marc Alexander Nukoop, Virag Dezso, Moira Mirck, Petra Pieck, Marjolijn Roeleveld, Yinske Silva, Marisa Grande, Thomas Johannsen                 

Read the rest of this page »

Untapped Cities article

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 17.02.26

The Genetic Choir was mentioned in May 2013 in this article, alongside STEIM, the Bimhuis, Institute of Sonology at the Hague and Mediamatic Amsterdam.

Read it here: http://untappedcities.com/2013/05/17/innovative-and-inexpensive-hollands-experimental-music-scene/

Apparently, from a New York perspective, the Dutch experimental music scene has a lot to offer! (This by the way contrary to the feeling of most Dutch experimental musicians who feel the scene is suffering strongly from the enormous cultural budget cuts of the last years… And while both perspectives are certainly true, I’d rather see the world in the colours this article paints…!  ;-)  )




Greetings from Colombia!

Screen Shot 2014-03-22 at 15.44.49There is a very nice webblog called “Vocal Explorations” run by Carolina Gamboa-Hoyos, who is a singer and director working at the Department of Music at University of the Andes in Bogota.

She just posted an article about us after finding out that we exist and exploring our work here on the Genetic Choir website. Thanks, Carolina! Find her article by clicking here.

The rest of her blog, where she gathers all sorts of information on the Experimental Voice is also very much worth a visit!

Check it out: http://carolinagamboahoyosblog.wordpress.com

Improvising with known music – the Well-Known-Song workshop

Family Radio Living Room_well-known-songUpcoming is a workshop that combines the free improvisation approach of the Genetic Choir with the apparently opposite: Bring your own song!
On 8 and 9 March we will diffuse the idea that there is a difference between improvising and singing a known song. Well, there is – and there isn’t. The challenge of singing a well-known tune in such a way that it is fresh and engaging in the moment is very close to the challenge of improvising free material, as we will see. And what about cutting up a song and using the material to create completely new vocal music? How to deal with another singer/improviser who brings in his own (prepared) material? We will look at those things as well.

The workshop will combine individual work on your own voice and interpretation of your song with duo/trio improvisations and ensemble singing.

If you have questions about this particular workshop, contact us. And if you’d like to join, send us your details via the form below (or the form at the bottom of the workshop page).

The workshop takes place in Amsterdam
Saturday + Sunday – 8/9 March 2014 – 10:00-17:00
Price for the whole weekend: 110,- excl. BTW (130,90 incl.)

De aankomende workshop combineert het vrije improviseren van het Genetic Choir met het ogenschijnlijk tegenovergestelde: Neem een voorbereid lied mee!
Op 8 en 9 maart gaan we het hardnekkige idee vermorzelen dat er een verschil is tussen improviseren en het zingen van een bekend liedje. Er is natuurlijk een verschil, maar ook weer helemaal niet. We zullen zien dat de uitdaging een voorbereid lied zodanig te zingen dat het sprankelt en boeit in het moment sterk overeenkomt met de uitdaging van het improviseren. Ook het idee van ‘respectvolle omgang met bestaand materiaal’ gaan we zowel omarmen als ook compleet herdefinieren: De meegebrachte liedjes worden én intact gehouden én roekeloos opgeknipt, fijngemalen en hergebruikt in kwaliteitsvolle Genetic Choir instant composities.

Je werkt individueel aan je eigen stem en de interpretatie van je lied en daarnaast in duo en trio configuraties, en in klein ensemble setting.

Nog vragen? Laat het ons weten via de contact pagina. Als je graag mee wil doen, stuur dan je informatie via het formulier onderaan deze post (of het formulier onderaan de workshop pagina)

Open Sessions around research into “Phrasing”

voicemovemnt3The Genetic Choir is conducting a research together with instant composition dancers: “The Secret Life of Phrases”. This research will lead to performances on 29th and 30th of March.

If you are an improviser, using either your body and/or your voice in performance, you are very much invited to join us in one of the open sessions this Saturday at 16:00 and also on 29th of March, same time.

16:00-16:30  Individual Warm-Up time
16:30- 18:45  Practice session
19:00- 19:30  Joint Performance
Whether it is a musical phrase or a movement phrase, there is a certain mindset that is connected to working with phrases and phrasing. A first working definition could be that a phrase is a small unit of performance material in time, which has a beginning, a duration and an end. But what is the inner life of a phrase? And how do they connect in time between dancers and singers, as they are using body as well as voice to build instant compositions from a multitude of phrases?
We would like to get a good view of our research field, so we are very curious about the various views and working concepts that we can gather around the theme of ‘phrasing’ with all the improvisers that will come together this Saturday.
In the month of March, we will then do a concentrated research with a smaller group of dancers and Genetic Choir singers. On 29th of March, there will be again an open session to share the results with other improvisers. More info on the project? click here
So you are very welcome to join us:
This Saturday, 22nd of February and also Saturday, 29th of March from 16:00
at Dansmakers Amsterdam (WG terrein), Eerste Helmerstraat 102  ½ (opposite 147) 
Contribution (if you join the practice session): 15 euro
Performance at 19:00 is free.

The project is created and led by Marisa Grande and Thomas Johannsen, and is being hosted by the Carpet Research Sessions and the IC Practice in Amsterdam.

There will be concert/performances on both 29th of March (19:00 in Amsterdam) and Sunday 30th of March (16:00 in Utrecht). More information about the performances: click here