After some years of relative silence, the full seven-piece collective of Oorbeek reunited again this Summer to record in the Electric Monkey Studios in Amsterdam. We did some cool new stuff in those two days, and picked out some of our time-tested game pieces, which are guaranteed to produce music no one has ever heard before (our two motto’s are ‘Oorbeek always starts over again’ and ‘Oorbeek liberates sound’).
As a band proclaiming to do things differently, every time we play together, we decided to make a fresh rendition of two all-too-familiar Christmas tunes. That’s right, Oorbeek is joining the musical madness of X-mas, where dozens of groups and singers produce scores of iterations of the melodies we know so well. Of course Oorbeek would not be Oorbeek if it did not give that unique … what shall we call it… New Dutch Swing-twist.
Now hear for yourself if you can recognise these tunes and sing along in your own language. Get the 7″ or listen to the tracks for free at Blowpipe Records.
And look out for more vinyl and downloads from the Electric Monkey sessions to come out in 2019.
If you use Facebook, you surely will like Oorbeek there.
I recently sat down to create a contribution for Serge Onnen‘s exhibition, opening tomorrow at the Kunstfort in Vijfhuizen, called The Fear of Small Numbers. Among the exhibits is a record player for which visitors can change the speed. Our collective of sound makers Oorbeek (where I got to know Serge in the first place) recorded a contribution in the studio this Summer, while recording a new album, and a host of other performers (me included) were asked to contribute. The record contains all these short pieces, one after another, and as a listeners you can play them back as fast or slow as you like. An interesting challenge for which I produced the following short piece, which I think will sound good no matter how slow or fast it is played back. I looped the original track of 22 seconds several times to make it longer. And for lack of a turntable I give you the half and double speeds as a bonus.
Just uploaded on Vimeo (above) and on Youku (here): an impression of the two live performances of Serge Onnen, Erika Sprey, TUNG Chao Ming and myself. The full show lasted one hour, we performed it two times on one evening in Taipei Artist Village.
Serge Onnen compiled the sewer inspection videosequence seen in the middle screen of the clip and he designed the chinese shadowpuppets, which were hand-carved by Tian Xiang in China. The one-hour inspection video was the starting point, to this was added live-shadowplaying by Serge with Erika Sprey.
TUNG Chaoming played the guzheng (Chinese zither), Mark van Tongeren did vocals, sruti box, live-electronics and field-recordings.
Camera by José Fernandes
Made possible with support from MOCA Taipei, Mondriaan Foundation & Taipei Artist Village.
Weekly Voice Yoga Returns to Canjune Training Centre
March 15: Underground Trip (performance)
March 29: Lacking Sound Festival (performance)
Voice workshop for spring 2014: coming up soon
This week Voice Yoga returns to Canjune’s Training Centre. Everyone is welcome to try out Voice Yoga on Thursdays between 10 and twelve. No registration necessary, but please be on time. Next week (March 20) the class will shift to the afternoon, between 14 and 16. Read the details about Voice Yoga in this blogpost.
Saturday March 15 you are invited to the performance Underground Trip with Serge Onnen, Erika Sprey (visuals), Tung Chao-Ming and myself (sounds) at Taipei Artist Village. There are two shows, at 19:30 and 21:30, please find the details in my previous blogpost.
Saturday March 29 I am invited to perform at the Lacking Sound Festival, which is one of the more interesting on-going sound events in Taipei. Serge Onnen will join me to provide visuals, and we will explore the theme of mirrors. More details in this post.
Soon I will announce some workshops for this spring season. Come check back here or subscribe to this blog. If you prefer to receive emails write to < info at fusica dot nl> and you will receive updates every once in a while.
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.
Last Friday evening was the opening of a solo exhibition of visual artist Serge Onnen at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Studio Underground, Taipei.
Cloacinae opening at MOCA Taipei
CLOACINAE – Goddess of the Sewers offers a selection of works by Onnen from the last ten years, including animation videos, phenakistiscopes, wallpaper, and a large shadow/sound installation made for the MOCA exhibition.
On March 15 we will do a shadow/sound performance at Taipei Artist Village. For this we will use a video compiled by Serge from inspection videos of sewers around the world. Nowadays everywhere cameras are led through sewer systems and other inaccessible places to look for obstacles or solve problems. Some of these videos have a certain kind of beauty of their own, and Serge made a good selection of those. Add to that live shadow play by Onnen and Erika Sprey, and sounds by Chao-Ming Tung and myself… and you have an unexpected visual-auditory-hallucinatory tour in the underground, there where the metro does not go. (get a preview on Serge’s blog)
We do the show two times, starting at 19:30 and 21:30 (not 22:30 as stated before), duration is one hour.
Please take note! The exhibition is taking place in the underground (Zhongshan Metro Mall, Near R9 exit), the performance is not. It is in Taipei Artist Village, No. 7, Beiping East Road, 10 minutes walk from Taipei Main Station.
Proudly presenting: this Saturday’s performance in Beijing, together with my old friend, artist Serge Onnen. Serge currently resides in Beijing where he is producing the follow-up of his extensive work on shadow/performance, much of which was done with the collective Oorbeek that we are both part of. With a residency in a hutong in the heart of Bejing, Serge is now immersing himself in the ancient art of shadowplay in China.
During the past few weeks we have exchanged ideas about our ZaJialab performance from our respective homes in Beijing and Taiwan. Through skype, Serge has shown me sketches and drawings of objects he will use, and several of his new lamps and lighting set-ups. He has even enlisted the help of some traditional puppetmakers to realise his own designs in the slightly transparent, dried leather that has been used for centuries.
I have dug out the remainder of my musical instruments and sound objects, and an old companion, the second-generation Korg Kaoss Pad (the first generation gave up many years ago). After a break due to moving, it is exciting to find out that my instruments, voice and Kaoss Pad are capable—again—to create a nicely organised chaos when all used together.
The title of our performance is Dingen Doen, which is Dutch for ‘doing things.’ For an hour or so, we are going to transform the small, atmospheric temple that nowadays is ZaJialab into a place that is both real—and surreal.