Vocal Instant Composition


Harvesting, cooking & singing: 7 October – workshop Genetic Choir @HaarlemOogst

On Sunday, 7 October, there is a lovely context for (getting to know) Genetic Choir voice work provided by the festival Haarlem Oogst:

13:00-16:00 uur Genetic Choir workshop in Badhuis Leidsebuurt, Haarlem

To participate, it is only 12,50 euro or even just 2,50 with HaarlemPas.

You are welcome to just come for the workshop and ignore the rest, but that might be a shame, as the improvising in the afternoon is framed by a day of harvesting vegetables in the morning and cooking from those ingredients in the late afternoon. Imagine the earthy groundedness of your voice when having dug in the earth in the morning. And imagine the songs that will appear during cooking, when most of the cooks have spent 3 hours of Genetic Choir singing just before!  🙂

More info and to reserve a place for 7 October: click here

Een Genetic Choir workshop is een muzikale hutspot met geïmproviseerde ingrediënten. Iedereen kan zonder voorkennis deelnemen, want alle soorten stemmen en muzikale voorkeuren zijn welkom. Maar als alles mogelijk is, hoe kies je dan waar je voor wilt gaan? En hoe doe je dat samen, in samenspel en in contact met anderen? In deze workshop leer je zowel soepel mee te bewegen in een keuken vol met klankmogelijkheden als ook trouw te blijven aan jezelf. We trainen overgave en stevigheid, plezier in je eigen stem en die van een ander, en het plezier in de stilte.

Haarlem Oogst is a great communal festival that already starts this coming weekend. Check out their program if you are in the neighbourhood.


Birdscore I – performance in Amstelpark – September 30th

Genetic Choir is back with nature, for the third collaboration with Zone2Source in Amstelpark!

This time, invited by flutist/composer Michael Pestel and landscape artist Jeroen van Westen, the Genetic Choir will bring the songs of extinct birds back to live, in the opening of the exhibition BIRDSCORE.

If you recall our Evensong concert on Utrecht CS, you know that the Genetic Choir singers have some experience in the matter. 🙂

September 30th, 2018

in the GLAZEN HUIS, Amstelpark, Amsterdam

OPENING • 15.00-17.00 uur tentoonstelling BIRDSCORE

PERFORMANCE with Genetic Choir • 15.30 -16.00 uur Birdscore I: FloorScore for Catalogue d’Oiseaux by Olivier Messiaen, Glazen Huis

Messiaen’s partituur vertaalt vogelgeluiden in werken voor de piano. Opgeknipt en herordend door fluitist en componist Michael Pestel is het de basis voor een uitvoering in samenwerking met Genetic Choir, en Jeroen van Westen die de Broominette bespeelt. Hier belichamen de zangers uitgestorven vogels. Via ontdekken, observeren, verzamelen, cut and paste, klinken hun liederen weer na lange afwezigheid.
More info on the website: www.zone2source.net


Communication Balance

On Friday, the 14th of September, two Genetic Choir singers will create a special performance at Kunsthal KAdE in Amersfoort where balance will be the the key element to perform with.

This may sound a little abstract but it makes sense when you see the stage isn’t flat. It is a large wooden wobbly platform that reacts to every movement you make. And with two people standing on it, they are now connected to and dependent on each other. Every step you take, every move you make will affect the other person.
Adding vocal expression, singing becomes a different experience the moment you can’t take the stability of the floor for granted. Movement and singing will become the same thing. You will feel the movement in singing and you will feel the singing in movement.

The platform is created by the artist Julien Thomas, who asked the Genetic Choir to explore the ‘Conversation Balance’ platform for an exploration in the possibilities of using it.

After previous instances with Genetic Choir singers on the platform (Sandberg Institute 2016, DordtYart Opening 2018), this is the third public collaboration between Julien Thomas and Genetic Choir singers on a now even wobblier version of the platform!

We will give two instant composition performances as part of the Opening of the wider exhibition ‘A Balancing Act’

14 September 2018

Performances start at 17.20 and 18.00

Kunsthal KAdE, Eemplein 77, (Eemhuis), Amersfoort

See you there!

photo: Jo Vervoort

Genetic Choir workshops in Autumn 2018

Dear voice and improvisation aficionado’s,

here the dates and themes of upcoming Genetic Choir workshops!


Sunday, 7 October 2018

13:00-16:00 in the Badhuis, Haarlem from 13:00-16:00
contribution: 12,50 Euro / 2,50 for HaarlemPas holders

to RESERVE A PLACE, write an e-mail to info@haarlemoogst.nl

13+14 October 2018:

old songs new songs croppedThis weekend workshop will combine our knowledge of improvising with melodies (single or multi-layered) with using existing songs (or fragments of songs) as basis for new, instantly composed music. You can either come with a prepared song or completely blank, and we will workshop how to integrate different styles of song-singing into Genetic Choir improvisations. Those who want to purely improvise will be challenged with the task of solo improvising and story-telling. And those who like to work with their existing song will be taken on adventurous journeys of non-idiomatic ensemble improvisations with it. 🙂

Melodies are the storytellers of music. Just start singing a few notes and instantly there is a feeling/atmosphere, the beginning and clear 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.

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.:-)

13 + 14 October 2018 / 10:30-17:00  /  133,10 Euro (110,- excl.VAT) / Amsterdam

The workshop will take place at: studio Wladiwostok, Bogortuin 16, 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
    (tell us by e-mail if you would like a invoice for your payment)

10 November 2018 – ONE-DAY workshop in BREDA

a general celebration of Genetic Choir singing and training, now in the south of the Netherlands (also well reachable for our Belgium friends.  😉

10 November 2018 / 10:00-16:00  /  72 Euro (60,- excl.VAT) / Amsterdam

There is a group forming for regular workshops in Breda, which is really nice.
But also with no previous experience with singing or improvisation, you are welcome!

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
    (tell us by e-mail if you would like a invoice for your payment)

15+16 December 2018 – RESONANT VOICES

resonant-voices-original-vierkant-oilify.jpegWeekend workshop to explore and enrich your voice by opening your ears to the multi-layered complexities of sound, and play with it together in a polyphonic way: overtones, textures, resonance, timbre…

In deze workshop onderzoek en verrijk je je stem op het niveau van resonantie en klank textuur. Terwijl je je oren traint, train en open je je stem. We werken en componeren met open klanken, andere textuurrijke geluiden van de menselijke stem, klank-clusters, resonantie-ruimtes, etc… (meer info in het Nederlands, klik hier en scroll naar beneden)

A workshop on improvising with voice colours and resonance

The voice is a special system in our body – it is eager to learn and it reacts to its own sounds. By opening your ears alone, your voice can learn to become more free and resonant.

This workshop will improve your voice by focussing for one weekend on the aspects of sound that are often overlooked: resonance, texture, timbre, overtones. Whatever level of experience you are at, this work will increase your singing skill: Beginners will be surprised about the round and resonant sound that their voice will gain, and the ease of singing that comes with it. Experienced and professional singers will improve their ability to do precision-work in this area: Using timbre and textures to compose music, solo and ‘en groupe’. How to create both soothing carpets of sound and grinding dissonant cluster-chords. How to develop the music together, how to dissolve your voice in a sea of sounds, but also make clearly defined choices and go your own way, if you are inclined to.

In the cold month of December a workshop that will warm you up from the inside and get your whole body to resonate!

15 + 16 December 2018 / 10:30-17:00  /  133,10 Euro (110,- excl.VAT) / Amsterdam

The workshop will take place at: studio Wladiwostok, Bogortuin 16, 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
    (tell us by e-mail if you would like a invoice for your payment)



The group for the autumn block that starts in September is filled by now. You can currently give yourself up for the next block, which will start on January 18th, 2019.

More info on the training is here.

PLACE: studio De Eester, C. van Eesterenlaan 302, Amsterdam
DATES: every second Friday morning, 10:00-12:30, starting January 18th, 2019 (8 sessions)

COSTS: 232,32 euro (192,- euro excl.VAT)

Send an email to workshops@genetic-choir.org to pre-reserve a place from January.



10 hour improvisation concert & Odyssey reading today!


Today’s the day for the Genetic Choir singers to sing their longest concert, yet:

Invited by Giorgos Gripeos’ installation ‘an odyssey’ and in collaboration with the International Readers of Homer, you are welcome between 12:00-22:00 today in Nieuw Dakota on the NDSM wharf in Amsterdam to witness this marathon reading & concert.

Find an audience guide for your visit by clicking here.

More information on the project is here.

If you like, you can also still become a reader by announcing your wish at the welcome desk at the entrance. You will then get a slot for later that day.

Location: Nieuw Dakota , Ms.van Riemsdijkweg 41b, 1033RC Amsterdam

Your audience guide to the Odyssey this Saturday

(1) Banner invitation 2This Saturday, 14 July, the 10 hour concert and reading of Genetic Choir and the International Readers of Homer on the Over het Ij Festival will finally happen!

As we can imagine that not everyone wants to spend the whole ten hours with us, here a guide to some great moments in the story & music (of which there are many!):

+/- 12:00 Opening (always a great moment, with probably the most famous lines of the poem, read in ancient Greek)

+/- 13:10 Goddess Calypso is told by Zeus to give up her lover Odysseus (which she is not taking lightly).

+/- 13:30 Poseidon rages and conjures a storm that leaves Odysseus shipwrecked and lost in the ocean.

+/- 15:00 Odysseus taunts the Cyclops and is cursed to end up with his ship even further from home, thrown back and further back by a bag of winds.

+/- 16:00 Odysseus enters the underworld to meet (amongst other ghosts and dead warriors) the ghost of his mother that he longs to touch, but can’t.

+/- 17:30 How to welcome a stranger (Odysseus arrives at Eumaios house) “One must honor guests and foreigners and strangers, even those much poorer than oneself.”

+/- 19:20 Penelope and Odysseus meet again after twenty years of being separate, while Odysseus keeps playing hide and seek with her. (What a relationship!)

+/- 21:00 Penelope puts Odysseus to the test about his true identity before she accepts him again.

+/- 21:30 Odysseus slaughters all the suitors and their helpers to reclaim his house (it feels almost Klingon, if you know the reference ;-))

+/- 22:00 Last sentences of the poem + musical Epilogue by Genetic Choir, after singing for 10 hours, to sum up and close the experience of this Amsterdam Odyssey.

If you want to read yourself a 3-minute fragment, you can still give yourself up:

PLACE: Nieuw Dakota, Ms. van Riemsdijkweg 41b, Amsterdam


MORE INFO: click here

The performance is invited by and created in collaboration with Giorgos Gripeos’ installation “an odyssey”.

See you on Saturday!

We sing the Odyssey, you read!

Dear Genetic Choir fans and supporters,

a unique event is coming up, in which you are invited to participate:

On 14 July, you can join the Genetic Choir in a 10 hour concert/reading of the Odyssey, and read a piece of this epic tale, together with 200 other readers on the Over ‘t Ij festival in Amsterdam!

The Genetic Choir will instantly compose the music to this marathon reading, organised together with The International Readers of Homer and hosted by Giorgos Gripeos‘ installation “an odyssey” at Nieuw Dakota during the Over het Ij festival 2018. The performance will be streamed live to the ferries crossing the water between Westerdokdijk (Pontsteiger) and the NDSM werf.

It is a free event, you are welcome to come anytime during those 10 hours to experience it. And you are also invited to participate actively as one of the readers of this epic tale!

To be a reader of a 3 minute piece of the Odyssey, register here:


And if you don’t want to read, just come, listen and experience it!

Saturday, 14 July, 12:00-22:00
Location: Nieuw Dakota , Ms.van Riemsdijkweg 41b, 1033RC Amsterdam

For the Odyssey reading, the Genetic Choir will perform 10 hours of live music, using their unique form of vocal instant composition. Reminiscent of an ancient Greek Choir, the singers comment on, foretell and mirror the events of the story, reacting to the verbal rhythm of each reader. To capture and transmit a sense of the epic length of Odysseus’ journey, the singers are a constant witness to the events and stay ‘on board’ from the first sentence to the last

photo by Giorgos Gripeos