Vocal Instant Composition


NO WORDS TODAY – TAC Eindhoven concert

Try-out concert at 3pm on 16 April, TAC Eindhoven

On Sunday, 16 April the Genetic Choir will be a guest at the Eindhoven exhibition NO WORDS TODAY organized by the Temporary Art Centre (TAC). For this try-out concert for our Loop-Cop-Mutate project, a sound database will be created using the work of the artist Fransien Bal (MusiVisualLanguage), who has translated sounds from a variety of Asiatic languages into images on paper, and spoken Dutch texts by the writer Ilse Vandenbussche.

Loop-Copy-Mutate: Music from People and Places is a new project by the Genetic Choir which will yield a year-long series of concerts.  Together with laptop artist Robert van Heumen, programmer Stelios Manousakis, and the public, the choir will transform sampled city sounds into voice and music compositions. Read more about the project.

Genetic Choir co-hosts international meeting of improvisers – IIIF 0.1 – feel welcome to join!

A new type of festival is happening this week in Amsterdam, and the Genetic Choir is one of the hosts:

IIIF – International Interdisciplinary Improvisation Festival 0.1 – 9-13 March 2017

During this festival an international group of artist from Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Paris and Goteborg will work together intensively for five days, of which the forth day will be hosted by the Genetic Choir, inviting these interdisciplinary artists into a Genetic Choir Ensemble session.

The festival also includes three Open Sessions, which improvers of any discipline can be part of. We will exchange thoughts and approaches to improvisation through a mix of practice, play and reflection.

The central question of this festival edition is How to document improvisation principles and processes?

You are welcome to join those Open Sessions if you are an experienced improviser. The Thursday session is at the Carpet Session studio (Vredenburgher danssstudio), the other two are in the beautiful studio of De Eester.

For the musicians: There is a stand-up piano and a multi-channel mixer/amplifier with speakers that we can use in the studio of De Eester (on Saturday and Monday).  

Dates and Times:

9 March, Thursday, doors open: 13:30 / 14:00-17:00
dansstudio Vredenburgersteeg 31-35, Amsterdam

11 March, Saturday, doors open: 13:30 / 14:00-17:00
studio De Eeester, C. Van Eesterenlaan 266, Amsterdam.

13 March, Monday, doors open: 13:30 / 14:00-17:00
studio De Eeester, C. Van Eesterenlaan 266, Amsterdam.

We are looking forward to play/exchange/perform with you!


VoiceLab 4 kids @Splendor Amsterdam

voicelab_15-02-2016_ogen_dicht4Our initiative to reinvent music education for children via Genetic Choir vocal improvisation methods has just received a boost of energy in the form of a new collaboration: VoiceLab 4 kids will work together with Emma Reker’s Splendor Kinderkoor to exchange our working methods and develop this new pedagogy together.

If you have children and you want them to learn singing and being creative the new way, you can send them between March and July 2017 to Splendor (Amsterdam Centre), where they will also be taught in several sessions by VoiceLab/Genetic Choir teachers.

After the summer vacation, the VoiceLab at EesterImps (in Amsterdam East) will continue. More information will follow closer to the summer!

Information/Inscribing for SplendorKinderkoor (March-July2017): click here.

Information/Reserve a place for you kid for VoiceLab from September: click here and/or email voicelab@genetic-choir.org

New project: Loop-Copy-Mutate

Loop-Copy-Mutate is both a performance and research project that explores the boundaries of vocal and electronic instant composition, opening up the experience to audiences as a large-scale collaborative experiment. We welcome audiences to take part in an upcoming event as part of our year-long concert series, inviting sound contributions from people in cities across the Netherlands and around the world.


Temporary Art Centre Eindhoven – April 16, 2017

in collaboration with Fransien Bal’s exhibition NO WORDS TODAY and Ilse Vandenbussche

STEIM – date to be announced

Noord/Zuidlijn Tunnel Concert (Amsterdam Centraal Station) – July 2, 2017

Tickets on sale from May 22nd. For advance ticket reservations, please contact meagan.mtbc@gmail.com

Audiences are invited to join us for an interactive, ‘instant composition’ experience, drawing upon the sights and sounds of Amsterdam as inspiration. Don’t miss this opportunity for a sneak preview of the brand new Noord/Zuidlijn station!

Would you like to attend an upcoming concert and lend your voice to this project? LEARN MORE 


Instant Poetry and Vocal Music – 11+12 February

Voice enthousiasts and improvisation singers will gather next weekend in the Genetic Choir workshop “Edge of Language”, and there are still a few places open, if you would like to join!

We will explore the exciting realm of “Instant Poetry” as an entrance into vocal music improvisation.

As always, all levels of experience are welcome, and we have a great, committed group already.


language_edge_closera Genetic Choir workshop

When we improvise with our voices, sometimes sounds emerge which are language-like, or even very much like comprehensible words. How do we treat this moment when singers are on the verge of becoming improvising poets?

It is fun to play with the sound of words, mix them and change them. It is what children do a lot and it is a bliss to indulge ourselves into this word-sound playfulness.
But as improvisers, we are looking for more: clarity and depth of expression, not only in music but also when words come in to play. For the audience, the shift from music to words is sudden, because our minds work that way: they cling to understandable words and
story whenever they can. So how do we treat this shift as improvisers? How do we keep the imagination open when words pretend to pin down all meaning? Can we serve both, the god of poetry and the god of music? Or even better: can we stay in the no-mans land between music and meaning, and take all our time to balance on the Edge of Language?

11+12 February 2017, 10:30-17:00  /  110,- exBTW (130,10 incl.)   /  Amsterdam

place: studio de Eester, C. Van Eesterenlaan 266

To reserve a place, or ask your questions, please send a message to:


Bunraku collaboration article in ‘Wereld van het Poppenspel’

The Dutch magazine for Puppet Theatre has devoted an article in its recent december issue on the collaboration of the Genetic Choir with the Bunraku company Mokugu-sha in Japan. The article is based on an interview inwp-4-genetic-choir-article-thumbnail which Thomas recalls special moments in the rehearsal and performance process with master-puppeteer Kanroku.

“De timing en precieze schakeringen van emoties die zijn pop beleefde stemde hij telkens weer nauwkeurig op het moment en de muziek af. Hij legde uit dat dit niet betekende dat de muziek altijd leidend was en de pop altijd volgde. Het was een interactie, soms leidde de pop, soms leidde de muziek.”

Read the full article in Dutch here.

We hope to make an English translation of the article soon!


VoiceLab 4 kids starts 18 January!

kids op open dag VoiceLabFive sessions of Genetic Choir work for kids aged 5-8 years: come and experience it!

A new series starts on 18 January, every Wednesday afternoon in Amsterdam East: studio De Eester, C. van Eesterenlaan 266

18 January – 15 February 2017, 13:30-14:15 uur 

Click here for more info.