Jaap Blonk: Sound Poetry Performance and Discussion

In this seminar Jaap Blonk talks about his work, placing it in the context of its roots: sound poetry, improvisation and new music. He presents examples of sound poetry and performs his own work, with projection of texts and scores, sound examples, work with other musicians, and video fragments.

Bio: Jaap Blonk (born 1953 in Woerden, Holland) is a composer, vocal performer and poet. He began with the composition of music in the late 1970s, then discovered his potential as a vocal performer, at first reciting poetry and later on improvisations and his own compositions. For almost two decades the voice was his main means for the discovery and development of new sounds. From 2000 he started work with electronics, at first using samples of his own voice, then extending the field to include pure sound synthesis as well. More recently, a renewed interest in mathematics has led to research on algorithmic composition for the creation of music, visual animation and poetry.

As a vocalist, Jaap Blonk is unique for his powerful stage presence and almost childlike freedom in improvisation, combined with a keen grasp of structure. He has performed throughout Europe, as well as in the US and Canada, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa and Latin America. He has collaborated with many musicians and ensembles in the field of contemporary and improvised music, including Maja Ratkje, Mats Gustafsson, Nicolas Collins, Joan La Barbara, The Ex, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble and the Ebony Band, as well as the composer Carola Bauckholt and computer artist Golan Levin. He founded the  bands Splinks (modern jazz, 1983-1999) and BRAAXTAAL (avant-rock, 1987-2005), and has his own record label, Kontrans. His recordings have also appeared on Staalplaat, Basta, VICTO and Monotype.

Visit Jaap Blonk’s website  to view some of the scores that Jaap Blonk refers to in his seminar presentation.