O TRIOM remembers Michael Vetter


During one of my concerts in Taucha, Germany, last month, I asked the audience who knows the name Michael Vetter. Several people raised their hands. But as I expected, many people at the Ancient Trance Festival don’t know his name. Of course, quite a few more may have heard his music in the Age of Spotify: you listen but don’t know what album is playing, now that a physical relationship to the medium (as in the time of LPs, CDs) is outdated. Besides, Ancient Trance is not exactly overlapping with Vetter’s artistic direction. He was much more avant-garde, with musical influences from Baroque to Dada and Fluxus, and a host of visual influences, from mediaeval religious painting and Chinese calligraphy to comics.

In the next few weeks O TRIOM is looking back at the life and work of the instrumentalist, vocalist, painter, poet, pedagogue and ordained Zen master Michael Vetter (1943-2013). We will be showing how his legacy continues to inspire, inform and transform our performing today in several concerts, a lecture and workshops. Why? Certainly not because Vetter was such a fine overtone singer. There are and have been many fine overtone singers, and Vetter’s style of singing and performing was one of many – not ‘just’ one of many, but a very influential one, to be sure. In the 1980s, anyone wanting to do something with overtone singing went to Vetter’s workshops and bought his albums, at least in very active German-speaking areas (and The Netherlands too). Vetter set certain standards for overtone singing, for a certain period of time, and those standards hardly changed.


Michael Vetter making Indian ink drawings, Academia Caparaia, Italy, 2009. (Photograph Mark van Tongeren under protection of Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND)

The interest of O TRIOM in Vetter also started with overtone singing, but soon branched out in many other directions. For example: Vetter as a typical Zen Buddhist. He insists again and again that one should give undivided attention to what one is doing when making music (or anything else, though he would not talk about anything, but about art). And he applied this attitude in all his music, and all his other creative work, as well as his cooking and everyday life. When I read and re-read his texts, or when I go through the conversations we had and the interviews I did with him, I frequently stumble upon contradictions (literally: ‘counter-speaking’) concerning his spiritual or religious outlook. You may be looking to clarify his positions towards spiritual questions, and find that he has much to say about that. Many people felt he was a very religious person and his biography testifies to that. Certainly a believer! But then you will sooner or later find a remark in which he warns for overzealous religious interpretations. “Here and there one learns about the connection between overtones and Our Lord. That is far removed from me!” And yet, many of his art and music works bear very clear Christian (and not just Zen) elements.

It seems that it does not make sense. And that is exactly what we can take away from Michael Vetter (or maybe from Zen in general), and what keeps me coming back to him for fresh insights: there is no single, or final way to talk about or do anything. There are only temporarily, or partially ‘true’ or ‘convincing’ arguments to believe, or positions to take. As soon as one clings too much to certain truths, it is time to let it go again and look for yet another perspective .

In the weeks to come we will prepare ourselves with this in mind: try as best as you can to follow certain aesthetic and creative paths, and be always willing to throw them overboard again and replace them with something new. I am excited about this moment in our O TRIOM collaboration, which began in early 2022, if I remember well. And I salute the brilliant artist who bridged so many visions and visuals, sounds and musics, thoughts and dreams in a lifetime bursting with creative output.


Read an earlier post about why we should remember Michael Vetter here.





Lecture Transverbal

Time: 6th October (Friday) 2023, 19:00-21:30

Location: Guling Street Avant-garde Theatre, 2rd floor

Speaker: prof. CHUNG Mingder (Department of Theatre Arts, TNUA), Mark van Tongeren, LU Qi Chung, LEE Wei Lin


Workshop Michael Vetter’s Overtone Singing Methods

Time: 13th October (Friday) 2023, 10:00-17:00

Location: Guling Street Avant-garde Theatre, 3rd floor

Facilitator: LU Qi Chung, LEE Wei Lin


Workshop OKYO

Time: 17th October (Tuesday) 2023, 10:00-17:00

Location: Guling Street Avant-garde Theatre 3rd floor

Facilitator: Mark van Tongeren


Overtone Singing Concert for Michael Vetter

21st October (Saturday) 2023, 19:00

22nd October (Sunday) 2023, 14:00

Location: Dreamphony Hall (No. 59, Lane 97, Guangrong Rd, Luzhou District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 247)





O TRIOM Artists

LEE Wei Lin

LU Qi Chung

Mark van Tongeren


Organizer| Taiwan Overtone Singing Association TOSA
Executive Producer  | Lee Chichen
Visual Design  | Bai Chi Hao
Image source | Michael Vetter

Lecture| prof. CHUNG Mingder

Taiwan Overtone Singing Association is also on Facebook.

Photos from a 2014 concert by O TRIOM






O TRIOM 紀念米歇爾·費特大師 系列泛音講座、工作坊暨音樂會



時間 2023/10/6(五) 19:00-21:30

地點 牯嶺街小劇場二樓藝文空間

講者 鍾明德教授(北藝大戲劇系)、Mark van Tongeren、呂啓仲、李維琳







時間 2023/10/13(五) 10:00-17:00

地點 牯嶺街小劇場三樓排練場

講師 呂啓仲、李維琳







時間 2023/10/17(二) 10:00-17:00

地點 牯嶺街小劇場三樓排練場

講師 Mark van Tongeren


本工作坊將概述 Michael Vetter 的創作生涯,觀察他的作品中音樂/聲音和禪宗幾個主題,以及 20 世紀 90 年代及之後歐洲對禪宗日益增長的興趣如何與費特的作品呼應,以及他如何自由地採用“okyo”並對其進行改造。並一起唱送費特的okyo以及馬克本身創作的365則向費特致敬的 okyo。


O TRIOM 米歇爾‧費特大師 紀念音樂會



2023/10/21  六 19:00

2023/10/22 日  14:00



夢響廳 Dreamphony Hall



演出者:Mark van Tongeren.呂啓仲.李維琳




OKYO詩文唱誦,極簡而留白,這是泛音音樂傳承的其一精神支脈。本演出亦是對開創性的德國藝術家、作家、教育家米歇爾·費特(Michael Vetter,1943-2013)的生平及創作致敬,他將所有作品的總體概念命名為《Transverbal》—穿越言語。






Mark van Tongeren 馬克・范・湯可鄰


主辦單位| |台灣泛音詠唱協會

執行製作  | 李紀辰

視覺設計 |  白濟豪

圖片來源 | Michael Vetter

講座講者| 鍾明德教授





Read an earlier post about why we should remember Michael Vetter here.


Introducing: IUooUI

A new group called IUooUI is going to give its first series of full performances. Most of us know each other for many years now and share a deep passion for overtone singing, throat singing and improvising with voices and instruments, as well as work on the body-mind relationship. We decided to take it a step further and create surprising performances based on all those amazing sessions we had during workshops throughout the years. We all have dreams and desires to bring the music in our heads alive, for others to hear. This is a challenge. We leave the intimate comfort zone of a workshop space. We are ready to confront an audience of curious listeners in unusual settings, and to envelop them with our resonances, overtones, mantras, syllables, shrieks, assisted by drums, Jew’s Harps, shruti boxes and more.




The name UIooUI stands for the mantra-and sutra-like phrases that we often use, inspired by the okyo of Michael Vetter (1943-2013). Michael transformed these traditional Japanese sutras to expand his own musical language, and this has become part of my own language now. IuooUI also stands for:


Of course, the syllables i-u-o-o-u-i  make a small overtone piece in themselves.

The name was proposed by our in-house poet, Amang, whose Chinese name is , which is the last part of IUooUI when it is pronounced as a three-character Mandarin syllabe, yiwoyu.

Our in-house designer JiJi Liu created the logo for us.


The name TWEAKS refers to the process of tweaking, adjusting, making things better by smaller or sometimes bigger changes. It is my hope that next week we can really tweak all the musical elements so that they keep on growing, changing and move towards a more refined shape. This week, at least, some of us were still busy tweaking, like JiJi and Sky, who came up with this after the dress rehearsal:



It has been inspiring to see how busy all members got in recent months to prepare for this first complete performance. They have been working diligently on their sounds and pieces, of which more than half is composed by themselves in smaller units. They took care of sound and light, finding equipment and personnel to handle it, costumes …


Earlier this year we have done some smaller performance, to warm up, and as teasers for our bigger program.



Sunday August 21 – 19:30

Wednesday August 24 – 19:30

Friday August 26 – 15:00 and 19:30

Sunday August 28 – 19:30

The performances will be held at VENUE, on its 5F space, No. 10, Lane 107, Linsen North Road. This is a bustling area and if you have the time, you can have diner before at a nice Japanese restaurant, Umeko, right next door to VENUE  (no. 8)!

Limited 20% discounted tickets available, please write to:
to secure your seat. Tickets:

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IUooUI : 全新泛音詠唱團體的誕生
8月【漪渦⿂】 就要正式公演了~
我們即將參與 2022臺北藝穗節,一共演出5場~
1:【8/21 19:30】 (日) 晚
2:【8/24 19:30】 (三) 晚
3:【8/26 15:00】 (五) 午
4:【8/26 19:30】 (五) 晚
5:【8/28 19:30】 (日) 晚




Taiwan Tour 聽舞觀聲/Lending Ear to Dance, Eye to Sound

Taipei Dance Circle (光環舞集) continues to bring their piece Lending Ear to Dance, Eye to Sound to theatres across Taiwan. I will join them in one of the three choreographies. Read more about our collaboration and co-founder Liu Shaolu in a previous post here.




Program:     “Lending Ear To Dance, Eye To Sound” 聽舞觀聲


姚凱蕾 Yao Kai-Lei
蕭靈鳳 Siew Lin-Fong
王憲彬 Wang Hsien-Pin
陳英豪 Chen Ying-Hao

Tour to:


Saturday 3/5    19:30
Performance Hall of Taitung County Government Bureau of Cultural Affair


Wednesday 3/23     19:00
Providence University Zhi Shan Hall Stadium

Tamshui (Saturday May 1, to be confirmed)

Saturday 5/27     19:30
Performance Hall of Cultural Bureau, Hsinchu County


Saturday 6/18    19:30
Performing hall of Xinzhuang Culture and Arts Center


Friday 9/23  13:00

Yingge Technical High School


Read a Taipei Times article about the program here.

Taipei Times 2



Lending Ear to Dance, Eye to Sound


This week Taipei Dance Circle (光環舞集) presents a new evening program with three new pieces, a little over a year after founder Liou Shaw-lu (劉紹爐) passed away. I got to know Shaw-lu over a decade ago when I was teaching at the Taipei National University of the Arts in Kuandu, not far from Taipei Dance Circle’s base in Bali, on the opposite side of the Tamshui river. These classes were organised by Prof. Chung Mingder, then dean of the Department of Theatre, and attracted also people from outside the university (artists outside the school like Shaw-lu, or nuns from the Huayen monastery). To anyone who knew Shaw-lu it is needless to say I immediately I liked him: he was such a likable, positive soul, constantly curious, constantly creative, or ‘creating’ to say it more actively. When I see him with my mind’s eye, I see him moving: moving his hands, his head, his torso, expressing whatever he wanted to say or responding to whatever he saw with his full body. And of course, he did not just move: he always moved beautifully, elegantly, from somewhere deep inside himself, and at the same time summoning forces much bigger than himself. He absorbed the environment and reflected it back with his body, with his mind and also with his voice. He was very passionate about learning to use the voice in new ways. He felt and saw from the perspective of dance, what I felt and saw from the perspective of music: the possibility of integrating sound and body.



Shaw-La, taimu, Mark some 10 years ago


He followed my classes, but of course I learned as much from him. His presence as a dancer helped me feel comfortable to do all kinds of unusual physical exercises in order to experiment with the sound of the voice. I remember we rehearsed and performed a piece when the semester of the ‘official’ theatre class (I think it was called Overtone singing and Meditation) was about to finish. All students presented their own work, and I did a piece with Shaw-lu. It was a delight to improvise with him, even though I felt quite clumsy doing the physical work next to someone so flexible, so much in a constant, physical flow. Shao-lu and I also presented something together at Huayen Monastery, who at that time were interested in the integration of overtones in body-mind practices.




It was a great honour for me to receive the invitation from Taipei Dance Circle’s co-founder Maura Yang earlier this year, to collaborate with the dancers now that co-founder and choreographer Shaw-lu passed away. A challenge, too, since we all started work on integrating movement and sound: the piece we created,  involves all four dancers and myself on stage, doing both sound and movement. After throwing ourselves into each other territories (they singing/sounding, me dancing/moving), we found it necessary to take a step back and stay more within our own disciplines. It is a long and difficult, but rewarding process to move out of your comfort-zone: I think we all shifted into this new territory, and we are searching still for the right mode. Tonight is the première, but the last adjustments are still being made.

In Last year’s dance projects I did with Horse (驫舞劇場: Play Dead / 裝死) and then with Yeh Ming Hwa (葉名樺 :  Nordic / 寂靜敲門), I was first purely a musician, onstage but separated from the dancers, then a musician/actor sharing the space with the dancers Will that turn out to be the better option? I hope both are possible, though there is no doubt that these three pieces are a world apart.

Yeh Ming-Hwa's piece Nordic

Yeh Ming-Hwa’s piece Nordic (Photo Lee Hsin-Che)


In order to commemorate Shaw-lu, we are singing a Hakka song. As Yao Kai-Lei (姚凱蕾) one of the dancers of TDC, explained today for Hakka TV, Shaw-lu loved old Hakka mountain songs, which used to be sung not as concert pieces, but in daily life by the tea planters in the old days. Hakka people just sang them while working, sometimes over long distances in the mountains, improvising phrases (and no doubt, also texts). I am not sure Shaw-lu actually heard that when he was young …. But taimu (Prof Chung) encouraged us to sing old songs in this project, and since many of the songs that we tried would not work for the group as a whole, it was natural to chose Lao Shan Ge (old mountain song).

About the other vocal parts, I wrote this for the program booklet:

In Western art music and dance, sound and movements are rigorously controlled by what they present and what is taught, from one generation to the next. Not only that; it is also controlled by what is not presented, by that which is controlled by expelling it. Musicians are basically taught to play their instrument from a still position, and not to make unwanted movements. The accepted movements that we see from a pianist or violinist are highly stylised and may be likened to a kind of choreography. Many musicians and dancers alike were taught not only to control their movements but also to suppress the sounds that might accompany those movements. The presence of unwanted sounds almost amounts to a taboo, both for dancers and for musicians. There may be valid practical and also esthetic reasons for it, but are we not robbing dancers or musicians of some of their most powerful means of expression when we subjugate the performing body to these unwritten rules? What do we find, for example, when we allow the performing body to freely make noise, make sound, make music, and when we allow the musicking body to move or to dance?

These questions are not new, and have been explored from various angles in the past decades, not in the least in many of the late works of Liu Shao Lu, who was deeply committed to integrating sound with movement. Yet unwritten performance rules run deep in the veins of artists, be they musicians or dancers. It is hard for the dancer to work the muscles of the vocal cords and mouth just like she is used to work the muscles of torso, arms and legs. And it is hard for the musician to really see himself moving, and to move freely beyond the need of musical gestures. Trained in one art form, we are partly blinded by the aesthetic language we are most familiar with. How can we re-integrate these two seemingly different languages of dance and music with each other? Can we find some more or less natural meeting points? Is it even possible, perhaps, to really ‘forget’ our own disciplines and create something from a common bodily language, becoming sound and movement at the same time?


Program:     “Lending Ear To Dance, Eye To Sound” 聽舞觀聲


姚凱蕾 Yao Kai-Lei
陳英豪 Chen Ying-Hao

Five performances tonight until Sunday (Sept 10-13) in Experimental Theatre 實驗劇場 / National Theatre 國家戲劇院

Tickets here.

After that: tour to HsinChu (October 16), New Taipei City (November 8), Taoyuan City (November 14) Pingtung City (November 21), Hsinchu county (November 28).


Read a Taipei Times about the new program article here.

Taipei Times 2

Taipei Times article



Shaw-Lu Singing