CD launch concert on 4 December with special guest Jacob Lekkerkerker

Genetic Choir Church Songs _ frontFinally, on 4 December 2015, the second Genetic Choir CD will be released! We are going to celebrate this with a big concert in the Obrechtkerk in Amsterdam:

Church Songs for the 21st Century

– the concert –

Friday 4 December 2015  –  20:00

Obrechtkerk, Jacob Obrechtstraat 30
1071 KM Amsterdam

Save that date, as we will have organist-improviser Jacob Lekkerkerker as very special guest and we are planning on having dancers and world music singers as well, to expand on our recent succesful collaboration in the Muziekgebouw concert.

Please support us to make this concert unforgettable by already buying your tickets (5,- Euro p.p.) here. You can also pre-order the CD to be the first to get it on concert day! Check out all the options here.

Obrechtkerk_pic‘From writings of the Church fathers and other reports, it is unequivocally clear that the rites of worship of the early Christians were marked by a religious ecstasy that manifested itself in unhampered, purely emotional, spontaneous expression. From the earliest time onward there is copious documentary evidence of the extensive part played by improvisation throughout the development of all church music. In vocal music, improvising on all the intervals and internal combinations appearing in Gregorian chant was systematically practised by singers and choirboys. Later, instrumentally, there is evidence that musicians such as the 14th century blind organist Francesco Landini became well-known for their improvising abilities.’

(taken from Derek Bailey: Improvisation, its nature and practice in music (1992, p29)

Call for singers: “Resonance Lab” concerts 6 June and 10/11 October

Foto Roest loods overview locatie Resonance 6 juniThe Genetic Choir Ensemble will be involved in this Saturday’s “Resonance Lab” concert @Roest in Amsterdam, and you are invited as well – either as an active singer, or as audience in the evening (read below).

The same invitation to participate as a singer/soundmaker goes for 10 & 11 October 2015: a 24 hour vocal concert in Muziekgebouw aan het Ij…!

The “Resonance” concerts are an initiative of Merlijn Twaalfhoven to gather Dutch voice practitioners, choirs and vocal groups who are interested in new/unusual use of voice and improvisation. Both 6 June and 10/11 October are durational events where audience can move in an out at their own wish: a 4 hour concert this Saturday and a 24 hour (!) concert in October.

In a certain sense, 6 June is a try-out/experiment with (+/- 120 singers) for the 10/11 October event that will have even more singers, including Het Nederlands Kamerkoor.

It would be great to do a whole Genetic Choir section in the October event, which for the rest probably contains mainly more mainstream (pop/classical) music. 🙂 Therefore we are calling for any singers who ever have been to a Genetic Choir workshop:

Do you want to be part of the singing event in October? Please let us know, so we can see how big a ‘Genetic Choir’ we can gather for 10/11 October. (write a comment to this post or contact us here.)

E-Flyer Resonance 6 juni in RoestThis Saturday, 6 June, performers of the Genetic Choir Ensemble will sing parts of the concert at Roest, and Thomas Johannsen will propose a polyrhythm experiment with all singers who are present.

You can come and listen (concert starts at 19:00 and entrance is free/donation based).

You can also come as individual singer and join the whole event (worskhops in the morning from 11:00, try-outs and active part in the concert later in the day):  Sign up on Merlijn Twaalfhoven’s website here.


6 June 2015

Van Gendthallen next to Roest, Amsterdam

11:00-19:00 workshops/try-outs for all participating singers

19:00-23:00 concert, open for audience

10 (&11) October 2015

Muziekgebouw aan het Ij, Amsterdam

22:00 until next day, 22:00

Bimhuis concert with singers and dancers

grow_michaelTomorrow evening:
A performance/concert at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam which will feature two of our singers in a setting that could have been brewn in the Genetic Choir kitchen:

5 singers and 4 dancers create a full evening Instant Composition performance (two times 40 minutes) without any score or script.

It’s an initiative of Sandra Pujols and Michael Schumacher who are the curators of this a capella Monday Match edition. Next to Genetic Choir singers Rutger de Groot and Thomas Johannsen they asked Ainara Garcia Navarro, Job Cornelissen, Madeline Harms, Heike Jakob & Cora Schmeiser to join them for this dance/voice encounter at the Bimhuis.

grow_sandraMonday, 13 April 2015 / Time: 20:30 / Bimhuis, Piet Heinkade 3, Amsterdam

Entrance: free!
(thanks to the Bimhuis who keeps supporting the dance+music impro scene in Amsterdam with these monthly performance labs in their lovely concert venue!)

1504.13-MMAnd the amazing Emese Csornai will improvise with us from behind the lights. Be there!

The Silo Tapes #1

Composing vocal music in the amazing super-echo environment of an abandoned silo, in the former harbour of Amsterdam.

This is what the Genetic Choir did last month and here is the first of a number of instant compositions we recorded there. ( Maybe a new CD in the making…? )


Many thanks to
Jakub Kupikowski for the suggestion

Carolien Zwirt for the connection

and AMVEST for the permission and opportunity


You can find more Genetic Choir music on our Audio Page or on our first CD.



Concert with Michael Fischer & Orchestra

Next week Wednesday, October 24th, the Genetic Choir will sing a concert with a one-time orchestra and the instant composition conducting of Michael Fischer (Vienna Improvisers Orchestra, Austria).

“Connected For Lift-Off” – signs & wonder(ing)

The concert is part of the TABULA RASA series in MaartenLutherKerk, Amsterdam: Dintelstraat 134, Amsterdam-Zuid

We will perform in the second part of the evening, at 21:00. There’s a great improvisers duo at 20:00. Here the full info:

Wednesday 24th, 2012 – 20h and 21h – TABULA RASA @ Maarten Lutherkerk – Entrance free, donations welcome.

20:00 DUO Mayas – Altman
Laura Altman (AU): Clarinet
Magda Mayas(DE): piano

Laura Altman has been an important voice on the Sydney improvised music
scene since 2007, playing with groups such as The Splinter Orchestra and
Prophets, and collaborating with Australian improvisers including Jim Denley,
Dale Gorfinkel and Peter Farrar. Her delicate clarinet playing suggests a new
way of thinking about the instrument – one doesn’t have the impression of ‘the
clarinet’, more a set of frequencies and ambiguities from her direction. Laura
has toured internationally in 2009 with the Netherlands-based quartet
Laura is also a composer, and is currently co-director and co-curator of the
NOW now Series and Festival of Spontaneous Music, based in Sydney
Magda Mayas is a pianist living in Berlin.
Developing a vocabulary utilizing both the inside as well as the exterior parts
of the piano, using preparations and objects, she explores textural, linear and
fast moving sound collage.
Lately she has also focused on the clavinet, an electric piano from the 60s
with strings and metal chimes, where she engages with noise and more
visceral sound material, equally extending the instrumental sound palette
using extended techniques and devices.
Current projects are “Spill”, a duo with drummer Tony Buck, a duo with
Anthea Caddy (cello), a duo with Christine Abdelnour (sax), “Great Waitress”,
a trio with Monika Brooks (acc) and Laura Altman (cl) and different
collaborations with Andy Moor, Clayton Thomas and Peter Evans.
Magda Mayas has performed and toured in Europe, the USA, Australia and
Lebanon and collaborated with many leading figures in improvisation and
composers such as John Butcher, Peter Evans, Annette Krebs, Phill Niblock,
Andrea Neumann, Axel Dörner, Thomas Lehn and Tristan Honsinger.

Connected for lift off

Signs & wonder(ing)

Genetic Choir:
Gabrielle Barros Martins
Yinske Silva
Marjolijn Roeleveld
Emiel Zonneveld
Hans Paape
Tanaquil Schuttel
Amazone Nativel
Thomas Johannsen
Peter HuberMaaike van de Westhering, Tom Goldhand, Suzan Lemont: dance

José Rodrigues Gomes: recorders, bass dulcian
Laura Altman: clarinet
Christian Ferlaino: alto sax
Felicity Provan: trumpet
Jori van Cranenburgh: violin

Noortje Kohne: violin
James Hewitt: violin
Guillermo Celano: guitar
Harald Austbo: cello
Marko Bonarius: double bass
Jeen Raabs: guitar
Magda Mayas: piano
Kiriakos Spirou: tablet-synthesizer
Robert van Heumen: laptop, controllers
Marcos Baggiani: drums
Michael Fischer: instant composition conductingThis is the first and only encounter of this group of artists gathered, searching for unheard and unseen connections, enriching and uplifting textures, the depth and the wideness, the music is based on free improvisation, hand-signs will organize the performance. Everything emerges out of the moment, even most of us will meet the others the first time ever at MLK this evening. Wish you were here joining us at the unexpected, enjoying this moment in time.

Michael Fischer works as musician-composer at the interface of improvised, new music, noise, soundscapes, on saxophone, violin, CD-players, conducted instant compostions, on sound of speech within musical textures and their structural implications, since 1999 including the electro-acoustic phenomenon feedback. He has collaborated with John Edwards, Mark Sanders, Hilary Jeffery, Marcos Baggiani, Michael Vatcher, Atsuhiro Ito, Irene Schweizer, William Parker, Denis Charles, Felicity Provan, Joao Castro Pinto, Daisuke Terauchi a.m.o. as well as artists in literature focus on experimental poetry, performance/dance, visual arts. In 2005 he launched the Vienna Improvisers Orchestra. As an instant composition conductor he works with improvising orchestras for festivals in Europe and Japan, also giving lectures and workshops.

Thomas Johannsen is founder of the Genetic Choir – – and also facilitates the Carpet Sessions, a space in Amsterdam dedicated to the research on interdisciplinary improvisation:
Venue: MLK – Maarten Luther Kerk, Dintelstraat 134, Amsterdam-Zuid /

Genetic Choir sessions October + December

Hi there,

this Sunday is another Genetic Choir session, open to all singers from the Genetic Choir pool of soundmakers.

Title of the session: THE SAME

Inspired by my work at the moment around the theme ‘Doppelgänger’, we will look at the fantastically weird ways in which things can be “one and the same” in voice improvisation. I am totally hooked at the moment to this phenomenon. It’s the evil twin of the copy work we apply more often, and actually points at a mysterious connection where two (or more) voices that are on the surface not at all identical in what they are doing can be very much “the same” or doubles of each other. Creepy, he?

Explore it with me next Sunday,
2 October 2011 from 13:30-17:30
Place: Circuswerkplaats Boost

After that, the next session will be on 4 December 2011, 13:30-17:30 at Studio Wladiwostok (Azartplein, Amsterdam)

see you on Sunday,


The photo is courtesy of Petr Břinčil, from Prague. See here his home page:

Workshops coming up!

Hi everybody!

Click here for an overview of all currently planned Genetic Choir workshops.

…first possibility this season is the upcoming workshop in Amsterdam

26-28 August, starting Friday evening.

3 places still available…   (click here for more info)

SUNDAY 28th in the afternoon is also the first GC session of the season – for all Genetic Choir singers (including the people who have done the workshop of course)

See you there or sometime soon!


Incognito performance

Some Genetic Choir singers will have an appearance on this year’s Grachtenfestival again. This time not our own concert, but supporting incognito a bigger concert event – Coming saturday night!

Re.sonant on Saturday 13 August, 21:30, De Overkant, Amsterdam-Noord.  See for all info:

If you are a Genetic Choir singer, and you still want to join the incognito performance moment, let us know!

If you are a fan, come and see this concert of Radio Kootwijk Live and Club Cult (which in itself will be a great night out – live concert and dancing!)

Reservations via the link above.

Lasloods forever!

It was a beautiful experience to sing in the Lasloods on the NDSM terrein. Thanks to both the Grachtenfestival and stichting NDSM-werf for making this possible! I hope there will soon be some recording footage to post on this site.

As far as I am concerned, we should find out if we can sing a whole concert in that space, at some point next year…   The Lasloods has an acoustic space not unlike a cathedral, but then just less predictable. It was a feast to sing there with several voices, coming from all directions.

The workshop also went very well. Thanks to an audience who dared to just jump off the edge with using their voices in this way! Anytime again 🙂


Next stop: the Open Genetic Choir workshop, 19th of September

Genetic Choir on Grachtenfestival

The Genetic Choir will perform on the Grachtenfestival 2010!

On Saturday 21st of August, about 60 people will sing on the NDSM-werf in Amsterdam a ‘Symphony for Lasloods’.

Other than just a concert, it is this time an interactive workshop/concert with a small group of the regular choir singing with the audience.

Date: 21 August 2010
Time: 16:00-17:00
Place: Lasloods, NDSM-terrein, Amsterdam-Noord

This performance is part of a whole day of concerts that the Grachtenfestival is programming on the NDSM-werf.

Tickets (5,- €) and more information on

PS: Thomas will be a guest in the daily ‘EarBites’ on Friday 20th of August to be questioned about the Genetic Choir by Hans Haffmans. 17:00 in the festivalcafé in Felix Meritis ( & live uitgezonden op Radio 4)

Open Workshop for season 2010/2011

Hi there,
Beste mensen,

there is an open workshop again for all those interested in getting to know the Genetic Choir!

What is the Genetic Choir? click here

Er is 19 september weer een open worskhop voor iedereen die mee wil doen aan de Genetic Choir volgend seizoen, of gewoon een keer wil ruiken aan onze manier van werken.

People who consider joining the choir for the coming season are required to join the workshop. You don’t need a specific voice or singing background, everybody is welcome. All you need is an open mind and interest to work as part of a group.

the date: Sunday, 19 September 2010
the time: 11:00-18:00

contribution for the workshop: 25 Euro
place of the workshop will be announced.

Please send me an e-mail if you’d like to join.

Als je niet of nauwelijks Engels praat ben je trouwens ook welkom! 🙂 Afhankelijk van de deelnemers in het koor spreken we Nederlands en/of Engels. Wil je meer informatie omdat je geen Engels spreekt, of weet je al dat je mee wil doen, de 19de stuur me dan een e-mail.

Furthermore, the dates for the choir session until Februari 2011 are:

26 September 17 October
28 November
19 December
16 Januari
13 Februari
27 Februari (concert)

All sundays, 14:30-18:00

As a new member, you first need to take part in the Open Workshop on 19 September in order to join the regular sessions.

All the best,

Three performances by the Genetic Choir

The Genetic Choir has performed in the last 5 months two times publicly, and one time informally…

My apologies that I have not been up to speed to announce these things on this blog. Actually, it has been a very nice season with the choir having had a large injection of very committed singers in September 2009. But I have not been very busy this season with posting.

For the meantime and the sake of completeness, here the peformance dates and places of the 2009/2010 season:   🙂

14 March 2010 Genetic Choir as guest of ‘Blauw’, in café Averechts, Utrecht
We performed a short piece inspired by the theme ‘Ijle Klanken’. The composition will be published online on the new website…

7 May 2010 Genetic Choir performs live soundtrack in the Ketelhuis, Amsterdam.
We were asked to perform an hour of instant music, as accompaniment of the screening of ‘Sound of Shadow’. See for more information on the filmproject.

27 June 2010 Informal concert at our rehearsal space in Amsterdam, to close the season.
A 25 minute piece by the choir and a 10 minute piece involving the audience. Both were recorded and the idea is that also these things will be published once the new website is up and running.

Thanks for this beautiful season and have a good summer!

What is the Genetic Choir? click here