Joska Soos

Autumn /Winter Workshops Taiwan

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

Dulan Voice Yoga Retreat
Saturday December 19  / 10AM – Tuesday December 22 / 1 PM

 

Shruti Days, Taipei, Saturday/Sunday December 2 and 3.

More info from Julie Chiu: chiuconsult@gmail.com

 

Shruti Nights XII

four  dates 4 Tuesday evenings in December and January

 

RESONANCE REATREAT

2×4 days in January and March

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dulan: Voice Yoga Winter Solstice Retreat

Saturday December 19 – Tuesday December 22

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 Winter Solstice Retreat
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Saturday December 19 9 AM until Tuesday 22 13:30 PM
Three and a half days of intense explorations of voice and movement for body-mind balance and creative, vibrant well-being.
+ new teaching partner: Shaun Roos & Hui-Hung Lin from Teal Studios
+ meal upgrade:

https://www.facebook.com/XingFarm11
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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.
DATES & TIMES
We start Saturday December 19 at 9 AM and suggest you arrive the evening before.
We finish after lunch on December 22th, around 1:30 PM.
Day 1,2,3; 4(half day):
9:00-12:00 Slow meditative warm up, mild to vigorous exercising, toning, noise making. Once again: restorative (half-)sleep/dream.
12:00-14:00 lunch & siësta
14:00-17:00 Guided movement and sound practices, walking meditations, improvisations and more.
17:00-18:30 tea break & rest
18:30-20:00 Moongazing. Sound searching. Mark’s concert. Yours?! Ours!
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, Shaun Roos & Hui-Hung Lin, 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.
GUEST TEACHING / PARTNER
Teal Studios / Shaun Roos & Hui-Hung Lin
Shaun and Hui-Hung are the creators of an art and dance education center called Teal Studios. The center was founded in 2015 in Taipei, but has since moved to the east coast of Taiwan. Throughout the year, they hold a variety of workshops based on the traditions of Thai Yoga Massage and Contact Improvisation. Their teachings are also influenced by the practices of Tai Chi, Yoga and Mindfulness Mediation. When leading a class, they bring over 15 years of experience in training, developing and teaching in the arts of Contact Improvisation and Thai Yoga Message.
Shaun and Hui-Hung will teach a one-hour block of contact impro every day of the workshop.
PRICES
Regular: 22.500 NT$
Students who joined one year or more of Voice Yoga or the first Retreat , the RESONANCE course or multiple Sound Journeys:
– 25 % (17.250 NT$) (sign up before Oct 20)
– 10 % (20.400 NT$) (after Oct 20)
Bring a friend:
– 1000 NT$ for both (cannot be combined with 25% discount)
CANCELLATION POLICY
If you cannot make it for some reason, we will always keep 10 % admin fees. For cancellation within 4 weeks up to the start of the event , we retain the right to keep 50 % from the total fee. Within 2 weeks up until the starting date, 80%. If you find a new replacement student we will refund except admin fees.
INCLUDED:
+ Tuition
+ All lunches and diners from Saturday till Tuesday lunch
NOT INCLUDED
– Transport to Dulan
– Lodging
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

 

 

 

 

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2020 聲音瑜珈: 冬至 療癒假期
VOICE YOGA Winter Solstice Retreat
**************************************
今年冬至,來參與這個最短的日/ 最長的夜的團體慶典,
季節由黑暗轉向光明,而我們能夠順從這個自然的時光推移嗎?
3天半的時間 / 關於聲音與身體的探索/ —
連結你的身心平衡,以及充滿創造力、活力的存在。
/活動新亮點/
+ 共同授課師資: 青舎 (藝術舞蹈教育工作室)~
Shaun Roos & Hui-Hung Lin 【接觸即興 + 泰式瑜伽按摩】
+ 升級餐點: 天牛教授的魔法廚房
【日期】12/19(六) 9:00 ~ 12/22 (二)13:30
【課程地點】台東都蘭。
光之屋(王曙芳 能量屋): 都蘭新社30-18號
**************************************
聲音瑜珈是個動態的團體過程,學員超越自我的慣性跟期望。比自我更廣大的自己開始甦醒: 那些隱藏著的創造力開始顯現,如河水般開始流動。
透過瑜珈等身體訓練的方式,我們回到自己的身體,並且跟各式各樣的聲音工作,不去強調所謂「美麗的聲音」。聲音幫助我們超越日常的主體-客體跟身-心的二元對立,讓我們的下意識的自我跟理性之外的情感開始浮現。團體工作的過程好像是一面鏡子,讓我們每個人都「看見」自己,聆聽我們心底、靈魂的存在。
【聲音瑜伽是什麼?】
Mark的聲音瑜珈系統/課程,已經經過了8年的課程推廣與實踐。聲音瑜珈是Mark融合他在藝術創造、聲音表現、瑜珈練習、哲思傳統的30年經驗的系統。
聲音瑜珈不是我們所熟知的身心運動,也不是日常常聽的音樂、歌唱。它結合了音樂、聲音、戲劇、哲思跟肢體藝術的領域,是Mark個人經驗的藝術綜合體。Mark特殊的綜合能力及視野使得每個活動都有種特殊的流、律動。身體訓練與難忘(但無法被重複的)音樂創造結合、呼吸練習轉化成為接觸即興、聲音即興演化為類劇場表演。
不管你是音樂家、瑜珈老師、舞者、演員,或是對透過探索聲音、身體以及心靈之關聯以追尋自我成長的人, 我們相信療癒假期會是個讓你充電的好機會。
用聲音瑜珈來找到自己的力量吧!
【對象】
任何人都可以參加,不限瑜珈經驗或音樂訓練。發出聲音是種找出動作跟聲音, 聲音音高跟身體震動之間連結的練習,而不是廣義上的瑜珈。課程的重點不是瑜珈練習,而是發出聲音,感覺音調跟身體的震動。我們希望營造包容並接納差異的工作氛圍。我們會確保不同肢體程度、心理階段、音樂訓練以及正在發展身心靈各面向的學員可以在安全,全然被支持的環境下成長並探索。我們會盡其所能來帶領每個獨特的學員。而如果有些練習對你來說太挑戰了,你可以選擇作為觀察者,或是選擇以另一個形式來參與。
【開課人數】:最少8人,最多16人。
【語言】: 英文+中文(全程翻譯)
【日期】
日期: 12/19(六) 9:00 開始~
12/22 (二) 午餐後約13:30結束
【日程】 (第四天午餐後就結束)
9:00-12:00 [聲音瑜珈 療癒假期 簡介]- 呼吸練習,音調共鳴, 自由即興。半夢半醒歌唱圈: 沉浸式聆聽/ 深度睡眠聲音按摩。
12:00-14:00 午餐 & 午睡
14:00-17:00 [動作與聲音練習]- 走路冥想,結構式即興及其他。
17:00-18:30 下午茶 & 休息
18:30-20:00 [晚間練習]- 動態聲音冥想
【課程地點】
台東都蘭。台東光之屋(王曙芳 能量屋): 都蘭新社30-18號
【住宿】
請自行選擇都蘭民宿
填報名表後說明推薦名單及相關資訊
【費用】
原價:22,500
舊生價,(聲音瑜珈: 療癒假期,一年以上聲音瑜珈舊生, 共鳴、聲音旅程: 總共參加達5個整天時數的學員可享舊生價)
75折: (17.250 NT$) (10/20前報名)
9折: (20.400 NT$) (10/20之後報名)
兩人同行/三人同行: 每人折扣1000元 唯75折學員不可再折抵
包含:
*學費
*7餐的伙食(六) (日) (一): 午、晚餐,(二)午餐
*保險
不包含:
* 交通
* 住宿
【取消報名】
取消報名收取10%行政費。課程前一個月取消報名,主辦方將保留50%費用;課程前兩週取消,,主辦方將保留80%費用。
如果你找人來替代你來上課,我們將退回10%行政費之外的費用。
【我們的團隊】
帶領者: Mark Van Tongeren
合作帶領者: 青舎 (藝術舞蹈教育工作室)~ Shaun Roos & Hui-Hung Lin
翻譯: Sunny Chen—課程資訊
活動規劃兼攝影: Jackal Mei—負責報名和課程資訊
場地主人: 王曙芳 能量屋
【好奇嗎?請來電或來信了解詳情】
報名: Jackal Mei, jackallala@gmail.com /lineID:Jackallala /0936596910
中文: 陳亮伃,ly.sunny.chen@gmail.com / lineID: soleilc77 /0912024285
英文: Mark van Tongeren , info@fusica.nl /0910382749
聲音瑜伽 在台北的日常開班時間
【聲音瑜伽,到底是什麼?歡迎來上課體驗】
★時間: 每週四早上10:15~12:15,滿4人開班
★地點:《肯園香氣私塾教室》,近捷運科技大樓站
台北市復興南路二段151巷3號4樓 。
★費用:單堂400,4堂1500
★報名:請私訊,詢問當週是否會開課。
☆內容和概念,活動頁面:

https://www.facebook.com/events/2342349959402863/

 

 

 

 

 

Shruti Nights XII

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Singing and shaping techniques for melodic improvisations

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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.

This month we go back once more to all the basic tools to shape your sound: making your voice more ‘yours’ and more expressive; and looking at how to shape phrases (starting them, ending them, rhythmic variation etc.).

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.

DECEMBER 8 and 29, January 12 + 26

 

PLACE

Canjune Training Center

4F, #3 , Lane 151, Fuxing S Rd. Sec. 2., Daan, Taipei

 

The Canjune Training Center is a 10 minute walk from MRT Technology Building, and 12 minutes from MRT Daan.

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).

 

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.

 

REGISTER & INFO

In Mandarin: m10531001@gmcc.tnua.edu.tw

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

 

 

MIAOLI: RESONANCE RETREAT

8- DAY

R E S O N A N C E

INTENSIVE

MIAOLI

 

with mark van tongeren

 

 

 

 

 

 

MODULE 1 :  4 DAYS. OUTER VOICE – INNER VOICE

Connecting body sound and mind.

January 16-19 (4 days) 2021

 

Day 1   Morning                   Forget everyting! Make a fresh start!

Voice-yoga: warm-up meditations, breathing, listening, resonance, vowels.

Unlearning: excercises to forget what you thought you knew about music, sound and voice.

 

Day 1   Afternoon                Ear-cleaning & Expanding your Hearing

We have become deaf due to noise pollution and sensory overload.

But we can also learn to hear more than most humans ever heard before. Includes Overtone singing exercise (1).

 

Day 2   Morning                   Music/sound and the body.

Voice-yoga: warm-up meditations, breathing, listening, resonance, vowels.

Ocean exercise: making sounds without boundaries. Re-discover things your body knew, but that you were unaware off.

 

Day 2   Afternoon.               Sound and vibration as tools to go into yourself.

Experiencing yourself/the other through the sense of sound.

Understanding the path of discovery: part searching, part non-doing. Overtone singing exercise (2) en (3).

 

Day 3   Morning.                   Understanding overtones, the DNA of sound

Overtones are in a way the original harmony, underlying every other musical and non-musical harmony.

You yourself cannot change your DNA, but you can get creative with the DNA of all sounds. Includes seeing your voice (#1).

 

Day 3   Afternoon.               Harmonics as/in healing and therapy.

From shamanic wisdom to detox and emotional catharsis. Plenty of group chanting. Confronting fear, developing self-confidence. Sing for yourself. Sing for someone else. Sing together.

 

Day 4   Morning & Afternoon.           Balancing Inner Voice < — >  Outer Voice

How to let the body speak (and tune down the mind) while gaining a deeper understanding (knowledge, intuition) using the physicality of voice and hearing? We exploring questions such as: (1) How can you connect deeper with yourself using your voice? (2) What should the sounds you make be like? (3) What can these sounds tell you, and what can others hear in your voice? And what is the role of silence?

 


 

 

MODULE 2 :  4 DAYS.         BODY MIND AND BEYOND

Spiritual practices, brought back to earth. Channel your beliefs into sonic patterns.

March 20-23 (4 days) 2021

 

Day 1   Morning                   Breath, Prana & Movement

Prana is the beginning of life force. Breath is one such process, and the one that happens to drive our vocal sound too. Workshop practices will target to develop your voice to be a powerful tool for relaxation and transformation, depending on how we use it.

Bringing the ideas and practices from Module One back to life and reviewing your personal development together.

 

Day 1   Afternoon                Technical work

Return to the technical challenges of good resonance, balance of body-mind exercise and good overtone singing skills.

The basis of resonance is hard, concentrated work and a clear understanding of physical and mental processes.

Solid practice to build on during the following days. Seeing your voice (#2).

 

Day 2   Morning                   Spiritual practices and sounds. Christianity.

Immerse yourself in the grand ideas of Christianity and its lyrical musical legacy.

What are Christian songs and styles in the context of overtone singing?

 

Day 2   Afternoon.               Spiritual practices and sounds. Buddhism.

Immerse yourself in the grand ideas of Buddhism and its esoteric musical legacy.

Buddhist chanting and vocal style in the context of overtone singing.

 

Day 3   Morning                   Spiritual practices and sounds: more ancient, more new.

What can we learn from Tuvan people about animism and shamanism.

What from new personal visions such as the one of Michael Vetter?

 

Day 3   Afternoon                Create new spiritual practices and sounds.

Do we need an -ism or a religion? What do we find in music itself? What do we find in ourselves?

Can we take up sound and vibration as tools to go beyond yourself? How? What tools do we need?

 

Day 4   Morning & Afternoon. Quintessence of science sound and self

Bring back the big picture of it all to peacemeal action. Do you follow basic techniques or develop a unique voice of your own?  Can you ‘Catch the spirit of the moment?’ Do you like to create a slow ritual? Today every voice will find a place as we all create a final piece about Sound at the Centre of the Universe. Group sharing.

 

 

 

 

 

I do not heal. I restore the harmony

Joska Soos, 1985

 

 

With Hungarian shaman and sound practitioner Joska Soos

 

 

 

LANGUAGE

The course will be conducted in English. Our interpreter Sunny Chen will be present to summarise or translate entire parts of the course into Mandarin, depending on the needs.

 

SESSION TIMES

Breakfast

Morning sessions: 9:30-12:30

Lunch

Afternoon sessions: 14:30-16:60 + 17:00-18:00.

Diner

Evenings are for resting, self practise, jamming…

 

PLACE

Miaoli, details to be announced.

 

REQUIREMENTS

No previous musical experience is required. For students who have already done one or more workshops of overtone singing there will still be plenty to learn. If you are in doubt contact us with your questions.

 

PRICES

Write us for pricing and registration inquiries.

Included:

  • Tuition
  • Lodging onsite in Miaoli
  • Alll meals are included from breakfast on Day 1 up to and including xxx on Day 4 of both modules..

Not included:

  • Transport to the retreat in Miaoli.
  • Please bring some instruments of your own.
  • It is also possible to pre-order a shruti box or Jew’s harps from Mark to help your own practice during and after the workshop.

REGISTER

Link. 

 

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS

To ensure that each student gets personal guidance, there is a maximum of 15 participants.

OUR TEAM
This workshop is brought to you by Mark van Tongeren, Nancy Pune (organiser) and Sunny Chen (translator, organisor). For any questions about the contents in English ask Mark, in Chinese, ask Sunny or Nancy. For registration, lodging and food details ask Sunny. For contact info see below.

YOUR GUIDE

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 all kinds of voice/music/performance practices for 30 years, often combined with contemplative practises (meditation, pranayama, yoga).

CONTACT INFO

SUNNY CHEN
Phone: 0912024285
Mail: ly.sunny.chen@gmail.com

NANCY PUNE:

Phone 0934-031-389

 

MARK VAN TONGEREN:
mark@fusica.nl
Phone 0910382749
LINE: 0910382749

 

 

 

 

 

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