improvisation

First Voice Yoga Retreat (full report)

At the end of 2019, in fact around the Winter Solstice on December 21, we did the first Voice Yoga Retreat here in Taiwan. A wonderful recollection of the best stuff I have done during my 7 seven years of weekly Voice Yoga classes. It was beyond expectation: fantastic weather, great location, wonderful students, and a great three-person-strong core team (Sunny Chen, Jackal Mei, me) to take care of everything.

 

 

Most of all, we all experienced a nice flow between yogic and other exercises, sound and body improvisations, eating cakes and drinking Jackal’s homebrewn coffee, meditating, listening, chanting, learning about my methods and ‘vision.’ People came from all over the place and all walks of life, and most were new to Voice Yoga.

One student, Guang Guang, wrote an excellent report in Chinese about everything we did, in Chinese. I reproduce it here, with an autotranslation at the bottom of this page. Jackal Mei made some great photos, and there’s a couple of myself too. Many thanks to Guang Guang and Jackal for the words and images, and to Sunny !

We’ll do another Voice Yoga Retreat later this year on the beautiful, relaxed East Coast of Taiwan, where the pace is slow, weather seems to be nearly always good, birds sing loudly and the ocean is never far away. Get on the maillinglist for updates.

 

 

/聲音瑜伽

因為身旁總是很多優秀的朋友,然後串成一條路徑,一開始是葉子跟我分享聲音,讓我在心裡種下了種子…
於是最近去體驗了一場聲音瑜伽,
授課的老師是教授泛音的馬克
我很喜歡他無私有愛的分享
且關照及感受著每一個我們
當第一堂課說
在這所發出的聲音都是當下要發生的
沒有好壞對錯,每個音都是對的…
讓沒有音感的我感到自在安心
第一個晚上
馬克很自然的就將大家的聲音一起融合在空間裡,讓彼此陌生的夥伴,很快的流動起來,只是短短的兩小時,我全身的細胞都在跳舞

/呼吸練習
在這個練習裡有很多要去感覺的東西,
我也在這個練習去練習感覺
呼吸的快慢,流向哪裡,擴張或收縮…
從沒思考這麼自然發生的事,
但最近這兩次的課程都在提醒著這件事,也就是當下

 

/母音三角形
很喜歡玩母音三角形
但在這裡面會發現自己的氣很短,
也會想配合其他人
在完美與協調之間理出自己的節奏
呼~吸~
烏~啊~一

/聲音的海洋
隨著模仿到自然而然的發聲,
讓自己的聲音丟進海洋裡
腦海會一直出現森林,池塘,水窪,沼澤,穹蒼,萬物,大地之聲
喜歡靜容分享的,她感覺身體自己發亮的地方想出聲,於是就讓那個聲音自己出來…
好有覺察的身體,我還在練習的路上

 

/深度聆聽
在戶外一起發聲,
聆聽空間裡擁有的音,跟隨
聆聽沒有的音,創造
在一來一往之間
做成了一首當代音樂
很喜歡這樣融合的旋律

/驚喜
圍一個圈,跟著馬克發出幾個音,
高高低低,閉上眼睛
幾個音沒有規則的發聲練習
然後由慢漸快,
馬克將桑尼推進圈內
在人圈中閉上眼享受旋律
馬克這時唱的越來越快
越來越具體
開始發現事有蹊蹺
打開眼睛望向馬克
他對我笑著示意
宛珍也早領略到了
沒錯,真的是我想的那樣
學員一個接一個笑開
桑尼終於意識到這一趴的別出心裁
流著淚接受大家獻唱
這一刻好感動
好美~好美~

 

/冬至熄燈
圍著蠟燭一起度過寧靜的夜,閉上眼四週充滿星星的感覺,那些包圍我們的自然之聲,好像墜落在草叢中發亮的星體,發亮的全是萬物的聲音

/薩滿儀式
同學藍師那一夜為大家進行薩滿旅程
第一次體驗儀式,薩滿鼓震出我全身電流,在守護靈的守護之下去感覺這個過程,叢林,速度,黑暗的旋轉,之後竄出來的蛇,最後讓自己慢慢抽離,見到一頭鹿而停止
宛珍被薩滿鼓招喚,以奔跑來流動
阿駱也隨之起舞,整個場域或坐或動
各有各的世界,奇幻世界~

 

/母音九宮格
深度覺察自己的聲音所在
共振的身體裡,聲音去到了哪裡?
馬克說
身體跟聲音會有共振的地方

意念也可以讓聲音去你想要他要去的地方
最後每個人的聲音震動,
都有不同的發現
這讓我覺得聲音太好玩了
每個人的身體感受都如此獨特

/呼吸節奏
呼吸長短的差異,
也能是一首悠揚的曲子
這個章節我也很享受
每個樂器的總和
就是一篇生命的樂章

/泛音獨唱
某個下午,馬克為大家唱歌
坐著,躺著自由
本來是陰天的午後
在一段泛音的旋律不斷繚繞時
我聽見的都是天使的聲音
此時
窗外金色陽光透進粉色的窗簾裡
天使光溫柔的灑在馬克身上發亮
那一個畫面我來不及拍照
但映在我腦海
我全身細胞都在舞蹈

/八部合音
每個人的聲音都好獨特好聽
曙芳的聲音裡有老靈魂的歌唱
想起她的守護靈老奶奶還有愛
輪到發踢卡時
是花神在唱歌吧!!!
清晰亮麗好感動
輪到我的時候,腦袋原本想運作
後來告訴自己算了
讓聲音是什麼就是什麼
雖然知道我聲音都沒到要去的地方
我的聲音之神都在幫我找音階
去了好幾個半音
後來才去到該去的地方
我也是可以說
那是我精準的控制我的半音啦(撥瀏海~

 

經過三天的玩耍
很鬆很慢也很奇妙的身體各種痠
沒意料只是出聲音而已
身體就有各種拉扯
但記得馨勻說的很好
(可我忘記她具體說什麼了XD)
但她說完我就一陣恍然
拉拉也分享了馬克在機械噪音裡
找出它規律的節奏
讓噪音不只是噪音

 

三天收穫很多,
也許我是還在餘震之中再慢慢感受
唯一最明白自己的部份
大概就是我還沒那麼放鬆自己吧
畢竟聲音對我來說太陌生
但經過這些過程
更能丟掉小時候對聲音的既定印象
聲音的顏色如此寬廣無限
告訴自己,就是玩,去玩吧!

聲音瑜伽,是瑜伽也是即興
祂不止是聲音,
是能讓心、靈與身體的合一

謝謝Yu Chih Lin帶我池上玩
謝謝Xiaoying Ye聲音的連結
謝謝Jackal Mei意志的邀約XD
謝謝Mark Van Tongeren
帶領著經驗自己的不可思議
讓我在這場聲音之旅中如此盡興…

#課後筆記
#聲音瑜伽
#樂吉昇天
#已被圈粉
#很好玩還要再玩

 

Autotranslation of the Chinese text.

 

/ sound yoga

Because there are always many good friends around me, then put into a path. at the beginning, the leaves share the voice with me, and let me plant seeds in my heart…
So recently, I went to experience a sound yoga,
The teacher who taught is the mark of the pan-Yin.
I love his selfless and loving sharing
And take care and feel every one of us
When the first class said
The voices made here are all about the moment.
There is no bad right or wrong, every voice is right…
Let me feel free to feel at ease
First night
Mark is very natural to mix everyone’s voices together in space, let each other’s strange partner, quickly flowing, just two hours, my whole body is dancing.

/ breathing practice
A lot of things to feel in this practice,
I am also practicing to practice the feeling
Where to breathe, where to go, expand or shrink…
Never thought about what happened so naturally,
But these two recent courses are reminding this thing, that is the moment.

/ vowel triangle
Love to play with the vowel triangle
But I will find myself very short in this,
Will also want to work with other people
Make your own rhythm between perfection and coordination
Oh ~ suck ~
Oh ~ Ah ~ one

/ the ocean of sound
With the imitation of a natural voice,
Let your voice be thrown into the ocean
The Forest, the pond, the water, the swamp, the swamp, the sky, everything, the sound of the earth.
Who likes to share quietly, she feels like she’s shiny, so let the voice come out on her own…
So conscious body, I’m still on my way to practice

/ deep listening
Voice together in the outdoors,
Listen to the sound of the space and follow
Listen to the sound of not, create
In the way.
Made a contemporary music
I love this fusion melody.

/ surprise
Surround a circle and make a few voices with Mark,
Close your eyes and close your eyes
A few sounds without rules
Then slowly,
Mark puts the nissan into the circle
Close your eyes in the circle and enjoy the melody
Mark is singing faster and faster
Getting more and more specific
Starting to find something wrong
Open your eyes and look at mark
He smiled at me
She has already learned it early.
Yes, it’s really what I thought
The students laugh at one after one.
Mulberry finally realized the chú le of this party
I am in tears to accept everyone’s singing
This moment is so touching
So beautiful ~ so beautiful ~

/ Winter Solstice Lights out
Surround the candles with a peaceful night, close your eyes with the feeling of stars, the sound of nature that surround us, like the stars that have fallen in the grass, the sound of everything.

/ sana ceremony
Classmate Blues on the night for you all the night
First experience ceremony, the sana drum burst out my whole body current, under the protection of the guardian spirit, I felt the process, the jungle, the speed, the dark spin, then the snake that came out, finally let myself slowly pull away, see one Deer stop
Lithuania was called by the drum of the drum to run
It also dance, the whole field, sitting or moving.
Every world, fantasy world ~

/ vowel
I am deeply aware of my voice.
Where did the sound go in the resonance body?
Mark said
Where the body and the sound will be resonance
But but
Ideas can also let the voice go where you want him to go
At the end everyone’s voice shakes,
All have different discoveries
This makes me think the voice is so funny
Everyone’s body feels so unique

/ breathing rhythm
The difference in the length of breathing,
Can also be a beautiful song
I’m enjoying this chapter too
The sum of each instrument
It’s a movement of life.

/ Pan-voice solo
One afternoon mark singing for everyone
Sitting and lying free
It was a cloudy afternoon.
While a pan-Tone Melody keeps on the these
All I hear is the voice of an angel
Right now
The Golden sunshine outside the window goes through the pink curtains
Angel Light gentle on mark
I didn’t have time to take pictures of that one
But in my mind
My whole body is dancing

/ eight sound
Everyone’s voice is so unique and nice
There is the singing of the old soul in the voice of the old soul
Thinking of her guardian spirit grandma and love
It’s my turn to kick the card.
Is the flower God singing!!!
Clear and beautiful, so touching
When it was my turn, my head wanted to work
Later I told myself to forget it
What makes the voice is what is
Even though I know my voice is not even where I’m going
My Voice God is helping me find the level
Went for a couple of semitone
I just went to the place where I should go.
I can say too
That’s my precision in control of my semitone (allocated ~

After three days of playing
Very Loose, slow and amazing body all kinds of sour
I didn’t expect it. It was just a voice.
The body has all kinds of pull
But remember that Xin Xin said very well
(but I forgot what she said XD)
But after she said, I just had a moment.
Lala also shared mark in mechanical noise
Find out the rhythm of its regular rhythm
Make noise not just noise

Harvest a lot in three days,
Maybe I’m still in the aftershocks and feel slowly
The only part that knows what I know most
Probably I’m not that relaxing myself yet
The voice is too strange to me after all
But after these process
It’s better to lose the established impression of the voice in my childhood
The Color of the voice is so wide and infinite
Tell yourself, it’s just to play, go play!

Sound Yoga is yoga and impromptu
He is more than a voice,
Is the one that makes the heart, spirit and body

Thank you Yu Chih Lin for taking me on the pool
Thank you Xiaoying Ye for the link
Thank you Jackal Mei for the invitation XD
Thanks Mark Van Tongeren
Leading the experience of my experience
Had me so much fun on this sound tour…

 

 

2019 in pix, videos and some stories

NEW WORKSHOP: RHYTHMS & CYCLES

 

Video impresssion: Colours Rhythms & Cycles

 

NEW CLASS: SHRUTI NIGHTS

I began a new class: Shruti Nights, and ran No. I-VIII throughout the year, each with a different theme.

Listen to a nice duet I did with Sunny, translator, co-producer of many of my events, and talented singing student.

 

 

 

RADIOGARDEN BROADCAST

MUSHIMARU’s PHYSICAL POETS

I joined a Butoh workshop and performance by the huge family of Butoh dancer Mushimaru Fujieda and his regular students and collaborators, twenty in total. They came flying in to Taiwan from Japan, Hong Kong and other places, paying from their own pockets. Very dedicated and truly inspiring!

With Hiroyuki Matsuhisa (moham-veena), Shree Katsura (voice and suwarmandar), Mikio Kawasaki (photographer); Sogyu Fukumura, a very famous monk who quit Buddhism decades ago and became activist; Himeko Narumi, whom I visited in her bar in Kyoto a few weeks later; Vinci Mok from Hong Kong, not to mention lots of interesting old and new friends from Taiwan. Our performance UNDER THE TREE OF LIFE  is on Youtube, beginning here with the entry of Mushimaru himself.

Recently many Taiwanese repaid the visit to Japan to collaborate with the same people, and one commented that the same performance turned into a rather hard-edged, noisy, radical performance, completely different from the soft version here in Taiwan. More true to the Butoh spirit, for sure, but I was still impressed with Mushimaru and all the kids who joined the event in Taiwan as very narural, innocent performers.

SANGPUY live IN TAIPEI

LUGANG and its AUTOMATED SONIC SURPRISES

Trip to Lugang, where we were deeply impressed by the Longshan Temple. It is not as famous as some other old temples in Lugang, which are more centra. But by far our favorite. Major reasons: little modernization, no entertainment, quite silent (no tourgroups with amplified guides). However, in both temples I encountered automated percussion devices. There was a procession leading to the very noisy and central Mazu Temple or Tian Hou Temple. I had to get away at some point because of the incredibly loud firecrackers, which I found unbearable, and our dog really got shocked from it.

There was no smoke anywhere, and it turned out the noise was produced by a firecracker machine, which you see at the end of this video.

A little later, in Lungshan Temple, I noticed a drum was playing all the time but I saw no one beating it. It turned out to be another automatic device producing percussive sounds, just like the firecracking machine.

 

PULI, CENTRAL TAIWAN: WORKSHOP

In April I was off to Puli, central Taiwan, for a workshop and another one with Canjune, exploring herbs and plants in the forests. From the roof of a cinnamon producer, a panorama of Puli’s iconic Chung Tai Chan (= Zen) Temple.

 

 

 

After the workshop, re-connect with a nun I got to know in 2004, with a fantastic voice: Guanzu Shi. For all these years she is studying the performance of a specific song in the Huayen Buddhist tradition, for which the way to pronounce many syllables is not exactly known.

SAINKHO and KAZHUHISA ICHIHASHI in JAPAN

First trip to Japan. Too many impression so share, but here’s a few. Basically a family tour but, lucky me, I ran into Sainkho one or two days before she launched her new CD with Kazuhisa Uchihashi in Beijing. Great show together!

 

 

SANGPUY TURNING the NATIONAL THEATRE UPSIDE DOWN

https://tifa.npac-ntch.org/2019/en/music/sangpuy-in-concert/

What a lovely guy, and what a great show he pulled off. The most astounding thing was that after the ‘normal’ stage show, which already featured lots of people from his village Jrben, some girls began singing and dancing in the lobby. The men joined and sure enough hundreds of people began to join the line after a while. The whole thing lasted at least another 45 minutes, with the last part (not in this video) some very high-energy indigenous male dancers/singers promoting their upcoming hot dance show.

 

TAIWAN EASTCOAST TOUR

To Mud Studio in Yilan, Zhishan for workshop in Poco a Poco, my first houseconcert in Taiwan, near Hualien, and another concert in Hualien. See my special blogpost.

WATERPERFORMANCE WITH YEH MING-HWA

Or: how not to breath.

DUTCH CANJUNE STORE IN AMSTERDAM

VISIT to BERNARD KLEIKAMP of PAN RECORDS

Bernard produced a dozen or so throat singing CDS and many other interesting titles from around the world. All from this modest office.

EXCHANGE OF NEW TIBTEAN MUSIC PUBLICATIONS

I bring Pan Records’ new CD Phursang Kelak Lama to Ricardo Canzio on behalf of Bernard Kleikamp. Ricardo gave me his precious new book Sakya Pandita’s Treatise on Music.

WITH TRAN QUANG and BACH YEN in PARIS

See the blogpost.

IN ROME FOR THE CAVE OPERA

WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL TAIPEI

AROMAJOINT PERFUMANCE

 

 

 

 

VOICE YOGA WINTER SOLSTICE RETREAT

 

THANKS TO THE TEAM!

 

Ting Shuo Hear Say (Tainan): Performance 24 聽說有表演第二十四場

聽說有表演第二十四場 Ting Shuo Has Performance Twenty Four

2020.1.5 Sun. 週日
2 pm (入場 door open), 2:30 pm (開演 start performance)

@聽說 Ting Shuo Hear Say,台南 Tainan
表演票 Performance nt$300 (含一飲品 includes one drink)

\ duo:丁啟祐 Chiyou Ding [電子 electronics] +林育德 Yude Lin [電子 electronics]

\\ trio: 妙工俊陽 Miao Gong Jun Yang [自製樂器 self-built instruments]+Mark Van Tongeren [人聲 voice] + 林惠君 Hui-Chun Lin [大提琴 cello]

\\\ group: 妙工俊陽 – 自製樂器工作坊學員 Miao Gong Jun Yang – instrument building workshop participants [自製樂器 self-built instruments]

<<1/4 1~5pm 妙工俊陽 自製樂器工作坊
https://www.facebook.com/events/2530037220609071/
1/4 1~5pm Miao Gong Jun Yang – Instrument Building Workshop>>

———聽說有表演第二十四場藝術家 Ting Shuo Has Performance Twenty Four Artists———(English below Chinese)

::::丁啟祐 Chiyou Ding::::
https://soundcloud.com/chyod

丁啟祐,台北人,興趣於舞曲、電腦音樂和田野錄音。創作經歷以劇場、裝置為主。前兩個參與的製作: 薛詠之「柏拉圖的洞穴」聲音技術統籌、謝瀞瑩「聲洄」聲音編程。

Chiyou Ding is a sound hobbyist from Taipei. He is interested in the sound or music about rhythmic structure, computer related and field recording. He works mainly in theater and installation. The latest two productions he participated are Yung-Chih Hsueh’s “Plato’s Cave” in sound tech coordination, Olifa Hsieh’s “Sound-whirl” in sound programming.

::::林育德 Yude Lin::::
https://playreclabel.bandcamp.com/album/grgranrurr-playground-15-19

交通大學聲音音樂科技碩士學位學程畢業。擔任劇場、舞蹈、影像配樂,合作對象包括窮劇場、台南人劇團、柳春春劇社等;並為田孝慈舞蹈作品《洞》音樂設計,隨團參加2017亞維儂OFF藝術節、2018深圳當代戲劇雙年展;與鋼琴家李世揚合作、張婷婷獨立製作《抽屜三》、許雅婷《The River》配樂,擔任錄音、聲響設計。

He graduated from National Chiao Tung University with a master’s program of sound and music innovative technologies. Yude also created soundtrack for theater, dance, and video, working with theatre groups “Approaching Theater”, “Tainaner Ensemble”, “Oz Theatre Company”, etc. He soundtracked for Hsiao-Tzu Tien’s dance work “Hole”, and toured with the team in 2017 Avignon OFF and the 2018 Shenzhen Contemporary Theater Biennial. He also collaborated with pianist Shih-Yang Lee and produced the soundtrack for “Drawer Three” by Ting-Ting Chang, and he was the recorder and sound designer for Ya-Ting Hsu’s work “The River”.

::::妙工俊陽 Miao Gong Jun Yang aka 李俊陽 Jun-Yang Li::::

李俊陽自25歲起開始個人創作,至今超過15年,累積的作品包括繪畫(塗鴉水墨彩繪於各式材質)、木雕、鐵線塑型、大小型裝置、現成物改裝、拾得物重組、空間塗鴉、現場行為演出、偶戲編製、實驗戲劇,也參與過一些電視台廣告及戲劇節目的演出,還曾改過廟。俊陽的創作實踐是典型的台灣庶民與民俗養份充足的表現。

Jun Yang Li has been making work since the age of 25 and has been in the art field for more than 15 years. His works include painting (graffiti ink painting on various materials), wood carving, wire molding, large and small installations, modifying ready-made objects, reorganizing found items, graffiti on sites, and site-specific performance art, puppet making and performing, experimental theatre. He has also participated in some TV commercials and dramas, and even temple building. Jun Yang’s art practice is a manifestation of Taiwanese common people fed by folklore traditions.

::::Mark Van Tongeren::::
http://fusica.nl/?language=EN

交匯於科學與藝術範疇的聲音探索者Mark van Tongeren,主要以(荷麥)雙聲 / 泛音唱法聞名。早期的作品受到幾種經驗的影響,在圖瓦共和國的人種音樂學考察、蒙古喉唱與西藏低音唱咒研究、與安姆斯特丹實驗劇團Silo合作時擔任表演-錄音-聲音藝術家。之後,他加入Oorbeek即興樂團,並且與Michael Vetter學習跨媒介藝術。近期的作品包括與Superstingtrio演出的Incognito Ergo Sum, 以他做的曲Zeropoint進行的Overtone Singing馬拉松,以及與作曲家Paul Oomen合作的表演。

Mark van Tongeren is a sound explorer interested in the intersection of science and art. He is best known for his work as an overtone/throat singer. His early work was strongly influenced by ethnomusicological fieldwork trips to Tuva and by studies of Mongolian throat singing and Tibetan chanting, as well as by his role as a performer-recordist-sound artist with the Amsterdam-based experimental group Silo Theatre. He later joined the 7-piece improvisation band Oorbeek, and studied intermedial arts with the late musician and artist Michael Vetter. His recent work includes the performance Incognito Ergo Sum with Superstringtrio, and the Overtone Singing Marathon based upon his cycle of compositions Zeropoint, performed in collaboration with composer Paul Oomen.

::::林惠君 Hui-Chun Lin::::
https://huichunlin.weebly.com

林惠君,大提琴手。出生於台灣高雄,現定居在德國柏林。她從2008年開始製作音樂,從創作世界音樂,結合劇場,舞蹈到多媒體素材表演藝術到爵士樂多接觸。以音樂即興為主軸做作品創作,融合古典,傳統元素開創新的表演題材。活躍地並跨領域是她的專長,她的作品表達許多張力,突破極限,遊走在非主流音樂、實驗聲音領域。大提琴演奏外,人聲與肢體亦是她演出的項目。

Hui-Chun Lin is a musician who moves fluidly among work in avantgarde music, world music, jazz and improvisation and also performance. Her repertoire encompasses traditional, experimental and classical music in equal measure. Her musical work is concerned above all with sounding out the intersections, boundaries and connections among genres, epochs and cultures. Since 2011, she is a musician, performer and cello teacher in Berlin.

照片攝影 Photo credit: Mark by 蔡詩凡 / Shi-Fan Tsai。

贊助單位:財團法人國家文化藝術基金會
Sponsor: The National Culture and Arts Foundation

TingShuoHearSay Performance 24

 

 

Focus on Holland concert Taipei

Excited about playing with some great Taiwanese and Dutch improvisers next week here in Taiwan.

Wilbert de Joode, Felicity Provan, Mark Alban Lotz, Onno Govaerts, and Rogier Hornman come over from The Netherlands, and from the local scene we have Lee Shih-Yang, Dawang Yifang Huang, Tung Chao-Ming, and Min-Yen Terrie Hsieh. Oh and myself as well, in a category of your choice. More info here.

Bodies Performing Sound

I see improvisation as much more than a musical technique. While watching the performance of Joëlle Landrée, solo and with Lee Shih-Yang (November 4, Nankang Theatre, Taipei), half of my attention goes to the mimicry, body language and theatrical techniques of Landrée, who is ‘acting with’ her double bass as much as she is playing it. She talks through it, of course, but also to it. She treats it sometimes as a human being, or perhaps an animal, as she feigns anger or joy towards it. At one moment she gently kicked the lower part of her bass with her foot, as if kicking a dog bothering her.

INTERCONNECTED CIRCUITS

Joëlle Léandre responds visibly to her own music: almost as if it is not her making that music, but player and played are two; and she responds visibily to Lee Shih-Yang’s music and stage persona. In this way she sets up some sort of loops or interconnected circuits with the following elements:

  • a body performing, producing sound
  • a body responding to its own sound
  • a body playing with and for another performer in/through sound and in/through bodily gestures, facial expressions
  • a body listening and responding to that other performer in/through sound and in/through bodily gestures, facial expressions
  • and also, a body playing music and acting out the music for an audience
  • and responding to the audience (although rarely, in this case).

 

The music is the central theme of all these actions, it pervades it, surrounds it, generates it, steers it. But looking at the music alone would greatly limit our understanding of what is going on.

Joëlle Léandre’s performance was full of humor in more ways than music only can convey. Music in itself can certainly convey humor (I think of Dutch conceptual artist Wim T. Schippers playing a well-known Bach piece on piano, making all sorts of mistakes, trying to correct himself, repeating phrases, moving faster and slower, in the music-theatre piece Hoogwater voorheen Laagwater, 2016). But sometimes the musician herself becomes not just the medium of the music or sound, but something more like an actor or performer, aware of the fact that she is also playing a role onstage. She might exaggerate musical gestures in more than simply practical ways, she might use the body and facial expressions to convey messages that go far beyond what musicians express ‘as music’.

 

Léandre’s face showed some sort of running commentary to her own music and to the interaction with Lee Shih-Yang and at times made the audience laugh. By doing that, she puts the musician’s efforts between brackets, distances herself from it, provides some sort of criticism even as she is making music. It enhances the important idea in improvisation that the music itself, too, can be a running commentary on what the performers do.

 

You could say that some (in fact: many) musicians provide this commentary more discreetly, by only responding in music and not or not clearly in gesture, face, or body. Léandre on the other hand chose to enlarge her response through these means, making it less discrete, less hidden, less vague to the audience. Yet there were also moments when her playing, and her playing only, was a comment: this is one of the most common patterns in improvisation, and certainly so in jazz, where the musicians ‘comment’ on each other, ‘talk’ to each other. They build and exchange phrases, affirm and challenge each other, take the point of one musician further by moving on with it. This too was happening Saturday in Nankang theatre: rhythms, melodic patterns, noises and clusters going back and forth between Léandre and Lee, without obvious physical expression going along with it.

 

Intense music that requires concentrated listening, and where we can hardly be sure that what I hear is what the musicians intend, but where we still try to figure out what Lee is doing with Léandre’s ideas, and vice versa (of course, a perfectly valid alternative is not to care about this at all, but ‘simply enjoy’ the music, without figuring things out that you cannot know for sure anyway).

 

Music itself naturally triggers all sorts of physical, facial and other expressions, fitting to the roles of dedicated, serious musicians. We see it all the time, in video clips, classical performances, jazz: any music style has a number of ways in which the musician seeks ways to express music’s manifold qualities. Just some musicians, more than others, go way beyond the musical language itself. One can debate if this contributes to the music or distracts from it: purists might be bothered and uninterested in musicians acting out their performance too much. There are plenty of examples of exaggerated and silly theatricality in musical performance. One that comes to mind is many modern, female pipa players (a Chinese type of lute held upright in front of the player), who excessively sway their bodies and heads. I mostly prefer the old pipa practice where the music does not need all that visual display; it usually sounds better. Certain kinds of theatricality add nothing to the music but commercial value; it sometimes only serves to cover up a lack of genuine musical quality.

 

If the music still comes first, though, the expansion of the performative language can add many layers of meaning and expression to an already rich, interesting performance, instead of peeling off those layers. In rare cases, performers truly and convincingly embody multiple languages, fluently blending the musical performance mode with other ones, like dance, movement, facial expressions. In India, earlier this year, I had a chance to see a live performance if singer Venkatesh Kumar. He is an absolute master of of his raga improvisations and also of his body. In several long drawn-out pieces he used his arms, hands and facial expressions to express his journey through the dense network of musical connections that makes up a raga. Fascinating stuff!

 

So far for the non-musical gestures. I guess some of this can be gleaned also from a brand new book that I hope to read soon. It will certainly interest those who want to know more about the why’s and how’s of improvising: Marcel Cobussen’s The Field of Musical Improvisation, an e-book that is free for download since a few weeks.

 

Last night was the first concert with Makigami Koichi. Tonight is the closing concert of the TIIMF here in Taipei.

 

Saturday November 25

Zhongshan Hall, Taipei, 19:30

Closing concert of the Taiwan International Improvised Music Festival

With Porta Chiusa; and Makigami Koichi (voice, theremin, Jew’s harp, shakuhachi), Tung Chaoming (guzheng), Mark van Tongeren (voice, sruti box, Jew’s harp), and others

 

Sunday November 26

Reykjavik Lab /愛雷克雅維克實驗室, Taipei

13:30-17:00, workshop Improvise!

Details and tickets on Accupass, or send a message to 0910382749

Improvise! With Koichi Makigami

中文請往下>>>

This afternoon is for anyone interested in improvising with sound and music, from professionals (voice/instruments) to absolute beginners. Makigami Koichi is one of the special international guests for the second Taiwan International Improvisation Music Festival, doing several gigs around Taipei in this week.

Mr. Koichi is a master at manipulating groups of musicians, from absolute beginners to the most experienced professionals, and to let them create something never heard or seen before.

Powerful yet playful, with a body-language that is at once authorative and disheartening, Makigami Koichi could even turn a group of meek lambs into a fantastic bleeting-orchestra.

This man is breathing music and you cannot help breathing along with him, so that music, noise and theatrical antics will start to pour out of every pore of your skin.

As a (former) avant-rock star, an extremely versatile vocalist, the bandleader of Hikashu for almost 40 years, and as a multi-instrumentalist, Makigami has steered through numerous Japanese musical landscapes. He redefined the horizon of music in Japan, and far beyond.

Most of all, he understands group dynamics and, with few words, can guide people who never met before through a diverse musical landscape.

We asked him for the requirements of those who are going to join.
He dryly replied “no technique”.
Any styles people should know or play?
“No styles”.

Musicians, non-musicians:
it’s Mr. Koichi’s first visit to Taiwan.
Join this unique event.
You will not regret it.

【卷上公一即興工作坊】

https://www.accupass.com/event/1710270829532029014404

這個下午是給所有對聲音跟音樂即興有興趣的人,開放給所以有專業(聲音或樂器)音樂家及初學者。卷上公一是第二屆台灣國際即興音樂節邀請的國際特別來賓之一,這週,他在台北帶來了一些演出。

卷上公一是一位帶領團體的音樂大師,能夠同時帶領初學者和最有經驗的專業音樂人一起創造,讓他們創出從來沒聽過或看過的音樂。

充滿能量卻又有玩耍的跳躍的性格,加上他的肢體語言中的權威和份量,卷上公一可以使一群害羞的羔羊變成一個狂響的交響樂團。

這個人的呼吸就是音樂,而你會不得不開始跟著他一起呼吸。如此,音樂、聲響跟戲劇性的表現會開始由你的每個毛孔開始傾到而出。

作為一個(前)前衛搖滾歌星,歌藝精湛歌者,Hikashu近40年的團長,以及熟悉多種樂器的音樂家,卷上公一經歷了日本音樂界的很多風景。他重新畫設了日本音樂的地平線,而他的影響力也遠遠超過了日本的地理範疇。

最重要的是他對團體的理解,而可以用幾個字就讓從未見面的一群人跨越許多不同的音樂風景。

當我們問他參與學員的條件時?
他直說了「不需要技巧」。
關於風格的問題?
「不用風格」。

這是卷上公一第一次來台灣開課!
加入吧,你絕不會後悔!

限制條件:

時間:
11/26 星期日,14:00-17:00
13:30開門,14:00開始

地點:
愛雷克雅維克實驗室
100 台北市濟南路一段7號

學費
單人    每人1500 NT$
六人團體票 每人1200 NT$
學生/長者 每人1000NT$
https://www.accupass.com/event/1710270829532029014404

REQUIREMENTS:
None

DATE/TIME:
Sunday November 26, 14:00-17:00
Doors open at 13:30, workshop starts at 14:00.

PLACE:
Reykjavik Lab
No. 7, Section 1, Jinan Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, 10051

PRICE AND TICKETS:
NT$ 1000 (group ticket), 1200 (discount), 1500 (normal)
https://www.accupass.com/event/1710270829532029014404

BIOGRAPHICAL
Makigami Koichi is a renowned vocal performer and multi-instrumentalist who has been playing around the world for years. He rose to fame as the singer of the New Wave/rock band Hikashu in 1979. Soon thereafter the band sought more freedom, incorporating elements of spontaneity and improvisation into their music.

With some changes, Koichi and his collective continue to play a significant role in the cross-over field of rock-jazz-improvisation in Japan and around the world, with recent tours in Europe, Australia and the US.

Besides solo work, Makigami played with prominent jazz/experimental/avant-garde musicians like Derek Bailey, John Zorn, Ikue Mori and Fred Frith. He has visited Tuva/Siberia since the early 1990s and organised many tours and published CDs of Tuvan and Altai music in Japan. He is also a co-producer and the main curator of the avant-garde jazz festival Jazz Art Sengawa in Tokyo.

OTHER EVENTS with KOICHI MAKIGAMI
2nd Taiwan International Improvised Music Festival
https://www.facebook.com/pg/tiimf2015/events/

Concerts Luc Houtkamp in Taiwan

In a few days composer/improviser Luc Houtkamp is arriving from the Netherlands. He is a much respected music personality in The Netherlands with a string of accomplishments. Right now, besides playing/composing, he is best known for his work with the POW Ensemble, which he founded over a decade ago. He is the recipient of the most important Jazz Prize, the Boy Edgar Prize. Very honoured to have him as a guest in our house for a few days! Then he moves on for his Taiwan tour. I will join him two times.

6 March 2015, 12:30 Taishin Bank, Taipei, Luc Houtkamp (sax), Chao-Ming Tung (guzheng), Mark Van Tongeren (voice)

14 March 2015, 19:00 Hsing Tian Kong Library, Taipei, Luc Houtkamp (sax) Chao-Ming Tung, (guzheng) Mark Van Tongeren (voice), Shih-Yang Lee (piano)

Other performances by Luc and Taiwanese musicians:
9 March 2015 Lecture at Shih Chien University, Taipei
11 March 2015 Lecture and Workshop at Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu
11 March 2015 concert in Hsinchu, place and line up tba
12 March 2015, 19:30 Tainan University of the Arts, Tainan, Taiwan with Shih-Yang Lee (piano) Fang-Yi Liu (musical saw & voice)
13 March 2015 Lacking Sound Festival Solo concert.

Here is a preview of Luc’s new piece, based on a 1914 novel of Gertrude Stein. Looks very promising!

Lacking Sound Festival: March 29

Screen shot 2014-03-11 at 10.46.11

I am excited about this invitation for the Lacking Sound Festival, a mostly-monthly event currently held in the Digital Arts Centre in Taipei, to be precise in the Noise Kitchen. This meeting point for sound-art-buffs is a wonderful space with various ingenious instruments that can be played – reminding me more of a Museum of Musical Machines in the Netherlands than a 21st century Digital Arts site. Anyway, I have invited Serge Onnen to join me in creating something analog that sounds and feels digital  (and quite different from the Cloacinae sound-shadow-video performance we do/did the 15th of March). Both of us favor the kind of old-fashioned manual-vocal-labour forms of artistic expression, but then, we do use computers, digital recorders and the occasional effects apparatus to manipulate our creations. So here is the press-blurb:

Mirroring
Mark van Tongeren (sound) and Serge Onnen (image) dissect our everyday perception, enlarging our ordinary vision and audition to include the unseen and unheard. Mirrors, opposites and negatives of our everyday sense world.

Mark van Tongeren is currently fascinated by the voice as an instrument producing numbers, namely, the strict numerical ratios of overtones. When this is made audible through the technique of overtone singing, the voice almost loses its human identity: its sounds seem like pure sine waves. Digits, that is, whole numbers or whole-number ratios could be considered the DNA of our voice. In this installment of his theme The Digital & The Vocal, Mark offers an electro-acoustic performance where the distinctions between the digital and the vocal are blurred. Environmental recordings, extended vocal techniques, Jew’s harps and a Kaosspad further link the physical, everyday world with the digital, and the archaic with the hypermodern.
Artist Serge Onnen, currently holding a solo exhibition at MOCA Taipei, simultaneously provides a live visual performance. He will mainly use mirrors: echo’s of images, stretching the reflection, face reality,  double the sight and confront the audience with their image.

vantongeren x onnen

4 concerts this week (NL/PL)

dear listeners,

I’d like to announce a couple of concerts in The Netherlands and in Poland in the coming week:

IMG_3788

Monday 18 november, AMSTERDAM, Het Poortgebouw, 1st Floor, Tolhuisweg 2: Oorsprong Curator Series, start at 20 o’ clock. Free-improvisation with flutist Mark Alban Lotz and guitarist Bram Stadhouders and vocalist Mark van Tongeren, and several other exciting music/dance impro-combinations in two other sets that same night.
Link: http://oorsprong.wordpress.com/

Thursday 21 November, AMSTERDAM, Mediamatic/Fabriek – Echokamer, 20:30, Superstringtrio (Rollin Rachele, Mark van Tongeren) and Daphne van Tongeren (light/performance).
Echokamer is a series of events during which composers, musicians and other sound-makers experiment with sound at, and with the sound of, Mediamatic Fabriek. The giant industrial hall reverberates and erodes, and produces quite a bit of sound all by itself. The perfect place for noisy experiments. Read more details about Superstringtrio’s sonic excursion next Thursday on this link: http://www.mediamatic.net/357851/en/echokamer-12-superstringtrio

Sunday 24 November, KRAKOW (Poland), Audio Art Festival/Bunkier Sztuki, 19 o’clock, Superstringtrio. We have been invited by Marek Choloniewski, founder of Audio Art Festival, one of the most long-standing festivals dedicated to Sound Art in all its beautiful, radical and weird manifestations, to join the ranks of many artists who have performed there in past decades. Superstringtrio will present an updated version of its performance Incognito Ergo Sum, premiered in Amsterdam earlier this year at the occasion of the PhD-defense of Mark van Tongeren’s Thresholds of the Audible- thesis at Leiden University. See a short clips of it on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/64866998. For the full program of the festival, which has already started yesterday and continues next week, check this link: http://www.audio.art.pl/
(with our thanks to Horst Rickels, who gives a workshop and concert in Krakow tomorrow with his Lesley-speakersystem, together with Robert Pravda).

In a couple of hours I am leaving Taiwan. If all goes well I might join Oorbeek tomorrow, Saturday 16 November at the opening of The New Institute in ROTTERDAM. Set 1 at 17 o’ clock, set 2 at 17:45. 6th floor, Museumpark 25, 3015 CB Rotterdam,
Link: http://www.hetnieuweinstituut.nl/nieuwnew

Hope to see you somewhere!

Best wishes,

mark van tongeren