Joska Soos

Spring / Summer Program Taiwan

Check out all the activities for the coming months and scroll down for details.

 

Shruti Nights

four  dates 4 Tuesday evenings in March, April, May, June

Concerts with Hans de Back’s

Thursday April 8 (at his place), Thursday June 17 (at Canjune)

Ocean of Voices

2,5 days in Puli/Nantou, May 15-17

Dulan concert

Night before the retreat (Friday June 11)

Dulan Voice Yoga Retreat

Saturday June 12  / 10AM – Tuesday June 15  / 1 PM

Concerts YiWoYu

June 26, Hsinchu, evening, August and September, Taipei

 

As always, there are ongoing weekly Voice Yoga classes you can always join.

Please check with us first as some weeks are cancelled or in another location.

 

THE DETAILS PER EVENT

 

Shruti Nights XV, XVI, …

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Learn to free your voice using a simple drone instrument.
A series of four classes, starting the first or second Tuesday of the month.

The aim of these four sessions is to learn to improvise melodies with the shruti box. Every month we will take a close look at something else. In most classes there will be all kinds of structural vocal exercises to build up your skills, some structural improvising and some free explorations of your very own musicality.

Watch a video of Mark playing shruti box here:
https://youtu.be/BhiMamcPuMw?t=1519

FOR WHOM:
– people who recently bought a shruti box from Mark
– others who already have a shruti box and want to learn more
– others who want to learn to sing better with a drone instrument
– since the aim is to sing melodies, it is preferable if you can keep a tone. If you cannot hold tones (or you are ‘tone-deaf’, to use a terrible expression), you can still join in most of the program, but for some exercises as a passive participant.

WHAT YOU NEED
You can bring your own shruti box but it is not absolutely necessary, we always have several pieces on hand.
If you consider to buy an instrument but not sure what you need, and you join four classes, you can try one out at home between two consecutive classes.

DATES & TIMES

Four Tuesday evenings from 19:00 – 21:15.

Exact dates: May 2021: 11, 18, 25, June: 1

Theme:

Inventing motives, using scales and timbres

we will take a close look at creating new thematic material: how to find or invent new motifs on the spot? How to create variations in rhythm? What possibilities does timbre offer for improvising?

More in general, we will focus on timing, phrasing, using drones, scales and intervals, and alternating parts between voice(s) and shruti(s). With demo’s, exercises and your own explorations we will hear and see that vocal improvisations with a drone make you a better musician and sound explorer.

Though still aimed at shruti box players, others, with or without shruti box, are welcome too.

Next June series: June: 8, 22, 29, July: 6

Theme: t.b.a

July/August Series: July: 13, 20, 27, August: 3

 Theme: t.b.a

https://www.facebook.com/Paraphony/posts/2291937537604481

Language: English with Chinese translation.

 

PRICE

Regular: 4 lessons 4000 NT$

Discount: 4 lessons 3600 NT$. Those who bought (or buy) a shruti box from Mark, (old) Resonance students/ Shruti Night regulars (more than 6 months) / Student Identity Card holders and seniors (bring your ID) (請出示學生證).

 

REGISTER & INFO

In Mandarin: starysky1017@gmail.com

In English: mark@fusica.nl / Facebook / Phone 09 103 827 49

 

PAYMENT

Payment upon registration by bank or Paypal.

Bank information:

Bank code: 822.

Name of bank: China Trust

Beneficiary: Mark Christiaan van Tongeren

Account number: 163540306745

Make sure to send an email after your payment. We will confirm reception in a few days time.

AVAILABLE NOW! NEW SHRUTI BOXES !!

After a long wait because of Covid 19, our supplier in India finally sent a new batch of shruti boxes, which has just arrived.

The shruti box can be used for all kinds of purposes: playing for yourself or with others, learning more about musical structure and harmony, or free play.

 

 

 

Concerts with Hans de Back

Watch a fragment of our 2020 Butterfly concert here.

Hear us close-by at Hans’ place (April 8) or at Canjune’s (June 17).

Details through Una:  unakao at yahoo . com . tw

 

 

Dulan: Voice Yoga Summer Retreat

Saturday June 12 – Tuesday June 15

Once again the successful Voice Yoga Retreat. Read more about the previous retreats by clicking on the link below:

First Voice Yoga Retreat (full report)

 

In Voice Yoga’s dynamic group process, students go beyond their own habits and expectations. Often, something larger than ourselves emerges: a flow of hidden creative potential. We work with all kinds of sounds without meaning, without emphasizing a beautiful voice. They help us to get beyond common subject-object and mind-body dualities, and bring our unconscious selves and irrational emotions to the surface. The group process becomes a mirror for the self and allows us to ‘see’ ourselves more clearly, to hear what’s living deep inside.

“this is better than sex” (comment by one student)

Designed and taught by Mark van Tongeren, a Dutch sound explorer with a deep interest in the synergy of arts, sciences and contemplative traditions. Mark has 25 years of experience in theatre, music and dance productions and holds a PhD from Leiden University’s Academy of Creative of Performing Arts.

 

 

 

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VOICE YOGA Summer Retreat
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In Voice Yoga’s dynamic group process, you go beyond your habits and expectations. Something larger than yourself emerges: a flow of hidden creative potential.
Grounded in physical exercise such as yoga, we work with all kinds of sounds without meaning, without emphasizing a beautiful voice. They help us to get beyond common subject-object and mind-body dualities, and bring our unconscious selves and irrational emotions to the surface. The group process becomes a mirror for the self and allows us to ‘see’ ourselves more clearly, to hear what’s living deep inside.
BACKGROUNDS
Mark’s Voice Yoga runs for over 8 years and brings together three decades of creative, vocal expression, yogic discipline and contemplative traditions.
Voice Yoga is neither yoga as you see all around you, or music as you hear it every day. It is a personal, artistic synthesis of a wide range of musical, resonant, theatrical, contemplative and physical arts. What binds them together is Mark’s unique synthesis and his vision to create a strong sense of flow, no matter what the activity is. Serious workouts smoothly blend with unforgettable (and unrepeatable!) musical creations, deep breath work morphs into contact improv and vocal exercises into absurdistic theatre.
This retreat will give you a big boost, whether you are a musician, dancer, yoga teacher, actor, or just interested in working on your personal growth through the connections between sound, body and mind. No problem if you’ve never done yoga before!
VOICE YOGA SUMMER RETREAT: FOR WHOM?
Anyone can attend, no experience with yoga or music is necessary. Making sounds and learning about the connections between sound and movement, tones and physical vibrations, and not yoga per se, are the main purpose of this retreat. We are working to create an atmosphere of inclusion and acceptance. We make sure people of different levels of physical, mental, musical and other development feel supported and encouraged to grow and explore. We do our best to accommodate the program to the different levels of the participants and let you decide to skip or tone down certain exercises when you feel they are too demanding.
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DATES & TIMES

Details coming soon….
PLACE
We hold our sessions in Shufang’s Energy Healing, a gorgeous new yoga studio in Dulan, Taidong, isolated from nearby properties so we can make any sound we need to make. The studio has all utilities we need and is fully air-conditioned of course. There is a big lawn outside for musical workouts in fresh air, giant rocks to repose, and a few shady places.
Have a look here!:

https://www.facebook.com/shufang.energyhealing/
LODGING
Several comfortable options nearby in Dulan, different prices, some at walking distance.
OUR TEAM
This workshop is brought to you by Mark van Tongeren, Sunny Chen (translator) and Jackal Mei (general manager), and hosted by Shufang Wang.
For any questions about the contents in English ask Mark, in Chinese, ask Sunny or Jackal.
For registration, lodging and food details ask Jackal.
(contact info below)
YOUR TEACHER
Mark van Tongeren is a Dutch sound explorer with a deep interest in the synergy of arts, sciences and contemplative traditions. Mark has over 25 years of experience in theatre, music and dance productions and holds a PhD from Leiden University’s Academy of Creative of Performing Arts. He practices yoga for some twenty years and all kinds of voice/music/performance practices for 30 years.
Read more details below or check out www.fusica.nl.

PRICES

Details coming soon….

CONTACT INFO:

JACKAL MEI:
Phone: 0936596910
Mail jackallala@gmail.com
LINE: Jackallala
SUNNY CHEN
Phone: 0912024285
Mail ly.sunny.chen@gmail.com
LINE: soleilc77
Mark, in English only:
mark@fusica.nl
Phone 0910382749
LINE: 0910382749
TESTIMONIALS
“I felt many sounds inside me first time and I felt there is an inner space inside my body. That was an very powerful experience for me. The body wasn’t what I knew before. I felt peace when you sang… I do have a lot of fun when you want us imitate your voice… Every time when we make sounds together I feel I am decomposing and putting every part of me in one again. ”
– Judith
” Your class shows me the magic of breath and voice. This makes my inner child very happy. ”
– Nancy
” I enjoyed the class very much today. You had everyone engaged and creatively expressed as well as discharging and recharging well. ”
– Tina
” More than ever, it brings back my childhood so I can play again. ”
– Kovida
” Your class shows me the magic of breath and voice. This makes my inner child very happy. ”
– Nancy
” Voice Yoga helps me feel lighter. ”
– Jennifer
” I enjoy a lot and feel relaxed, this is a special course for me. ”
– Judy
” This is better than sex! ”
– Tammy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The world is not for beholding; it is made for hearing.

Jacques Attali, Noise, 1977

 

  

 

Sept 5: Sound Travels concert

This Saturday evening (September 5, 19:30, at Yuppy Cafe/Bookstore) I’ll be doing a concert of songs I have learned from oral traditions of various places around the globe. Tea (Tina Ma) is going to help create some links between them in her own magical way. After that, I will sing together with the audience and give an idea what we do in the R e s o n a n c e course.

For me this is a real first, to sing ‘plain’ traditional songs: I have never quite thought of myself as a ‘traditional singer’ of any kind and only reluctantly began to sing Tuvan khöömei (throat singing or overtone singing) when I was asked to. I developed an interest in singing Dutch songs at the time my son and daughter were born. Since then (and maybe because of that) I have changed my attitude towards traditional music. I slowly started to learn more songs in traditional ways, instead of ‘appropriating’ other music for my own musical language. I am now learning and singing songs from Tuva, Corsica, The Netherlands and other places for some years, and feel ready to present them onstage.

I began travelling to collect and learn music in 1990, when I visited Bulgaria. Then to Corsica in 1991. Then Russia in 1992, which was the upbeat for Siberia in 1993, where I went back several times. In the 2000s I visited New Zealand, Dharamsala, Jerusalem and Sardinia, amongst other places, and began moving to Taiwan. All the while I also met many travelling and migrant musicians, learning from or with them from time to time.

This Summer I visited Turkey and had an opportunity to learn a song from a well-known Turkish folk singer, Aysegül Aral. I was curious to learn more about singing with the quartertones you can find in Turkish and Arabic music, and I was happy to find I was doing alright, according to my instructor Aysegül. The song we sang (and which I will perform Saturday) is called Havada bulut yok, a well-known folk song.

Aysegül Aral, me and the interpreter

Aysegul Aral, the interpreter and me

Another special meeting several years ago was with Firaz Ghazzaz, a muslim reciter for the Palestine community of Eastern Jeruzalem. We collaborated in a project by two Dutch composers, Merlijn Twaalfhoven and Paul Oomen, helping to give voice to the suppressed communities of Palestines in Jerusalem. Firaz is the descendent of a long line of reciters for the Al Aqsa Mosque (going back for as much as 422 years when I visited). Al Aqsa is one of the most important mosques in the Arab world, situated on holy, historic territory in Jerusalem. I was struck by the humanity and the willingness to improvise, leaving his religious tradition behind to look for common ground in my improvised, coloristic, harmonic language and his own modal chanting. There is tremendous power and refinement in his singing, as you can hear in Firaz’ collaboration with another musician from Europe here.

Me and Firaz Gazzaz

With Firaz Ghazzaz, 2009

In Corsica, the French isle, you can hear echoes of this kind of intonation, though very distant ones. In this case they stem from the need for voices to harmonise according to pure, Pythagorean intonation, and not because of a modal tuning system as developed by the Arabs. In recent years, when I re-visited Corsica, I had many opportunities to immerse myself in polyphonic singing, and take part in it. Now I feel ready to sing some Corsican songs, but of course there will be no polyphony this Saturday (though I am considering to teach the audience a simple line so we get two parts). This year I joined the concert of musicians from Pigna: Nando Aquaviva and his daughter Battista, and Cecce Pesce, the guitarist. When we first met, Battista was beginning to be famous in Corsica. This Summer, she suddenly was famous all over France due to her appearance in the popular TV show The Voice.

In 2013 I sang some ‘alle-male’ polyphony with Claude Bellagamba, a middle-aged singer with an exceptional, powerful and natural voice, and Nando, who is past his prime years (he is 70+) but still getting along well and very active musically.

BellagambaAquavivaVanTongerenBW

Claude Bellagamba, Nando Aquaviva and me singing polyphonic songs, Corsica 2013

Of course there will be music from Tuva, Siberia. Choduraa Tumat and Otkun Dostay, who came over from Tuva to perform in Taiwan this spring, helped me with the lyrics of a well-known song by the folk singer/composer Maksim Dakpai. In their concerts we did not sing this song, but  contemporary and shamanic improvisations with voice and Jew’s harp. I did not quite feel up to singing traditional songs with them onstage: to be honest, I think for singing traditional music you need to know the lyrics by heart, and I am still struggling with that. In that sense my concert this Saturday is not so traditional: I will need the help of written lyrics on a sheet for sight-reading for most of the songs. The ‘shamanic’ improvisation is one possible way out of that problem, but not just second choice. Besides singing Dakpai’s song Saturday, I will also do a shaman-styled improvisation.

Otkun Dostay, Choduraa Tumat & me at Wistaria Teahouse (photo by Ewan Kuo)

Otkun Dostay, Choduraa Tumat & me at Wistaria Teahouse, 2015 (photo by Ewan Kuo)

I visited Hungarian shaman and sound practitioner  Joska Soos several times.

I visited Hungarian shaman and sound practitioner Joska Soos several times in Belgium.

I have spent much time learning a Hakka song, Hakka being one of the Chinese minorities in Taiwan (and China) with a distinct culture and music. I have always liked Hakka music when I heard it on the radio here, but it is not easy to sing it. My kids learnt some Hakka songs at school and I had great difficulty to get the melody right when I asked them to teach me (and how lucky I am with children who have such critical ears at such an early age!). This year I am working on a dance piece with Taipei Dance Circle, founded by Hakka choreographer Liou Shaw-lu. In order to pay tribute to Shaw-lu, who passed away a year ago, we decided to sing a Hakka song for him. The dance performance will première next week in Taipei’s National Theatre (Experimental Theatre), so I take the chance to do a try-out of Lao shan ge at Yuppy Bookstore.

Then there will be an indigenous Taiwanese song and things from  Mongolia, India and of course the Netherlands.

Talking about oral traditions, there is Tina ‘Tea’ Ma, or … is she? It is still a little bit of a mystery what she will do, or even that she makes it, immersed as she is in Taiwan’s East Coast indigenous Amis communities. She seems to be forgetting the time in Hualien (we all do when we go there!). I am not even sure she will manage to get out of the spell of the songs and rituals she is learning there. If she makes it, she may turn out to be the most ‘traditional’ or ‘authentic’ of the voices you will hear this Saturday. Let’s hear!

Info and reservations at Yuppy Cafe and Bookstore .

Tina 'Tea' Ma with moonlute

Tina ‘Tea’ Ma with moonlute