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The way we train Vocal Instant Composition in workshops and sessions can be described in these two categories:
this includes e.g.:
– freeing the voice, finding resonance, ease, impact and clarity in your singing
– training extended voice techniques
– making your voice available for story, meaning and emotion
this includes e.g.:
– how to hear the subtleties of layered compositions
– how to define your own musical ‘thing’ and let it blend and interact with the music around you
– how to lead and let yourself be lead (and how to give up the concept alltogether and just ‘ride the beast’)
– how to work with silence
Just as we train improvising with sizeable groups of singers, we also pay attention to solo’s, duets and trio’s.
In most workshops any degree of experience is welcome, as are all styles and cultural backgrounds in music. The concept we are working from is that the quality of the music will not depend on the virtuoso abilities of the individual – though those are very much welcomed – but on your ability to listen and to engage with the composition process.
All patterns and colours of music can arise from this approach, there are no boundaries in musical style, amount of solo vs. group singing or nature of the compositions – from contemplative and subtle to wild, melodic, poly-rhythmical, cacophonic or lyrical – everything is possible. The Genetic Choir is an eco-system in which many creatures can live. It needs singers who can give up on their ego and still make bold decisions.
By opening both your ability to set your own boundaries and surf the crest of the moment, we create vocal compositions that are surprisingly vital, focussed and yet unpredictable.
Basic improvisation skills that we believe in and that we train extensively are:
Surrender (don’t let your will rule your decisions)
One thing (deepen your material – ‘work it’)
Layers of music / Jungle of sound (find your place!)
Quality of Listening (open awareness)
Quality of Engagement (ride that creature!)
Stillness and Timing (understand silence)
The workshop contains both exploratory individual work and small group/big group ensemble singing. We are working from a vision on improvisation that believes in constantly finding the right balance in listening (being), acting consciously (compositional mind) and surrendering to ‘what is’ (immediacy). Beautiful singing is never something you create on your own. It arises from the amount to which an audience dares to give itself fully in the listening and the amount to which the singers dare to allow the moment and lead the way.