Vocal Instant Composition


New Friday Morning Sessions from September 2018

In September will start a new series of eight Friday morning sessions, in a two-weekly rhythm.

A pioneer group of singers has already inscribed, so it will definitely happen! Who else is in? 🙂

We are looking for people who have done at least one Genetic Choir workshop before and who want to commit to a stable training group for this autumn.

All core aspects of Genetic Choir singing will be covered – stillness and daring, working melody, rhythm and strange sound. Engagement, availability and timing. Crystallizing your material and composing together as a swarm of singers!

If you want to join, but you haven’t done a workshop before, there is one last place available this weekend (26/27 May = click here).

If we know you already, hook on for this autumn:


PLACE: studio De Eester, C. van Eesterenlaan 302, Amsterdam
DATES: every second Friday morning, starting September 7th, 2018 (8 sessions)
The single dates are: 7-09 / 21-09 / 5-10 / 19-10 / 2-11 / 16-11 / 30-11 / 14-12

TIME: 10:00-12:30
COSTS: 232,32 euro for the whole block (192,- euro excl.VAT)

To reserve your place (if you have done a Genetic Choir workshop before):

  1. send us an e-mail via
    workshops@genetic-choir.org with your
    – name (and account owner from where you made the payment)
    – telephone number
  2. please transfer the workshop fee by clicking this payment link

For those of you planning far ahead: Friday Sessions will continue in the new year from January 18th, 2019  🙂

Genetic Choir Introductory Workshop in Breda on 14 April

For those of you in the south of the Netherlands and Belgium, there is a great opportunity get acquainted with Genetic  Choir work next Saturday, 14 April in Breda. Main workshop language will be Dutch, but we can accommodate English speakers as well. 🙂

(Nederlandse beschrijving zie beneden)

Organised by Musicaja Zangschool, we will work from 10:00-11:30 in a mixed group with adults and kids and go further until 14:00 with the adults only, to dive even deeper into the complexities and bliss of vocal instant compositions.

You can inscribe for the day via this link:


For participants not linked to Musicaja the workshop costs €40,- (bring in cash to the workshop).

Place is the Musicaja Zangschool on Bastionstraat 13 in Breda, Netherlands.

Bring lunch ingredients that you like for a shared lunch-picknick.  🙂


A.s. zaterdag 14 april organiseert de Musicaja Zangschool Breda een speciale workshop voor leerlingen en niet-leerlingen.

Gastdocent Thomas Johannsen, muzikaal leider van het bijzondere Genetic Choir, gaat met alle deelnemers aan de slag met stemimprovisatie:

Het Genetic Choir is een vocaal ensemble dat concerten zingt zonder muzikale afspraken vooraf. De vocalisten trainen elkaar als een improviserende microsamenleving, die uit stilte en alle soorten geluiden muziek laat ontstaan.
Maar hoe ontstaat vanuit toevallige klanken muzikaal materiaal? En hoe kies je elk moment welke kant je opgaat? In een Genetic Choir workshop trainen we daarvoor heel specifiek improvisatie vaardigheden, waaronder de vaardigheid als zanger soepel mee te bewegen in een zwerm van klank mogelijkheden, en hoe je tegelijkertijd trouw blijft aan jezelf. We trainen overgave en stevigheid, plezier in je eigen stem en plezier in de stilte. Timing, luisteren en contact houden – tegelijkertijd met jezelf, met je materiaal en met de andere zangers.
En daarnaast gaan we gewoon heel veel muziek maken. 🙂  Kortom, een vol programma voor een halve dag!

Meer informatie over de workshops (in het Engels) kun je hier vinden: https://geneticchoir.wordpress.com/genetic-choir-workshop/

Voor algemene info over het Genetic Choir, kijk hier: www.genetic-choir.org

De workshop duurt van 10 uur tot 14 uur (van 10 tot 11.30 uur zullen er ook kinderen van de Musicaja Zangschool meedoen).
Tussendoor gaan we met z’n allen lunchen. Neem allemaal een lunchgerecht mee wat je met anderen kan delen. Zo maken we een heerlijk lunchbuffet.

Je kan je voor deze dag aanmelden via deze link:


Voor niet-Musicaja-leerlingen kost de workshop €40,-, graag contant te voldoen bij aanvang van de workshop.

De workshop vindt plaats bij de Musicaja Zangschool aan Bastionstraat 13 (in de lage bijgebouwen).

Splendor concert with Matthäus passion fragments !

Tap dance, singing and percussion meet in a concert full of movement!

The Genetic Choir will sing an unusual concert next Tuesday in Splendor together with classical singer Brigitte van Hagen, the idiosyncratic Taiwanese percussionist Yung-Tuan Ku and tap wizard Marije Nie, who is the host of the evening.

Fitting the Easter Season, four Genetic Choir singers will work a piece of Bach’s Matthew passion into their instant composition offerings during the concert.

Come and witness this first emanation of a new line of Genetic Choir work, exploring close harmony in combination with free improvisation, which is planned to come to full bloom in this autumn’s (Non)Corpus project.

“Shouts, Whispers, Feets and Beats”

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

@ Splendor: Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat 116 – 1011 LX Amsterdam

Time: 20:30-22:00

More info and tickets through the Splendor website

There is also a Facebook event to like!

Tomorrow, 9pm: Genetic Choir duo, guitar and dance in Bimhuis

Tomorrow (19 March), Genetic Choir singers Yinske Silva and Thomas Johannsen will sing an impro concert in the Bimhuis with guitarist David Golek and dancer Makiko Ito.

David and Thomas were asked to curate this BIMLAB evening in the Bimhuis café and David was specifically interested to work with another Genetic Choir singer and a dancer and that is how it all came together.  🙂

We loved playing together on our first and only rehearsal and therefore are very excited what kind of magic the concert tomorrow will have in stall for us. Come join us to find out with us!

19 March, 21:00

BIMHUIS, Piet Heinkade 3, 1019 BR Amsterdam

Entrance: standard 6 Euro, reduced tickets available.

Tickets/Info: https://www.bimhuis.nl/agenda/bimlab-33-curated-by-thomas-johannsen-david-golek-2/

Stemperformer/‘instant composer’ Thomas Johannsen en gitarist/componist David Golek zijn de curatoren van deze editie van BIMLAB, de concertserie met verrassende improvisaties in het BIMHUIS.

Met: Thomas Johannsen- Voice, Yinske Silva – Voice, Makiko Ito – Dance, David Golek – Guitar & toys.




Melk bij de wijn: Genetic Choir & De Vorlesebühne

The Genetic Choir teams up again with the writer’s collective De Vorlesebühne to present an evening of prose and music at Molen De Ster in Utrecht on Saturday 17 March. An evening of vocal absurdity not to be missed!

You can dine together with the performers from 18:15 inside a historic windmill. Jolanda’s Kitchen prepares a delicious and nutritious three-course menu. Reservation via vorlesebuhne@gmail.com is mandatory, at the latest on Thursday 15th March.


Date: Saturday, 17 March 2018
Time: Dining from 18:15 uur / performance doors open: 19:30, performance begins at 20:00
Place: Molen de Ster, Molenpark 3, Utrecht
Admission: € 12, – (€ 10, – with CJP, U-pass or library card)

Reservations possible via vorlesebuhne@gmail.com
Entrance to the windmill via bridge Floresstraat.

Coming up next week: our yearly EDGE OF LANGUAGE workshop

language_edge_closer On 17+18 February (next weekend), we will delve again into words and language in vocal improvising.

4 places still available as we write…


a Genetic Choir workshop

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 indulge ourselves into 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, because our minds work that way: they cling to understandable words and story whenever they can. So how do we treat 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?

17+18 February 2017 / 10:30-17:00  /  130,10 Euro (110,- excl.VAT) / Amsterdam

To reserve your place in the workshop:

  1. send us an e-mail via
    workshops@genetic-choir.org with your
    – name (and account owner from where you made the payment)
    – telephone number
  2. please transfer the workshop fee by clicking this payment link

We are looking forward to dive with you in this endlessly fascinating research of voices, words and music!

Good memories of 2017, new plans for 2018!

A Happy New Year to everyone!

What a year this has been… We never did a project the size of Loop-Copy-Mutate before, which was an immense adventure, but also hugely rewarding in the experiences we were able to give to so many people. If you haven’t seen it, watch below the film of the Amsterdam Central Station concerts.


But you might not have noticed:

Of the 12 performances that the Genetic Choir gave in 2017, five were not at all Loop-Copy-Mutate concerts. If you are curious what else we did, have a look in our Concert Archive.

It was an amazing year, in which we made a lot of new friends and spread the gospel of deep listening and free improvisation music everywhere we went.

and 2018 …?

  • We start the Genetic Choir year on the 12th of January with new Friday morning sessions of Genetic Choir singing (fixed group, every two weeks, eight times). If you would still like to join, click for more information here.
  • We have a Language workshop coming up and a Space/Sound/Bodies workshop.
  • We will have a new collaboration with our friends of the Vorlesebuhne Utrecht on 17 March 2018. Title of the evening with poets, writers and Genetic Choir singers will be “Melk bij de Wijn” (the farmers edition).


  • We are preparing a trilogy of new Church Songs for the 21st Century concerts, to follow up and deepen the themes and collaborations that we initiated in the first two concerts in 2015 and 2016. Research and preparations for this will comprise a good part of our coming year.
    With this new trilogy, the Genetic Choir will create three different concerts under the title (Non)Corpus which will explore the mystical relationship between the physical and the non-phyisical, and the relationship between age-old spiritual traditions in music making and improvisation.

    The first (Non)Corpus concert is planned for November/December 2018.

And of course, we don’t know what else the future will bring…  🙂

Have great year. Take care of yourself and of the ones around you!

We are looking forward to see you, sing with and for you, and be warmly inspired by your presence whenever you will be with us.