After our tour to Japan, we received this engaging impression from one of the Japanese participants of the Creative Music Festival:
by Hiko (Nobuhiko Itani)
Wonderful 2 day festival in Hiroshima! The hall was always filled with good atmosphere that made participants positive and creative. I had lots of precious experiences during the festival. All events in the program, including Genetic Choir’s performances, workshops, a lecture, a symposium, and a concert were really impressive and meaningful to me.
1. First of all, I was deeply moved by the opening performance by Genetic Choir (GC). It was exciting experience for me to witness the genesis of sounds and music.
2. Two workshops by Mr. Thomas Johannsen (the leader of GC) were really joyful and meaningful. I learned a lot not only from Thomas but also from other participants. It was most impressive to me that I felt silence as substantial when all of us closed our eyes, kept long tones, and listened to the silence in the wave of sound. I was excited to feel that the silence had a color, weight, texture, and density.
3. It was also wonderful experience for me to take part in the “Stage” workshop navigated by Mr. Daisuke Terauchi. It’s a really splendid idea to “do anything you want to do!” It was interesting to see that there was a harmony on the stage while each participant did what he/she wanted to do. I found it joyful to watch people doing what they want to do.
4. In the symposium, I was impressed with some ideas, especially ones shared between Thomas and Kristien. Thomas said that GC tries to accept everyone who wants to take part in the choir. (I’m not sure if GC welcomes everyone as its member. Maybe he just referred to the case in GC’s workshops.) Kristien added that when she finds it uncomfortable to sing along with a newcomer, it is a good opportunity to search for a new way to make the choir more interesting. Thomas and Kristien share the idea that they can and should learn from newcomers and even from beginners. Even when it seems that a newcomer is not good at singing, they try to find something special in his/her singing. I think that GC regards diversity, individuality, and relationship among people as the most important elements of creativity.
5. In concert, the last event of CMF2016, all the participants performed on the stage, sometimes with the members of GC. Most participants bravely tried to do what they had never done. Everybody on the stage was really beautiful because of the big challenge.
It was amazing experience for me to perform with GC and other participants. Ralph, Tanaquil, Thomas, Monica, and I improvised a children’s song. I was so happy that I saw everything in the hall was shining. The closing performance by GC was also wonderful. The members invited the audience onto the stage during the performance. We all were free to sing, to shout, to chant, to dance, and to chat, but there was a harmony on the stage: a harmony that originates in disharmony. It was touching to me that the light on the stage and the darkness on the seats for the audience overlapped with each other and created beautiful scenery.
The Genetic Choir Ensemble is right now boarding their plane on Tokyo Narita Airport on their way back to Amsterdam.
What an amazing days it have been!
You can find the on-the-go photo diary of our tour and performances via the link below.
(the page is accessible even if you are not on facebook)
More detailed reports will follow!
In what may be the most unlikely artistic collaboration of this year, the Genetic Choir will create new music for the piece “Born on this Planet” by Bunraku company Mokugu-sha on 22nd and 25th of September in Tokushima, Japan.
After giving vocal workshops and concerts coming weekend in Hiroshima (see here), the Genetic Choir Ensemble will travel to Tokushima province where they will meet with master puppeteer Kanroku, who is one of the most prominent performers and teachers of this ancient puppeteer tradition.
For a new play that he created in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster (“Born on this planet”), he asked the Genetic Choir to create new all-vocal music, which will be premiered on the 22nd and 25th of September in Japan. First in Tokushima city, and the second performance in one of the ancient village puppet theatres (Kitagawa Nouson Butai ), up in the mountains of Tokushima province.
We can’t tell you how excited we are! 😀
If you want to follow what we’ll do:
There will be regular updates about the Japan tour via facebook. We have a brand new Genetic Choir Ensemble page:
And you can also still befriend us as https://www.facebook.com/genetic.choir
The International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) is the largest, most established international conference for music practitioners working with digital technologies. It is a travelling annual conference, currently in its 42nd edition, which gathers leading researchers, practitioners and artists from around the world working in the academia, industry, or independently in a variety of fields – a.o. music and sound art, interactive art, performance, musicology, human-computer interaction, computer science and engineering. This year back in the Netherlands (after 30 years), it is organised by Gaudeamus Muziekweek and HKU University of Arts, Utrecht.
With the prospect of beginning programming work on the listening software for the Loop-Copy-Mutate project in August 2016, we intend to hold a hands-one workshop on ICMC2016 for SuperCollider programmers and other interested people, featuring Genetic Choir singers and our own programming team.
We will update you closer to the time with more detailed information.
Tickets for the conference can be bought here.
The Genetic Choir Ensemble is set to travel to Japan in September this year, to first perform on the Creative Music Festival 2016 in Hiroshima, and afterwards join Bunraku company Mokugu-sha on a small tour in Tokushima prefecture. Performances in Japan will be on 18/19 September and 22/25 September 2016.
We are very happy for this opportunity to work interdisciplinary with puppetry, as the special link between inanimate objects and sound will also be a focus on this weekend’s Genetic Choir workshop in Amsterdam: Material Grooves (2/3 april)
The upcoming visit to Japan will help us to investigate further a bigger Japan project that we are brewing on for 2017/2018, envisioned as a multi-disciplinary research between puppeteers, dancers, singers and water-engineers. (!)
Save the dates if you happen to be near Hiroshima or Tokushima in autumn. 🙂
We were part of the 24hour Resonance event initiated by Merlijn Twaalfhoven, with a one-hour concert of Genetic Choir music with invited dancers between 7 and 8am and a collaboration with several World Music singers in the following music block, that was curated by Yinske Silva. Great memories!
Photo credits: Poike Stomps