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Mark van Tongeren

Two Hong Kong workshops (May 1/2 & 3/4)


閱讀中文版 / Read more in Chinese.

Next month, from May 1 to May 4 2015, I’ll be in Hong Kong to teach two workshops of overtone singing and body-voice-mind practise. We will work with themes such as breathing, resonance, vowels, sound meditation, healing potential of the voice, and of course overtone singing techniques. These short but powerful workshops are a balanced combination of factual knowledge about vibration and sound as an energy tool and exercises and meditations to develop your senses and connect deeper with your entire being through sound.

There are two subsequent 2-day courses. Those who have done Beginner I in  2014 or who do it now, can do the Beginner II course.

BEGINNER I -Overtone Singing, To Find Your Inner Voice
On Day 1 we forget everyting we know about sound and voice and  make a fresh start. Surprisingly, by doing less than we normally do, we notice more – and begin to know more. We return to a primary knowledge at the centre of the body-mind. You explore the hidden dimensions of your  voice through new techniques of hearing, sounding and singing.

On Day 2  we continue to connect deeper and wider with the sounding  body within. We explore more techniques to sing overtones and can begin to hear them in our own mouths. By losing control of the voice, we find new paths of sound, which also means new paths of the self – a therapeutic experience. Experiencing yourself and others as musical human beings, you encounter new possibilities, new barriers, new connections. Like Day 1, we end with a Q& A and a guided group improvisation.

hong kong sound healing

BEGINNER II – Body, Mind and Beyond

As in Group I, we warm-up with Voice Yoga exercises. We summarise and refresh what we have learned before. We delve deeper into resonance and harmonics as tools for healing and therapy, both for yourself and others. We also explore other ways of sound/noise-making, navigating between comfort and discomfort. We return to what you want or need to express in a comfortable way, supported by each others’ voices.

On day 2  we talk about and practise sounds and music from spiritual traditions, focusing on older Christian forms and new 20th/21st century practices. We will do more structured choral/group singing, with and without overtones. We gain a deeper sense of the power of sound as a force transcending our limited individual sphere. We finish again with a guided improvisation where the unique qualities of each voice can emerge. Those who have a copy of my book may prepare themselves by re-reading the chapter Body, Mind and Beyond.

For more information and registration visit the blog of my Hong Kong hosts Jasmine and Hui or write me. 



Hong Kong Vertical Horizon by RJL

Hong Kong Vertical Horizon by RJL

Hong Kong image by Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze, who published the photobook Vertical Horizon.

Musical pearls from Tuva in Taiwan

TuvaHorsePeoplesmall本活動中文詳細資訊請見本信下方說明。TuvanPearls EDM:


In April two excellent musicians and friends from Tuva are coming to Taiwan, so that people here can get better acquainted with this fascinating musical culture from the North. Get to know Tuvan music and culture and learn throat singing directly from established, original masters!

be amazed by Tuva’s signature sounds of throat singing

hear the beats of the shaman drum and Jew’s harp

resonate with the buzzing strings of horse-head fiddles and lute

get blown away by flutes from the steppe


Saturday April 11, 19:30   Concert Pearls from Siberia, at Wistaria Teahouse.

Donation-based. Very limited seats!

Wistariateahouselogo紫藤廬 At Wistaria, an atmospheric original Japanese building, you will be seated on tatami mats. The concert is purely acoustic, so you can enjoy the sounds directly with your own ears. An excellent way to get to know the amazing acoustic world that Tuvans have developed over the centuries. Tuva’s auditory culture has become an icon in the last two decades for its remarkable throat singing techniques, which they share with Mongolia. Choduraa Tumat and Otkun Dostay both perform seveal throat singing techniques, which you will be able to hear at close range: the soft, light technique called khöömei, the whistle-like sygyt and the thundering low kargyraa. In Tuva we also find the horse-head fiddle (igil) and erhu-like fiddle (byzaanchy), lutes (doshpuluur, chanzy) and flute (shoor), the Jew’s harp (khomus) and the shaman’s drum (dunggur), among others. Choduraa Tumat and Otkun Dostay master many of these and will play tunes and pieces from different regions and times in Tuva. Songs and pieces will be alternated with stories about and from Tuva and its rich musical folklore. The only public Tuvan concert in a very special intimate setting!

As a donation we suggest 500 NT$ for the perfomance, tea and a snack. Call Wistaria and leave your name and number for a seat: (02)2363-7375 or register here.

This event is sponsored by Wistaria.

Sunday April 12,  10-17      1-day workshop Tuvan throat singing and culture, at Canjune Training Center

CanjuneGymnasiumLearn to sing khöömei, sygyt and/or kargyraa with Otkun Dostay and Choduraa Tumat. The one-day Throat Singing workshop will have not just one, but two expert throat singers, including a female throat singer. A rare opportunity to learn the three basic Tuvan styles of throat singing: khöömei, sygyt and kargyraa, which tend to be a little softer and therefore easier than the Mongolian counterpart. During the day you will learn about Tuvan music and culture and get plenty of chance to hear throat singing and try it for yourself. With a maximum of 15 students (plus perhaps a few listeners), there is a chance to get personal feedback from Choduraa or Otkun for everyone. About half the time will be devoted to throat singing, the other half to other music and culture of Tuva.

Otkun Dostay teaching khöömei in Venice

Otkun Dostay teaching khöömei in Venice

We aim at a 50/50 divide of male/female voices. The workshop is held in English/Russian with Chinese translation. Mark will be there to help translate Russian-English, if needed.

If you are interested and want to reserve a place, you can call or write Mark (, 0910382749) or Wu Wentsui (, 0928867512).

This event is sponsored by Canjune.

Monday April 13, 19:30-21:30      Concert Tuvan music and culture. National Chengchi University, Arts and Culture Center, Audiovisual Theatre

NCCUArtsAndCultureCenterThis presentation features introductions, videos about the beautiful, unknown land of Tuva, a display of many styles of throat singing and different musical instruments. Choduraa Tumat and Otkun Dostay both perform seveal throat singing techniques: the soft, light technique called khöömei, the whistle-like sygyt and the thundering low kargyraa and other substyles. They will also present a selection of pieces and instruments found in Tuva, such as the horse-head fiddle (igil) and erhu-like fiddle (byzaanchy), lutes (doshpuluur, chanzy) and flute (shoor), the Jew’s harp (khomus) and the shaman’s drum (dunggur). Choduraa Tumat and Otkun Dostay master many of these. Songs and pieces will be alternated with stories about and from Tuva and its rich musical folklore. Afterwards there is a chance to talk to the musicians during the Q&A.

Mongolian_tibetan_commission_logoThe concert at NCCU is free and open for everyone.  Just register here. Without reservation there may still be places when you come, there is no guarantee but there are 300+ seats.

This event is sponsored by the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission in Taiwan.



Otkun Dostay

OtkunDostayIgilLiveSmallIn the late 1980s Dostay was the youngest member of the internationally acclaimed Tuva Ensemble. During the late Soviet era he enrolled a theatre school in Leningrad (now Sint-Petersburg), and was engaged in acting, dancing and storytelling. With fellow students Stanislav Iril and Olaak Ondar he took part in Buddhist ceremonies in Leningrad and founded the group Özüm (‘sprouts’). They recorded their first CD in 1991, published by Window to Europe/Orpheus. Dostay has continued to direct Özüm with changing group members over time. He plays horse-head fiddle, all the Tuvan varieties of Jew’s harp and the shaman’s drum. He organised festivals to commemorate the great throat-singer Gennadi Tumat in his native village Khandagayti. He is currently active as the founder-director of the Tuvan-Japanese friendship Center and works as a correspondent for Tuvan State Radio, under the State TV & Radio Company. He regularly performs in solo, duo and ensemble projects, which he toured in Germany, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Morroco, Japan and China. He has been involved in recording, producing and playing on several CDs of Tuvan music published in Russia, Japan and Europe. In 2013 he published his first solo CD, an exciting mix of traditional songs and melodies with 21st-century sounds.

Özüm 1998 CDsmall 

Choduraa Tumat

ChoduraaTumatTreeSmallBorn in Western Tuva, as a girl Tumat was fond of listening to khoomei and sygyt throat singing performed by her brothers. She studied traditional music in music college in Tuva and went on to become one of the world’s most active female overtone/throat singers, as well as the founder and artistic leader of the all-female throat-singing folk ensemble Tyva Kyzy (‘Daughters of Tuva’, She is an accomplished performer of all basic throat-singing styles, sings traditional folk songs, and plays various Tuvan string instruments, Jew’s harps and zither. As a performer, she received many titles in Tuva. She is a teacher of traditional music and khöömei throat-singing at the Pedagogical College of Tuvan State University in Tuva’s capitol Kyzyl. With Tyva Kyzy and with solo projects she toured extensivly in the USA, Poland, Russia, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Japan. She recorded and released several CDs and DVDs, among which her outstanding solo CD Belek/ The Gift.



《西伯利亞溫暖的靈魂之聲》2015 台灣



《圖瓦的女兒》Tyva Kyzy 主唱楚都拉.圖瑪特 (Chodurra Tumat)
《圖瓦樂團》Tuva Ensemble 歐特昆.都斯泰(Otkun Dostay)

《泛音歌唱》Overtone Singing作者與【共鳴】泛音課程教師及表演者Mark van Tongeren 馬克.范.湯格鄰策劃

本系列活動更多詳情及最新資訊請見 ;
活動聯絡信箱 連絡人 Mark / 李小姐


俄羅斯境內的圖瓦共和國(Republic of Tuva)位於西伯利亞南部,與蒙語毗鄰,以具特色的喉音(throat singing)音樂引起全球音樂界的注意。著名的音樂家Sainkho Namtchylak就曾多次到台灣演出,以圖瓦音樂吟唱與爵士樂、電子樂等前衛即興音樂結合,讓台灣聽眾認識圖瓦傳統音樂的多樣性。


圖瓦喉音大致區分為以下幾種,包括khoomei(呼麥)、kargyraa(卡基拉)、sygyt(西奇)、chylandyk(蟋蟀鳴聲)、dumchuktaar(鼻音卡基拉)、ezengileer(馬鐙式唱法)、borbangnadyr(流水滾動音)等。此次獲邀來台表演的兩位音樂家楚都拉.圖瑪特Choduraa Tumat與歐特昆.都斯泰Otkun Dostay精於傳統圖瓦曲調、樂器演奏與喉音的各種技巧。楚都拉善於低沉的卡基拉與高音的西奇哨音。歐特昆則習於以內斂有致的呼麥演唱。

除了精湛的喉音,二人也精通各種傳統樂器。歐特昆演奏的樂器包含馬頭琴、雙弦琵琶 、薩滿鼓(dunggur)。楚都拉彈箏(chadagan)、拉奏雙弦胡琴、也吹奏橫笛(shoor)和口簧琴(khomus)。他們的音樂表演類型涵蓋圖瓦草根音樂、現代實驗音樂、長敘事曲、快板小調、傳統搖籃曲、民謠及召喚草原的樂器演奏。


Choduraa Tumat 楚都拉.圖瑪特

《圖瓦的女兒》女子喉音團體的團長楚都拉,1974年生於圖瓦共和國的Lyme小鎮,自小聽兄長唱呼麥及西奇,耳濡目染下喜歡上喉音。 女性喉音在圖瓦被視為禁忌,身為女性喉音演唱家,楚都拉勇敢地推動女性喉音,成立《圖瓦的女兒》女子喉音團體打破女性不得學習喉音演唱的傳統禁忌 。楚都拉為圖瓦的全才型藝術家,精通喉音中的各種技巧如繞富韻致的呼麥、低沉的卡基拉、高繞的西奇哨音、和如騎馬般充滿節律性的馬鐙唱法 ,曾獲邀至法國、德國、日本、芬蘭、瑞典、西班牙等地演出。楚都拉亦著力傳承喉音,在圖瓦多所大學及兒童音樂學校執教,推廣女性喉音。

Otkun Dostay 歐特昆.都斯泰

1970年生於圖瓦Khandagaity小鎮,為知名喉音演唱與馬頭琴表演者,亦是著名圖瓦民族音樂團體《圖瓦樂團》Tuva Ensemble的一員,於音樂上有卓越的成就,不斷受邀至日本、土耳其及荷蘭等地演出。歐特昆一直以來致力於圖瓦傳統音樂的傳承與創新,舉辦圖瓦喉音國際音樂節《Övur之地—西奇與呼麥》(Sygyt and khoomei in the land of Övur)。他不僅擔任全女子喉音團體《圖瓦的女兒》的經紀人,同時也在電視台製作音樂節目,極力推廣傳統音樂。目前於圖瓦的聯合國教科文組織UNESCO部門擔任主席。



時間:2015.4.11 (週六)19:30-21:00(19:00 開放觀眾入座)
音樂會採登記報名:請電洽紫藤廬(02)2363-7375 留下您的姓名電話完成報名
現場每人酌收活動費用 500 元,贊助音樂家演出及當日茶點供應。








《圖瓦的女兒》Tyva Kyzy 主唱楚都拉.圖瑪特 (Choduraa Tumat)
《圖瓦樂團》Tuva Ensemble 歐特昆.都斯泰(Otkun Dostay)

時間:2015.4.12(週日)10:00-17:00 (中間一小時休息)
報名請洽:0928-867-512 / 連絡人:吳小姐

課程更多詳情及最新消息公佈請見 ;


《圖瓦的女兒》Tyva Kyzy 主唱楚都拉.圖瑪特 (Choduraa Tumat)
《圖瓦樂團》Tuva Ensemble 歐特昆.都斯泰(Otkun Dostay)



時間: 2015.4.13 (週一)19:30-21:30(19:00開放入場)
活動對外開放報名 現場採自由入座。
洽詢電話: (02)2939-3091 分機 63394 張小姐


Make-a-noise-class for parents and kids (7+)

NTSEC flyer

Sunday February 22 and Sunday March 1, 2015 I will lead a dazzling interactive workshop about sound, listening and the body. With lots of hands-on exercises for parents and kids to make and feel sound, electronic sound gadgets and spectacular visualizations of sound. If you have kids aged 7 and over and look for some holiday fun, join us during one of the four sessions. If you don’t have kids, it is still very worthwile for adults to come and check out the Biorhythm exhibition which was adapted from the one at the Science Gallery in Dublin, Ireland.

Click on the pic below and from there on the circles for more info on each exhibit.

NTSEC Biorhythm

NTSEC Biorhythm website

I believe you do not have to buy a ticket in advance, but if you wish you can at accupass.

(video showing how sound propagates: “Moleculair vibrations and sounds” by B. Gelis, S Blatrix)

Here is the text from the original exhibition in Dublin:

What makes us dance? Why do we sing the blues? Could there be a formula for the perfect hit?

Over 65,000 people came to experience Science Gallery’s exploration of music and the body.

Music is a central part of the human experience, but what is the natural force that drives us to sing, strum, drum and dance? What is the scientific basis of whistling, humming and toe-tapping?

Cognitive scientist Steven Pinker recently claimed that music is “auditory cheesecake”, designed to tickle parts of our brain designed for more serious purposes like speech and abstract reasoning. Darwin, on the other hand, preferred to think that music and dance evolved as an integral part of human courtship rituals. George Bernard Shaw more racily described dancing as “the vertical expression of a horizontal desire”. Our brains, ears and vocal chords are exquisitely designed for enjoying and creating music.

From an acoustic bed to sonic tables and experiments on your emotional response to pop music, Science Gallery’s Summer exhibition BIORHYTHM will allow you to feel how music moves your body through an interactive bazaar of unique sonic experiences, installations, experiments and performances from musicians, engineers and neuroscientists from around the world.

CURATORIAL TEAM: singer Gavin Friday, composer Linda Buckley, Professor Ben Knapp of SARC at Queen’s University Belfast and Professor Ian Robertson of Trinity College Dublin and Michael John Gorman, Science Gallery.

BIORHYTHM is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, our founding partners Ulster Bank and the Wellcome Trust, the members of Science Circle: Dell, Google, ICON, Paccar, Pfizer and our media partner is the Irish Times. Thank you also to Sennheiser and Roland Ireland for their in-kind support of BIORHYTHM, and we are delighted to be joined by Phantom 105.2FM as our BIORHYTHM broadcast partner. Thank you also to DART/Irish Rail for their ongoing support.

Now online: 2 radioshows about throat singing

Slava Kuchenov at the rock formations of Salbyk, Khakassiya. Photo by Mark van Tongeren

Slava Kuchenov at the rock formations of Salbyk, Khakassiya. Photo: Mark van Tongeren 2005

Two programs have just been broadcast online with great recordings of Tuvan and Khakass throat singers. Both are produced by long-time throat singing afficionados who have traveled to Tuva/Khakassiya and deeply involved themselves with Southern Siberian music culture. A unique chance to hear many recordings you will not easily find, or even never find at all. Never mind the Dutch- and Norwegian-language presenters, most of the program is music.

Quick access: Tuvan throat singers and Siberian epic

Read more about it:


One show is by Norwegian Morten Abildsnes, and is devoted to throat singers who have passed away in the last 10 years. An important theme which asks our attention to the tragic and untimely fate of many great Tuvan musicians, and which honours them once more (“post-mortem”).  Don’t wait to listen to his one! Only a few weeks are left before it goes offline.

Morten Abildsnes

Morten Abildsnes

The artists presented are:
Ayas Danzyryn 1976–2005
Timur Kara-sal 1973–2005
Mönggün-ool Dambashtai 1956–2009
Aleksandr Sarzhat-ool 1957–2011
Aldyn-ool Sevek 1962–2011
Kongar-ool Ondar 1962–2013
Vladimir Oidupaa 1949–2013
Oktyabr Saaya 1968–2012

The internet-streaming can be heard here
To listen to the program find the black-and-grey player box with the title “Repriser” on the same page, and click the line with the text “Sort Kanal 02.02.2015”. On a narrow screen, you might need to scroll further down the page to find the “Repriser” player. On a broad screen, it might lie right under the black-red-black box.
On this page you can find the playlist.


The Dutch program is by Russian-Dutch producer, field-recordist, DJ Maxim Chapochnikov from Amsterdam, founder of Window to Europe. He first travelled to South-Siberia in the early 1990s. On one of his trips he met Slava Kuchenov, who had just received a calling from the spirit of khaidzhi, or epic story-tellers/reciters. Without any further experience or help, Kuchenov build himself an instrument and started reciting ancient stories about Khakass heroes. Kuchenov is and was a very clear case of a young man who does not set out to learn epic singing, but who receives a divine gift to tell epic stories. They just appeared to him, without first learning them by heart, like dreams appear to us. Maksim was there to capture this gift on mic right when it happened (of course Kuchenov still recites epics nowadays). Maksim presents a large part of the original recording in his radioshow. After a Dutch introduction you can hear almost one hour of Khakass epic throat singing. To listen, click on the link below, then click on the small loudspeaker to the right of the words “22:00 – 23:00 De Zwervende Microfoon”.Screen shot 2015-02-08 at 13.33.24


Maksim Chapochnikov (photo by Mediamatic)

Maksim Chapochnikov (photo by Mediamatic)

Thanks to Maxim and Morten for sharing these recordings from their collections! Enjoy listening!

About Voice Yoga



VoiceYoga3What is Voice Yoga?

Voice Yoga consists of a series of exercises that gives pride of place to the voice as a central, creative force in our lifes. Our existence depends in important ways on our speaking, listening, sounding and singing abilities. The class promotes awareness of the many roles of the voice in our daily lives. It expands our creative vocabulary, without necessarily talking about music, the singing voice or any musical style. The point is not so much to learn any specific new technique: we play with the voice in a lot of different ways and listen with fresh ears to the hidden potential of our voices.

In Voice Yoga, sound, silence and resonance become a mirror for the self. The sounds produced by ourselves,  allows us to ‘see’ ourselves more clearly, to hear what’s living deep inside us. In ever-growing cycles of creating and perceiving we learn about music and sound, about ourselves and about the environment.

Structure of the classes

We usually start with silence, breath and body movements to turn away from our busy mind into the body and to the sensations we actually experience. We let the voice come out of a natural breath flow. We listen to and follow its natural resonances. We do not try to sing in an artful way, but to experience how body-mind-voice are intimately connected, and how voice and resonance can serve as a bridge to overcome the dualistic notion of body <> mind. From then on, all kinds of styles and genres of vocalising and musicking may happen, some structured, some wild, some giving insight in your voice, some therapeutic. Exercises are based on yoga, musical and theatrical techniques, vipassana meditation and our innate love to play like children.

The idea behind Voice Yoga is comparable to yoga and tai-chi: the effect of the exercises is gradual. We believe that only with repeated classes you can really learn to connect the energies of voice & sound with the whole of your body and mind. You slowly become more and more familiar with your voice and its powers; you will begin to hear and feel things you did not hear and feel before. That’s why we suggest you to sign up for four classes a time after your trial class.

The teacher

Voice Yoga is designed and taught by Mark van Tongeren, who brings with him 25 years of experience in working with sound, music and theatre and many different cultures.

9a973-dscf6809253dmark2bphotoIn my Voice Yoga Review of 2014 you can read about some recent experiences:

For whom
For those seeking to enrich their voices, let off steam and unlock their hidden creative potential. For singers and those who are afraid to sing. For actors, musicians and other artists and professionals who work with sound. Perhaps more than anyone else, people who want to experience and learn about the therapeutical effects of sound seem to benefit from Voice Yoga. The human voice is a tool that assists human beings to produce a mirror-like reflection of the world around them in their minds. By gaining a deeper understanding and experience of the mechanisms of making sounds, words and music, and of listening, we gradually deepen the connections within ourselves (our body-minds) and with others and the world around us.

Dates and time
please look here for current dates and times (voice yoga dates 2015).

Every class lasts two hours. The price is 400 NT$ for a single class, and 1500 NT$ for four classes (375 NT$ per class). You do not have to attend four classes in a row; we’ll just tick off your presence four times and then you can sign up again for four times. Students and others with limited financial resources can get a reduced price: just send a message.

How to register
Feel free to join the Voice Yoga class any time. It is best to send a message every time you want to come, then we prepare a place for you. Write to mark at fusica dot nl or send a text-message to 09 10 38 27 49.

Canjune Training Centre, 4th Floor, number 3 , Lane 151, Fuxing South Road, Section 2, (this is about 20 meters from the corner of FuXing South Road, go up the stairs to the hairdresser and take the elevator to 4F; if you’re early the streetdoor may be closed). Nearest MRT: Technology Building (10 min. walk). Telephone training centre: 02 – 27 00 72 91.


Voice Yoga 2014 Re-view

Westerpark snow

2014 was a great year for the Voice Yoga class. Some old students came back, and many new enthusiastic students joined for a first time, some of them also coming back.

The outline of the formula was the same: start with silence, breath and ‘body-work’ (which is always also mind-work). Then a first  exploration of our unused potential to make sound, with simple, and sometimes primitive, raw sounds and movements. Then a structured part with more warming-up of ‘body-speech-mind’ (to use the Buddhist three-fold scheme of the human being), thevowel triadand the ‘ocean exercise’. Depending on the particular dynamic of the day (and the duration of the preceding parts), I add two or three of a large pool of rotating exercises that let us listen, feel and (re)sound in different ways. In the end, I often sing with the sruti-box, and students lie down on the mats in the Canjune Training Center.

Some of the new students of this year got really hooked on our weekly session, saying they missed it a lot when I was travelling, for example. Every student’s input changes the way things turn out, and the recent sessions have become true adventures of body, mind and sound. One time, right after a particularly powerful session of vocal noises, chants, screams, rhythms, I asked each student what (s)he had just experienced. I had decided not to interrupt the sound-making, and it had lasted longer than ever, about 45 minutes without a break. It was amazing to hear their deeply personal, moving accounts. Every student had gone  through powerful experiences. One re-lived her pain from the past by letting the sounds follow the beating of her foot, which felt like a great relief. Another mainly listened, which worried me a little; but she was extremely grateful to what she heard and was crying at some point. A therapist told us she used her lessons from Voice Yoga to help others relief their pain, by adding sounds to the massage treatment and inviting her client to make sounds too. Another could hardly find the words to describe her feelings, but said she felt completely enveloped by the other voices and also merged them, while singing or just listening. One student’s first response, after we had just stopped our sound-making, was: ‘Ahh, this is better than sex!’

I usually try to limit my own talking and do not ask students to talk about their experience either. So I was amazed to learn about their feelings and impressions, and felt encouraged to develop this path further. I thank all those who have attended the Voice Yoga class in the last two years, whether it is one or ten or twenty times, for their courage, their input, their creativity. This class is so interesting because of you all! And I thank Canjune for the wonderful and inspiring space, which was renovated early 2014.

Want to join? The dates for 2015 you can find here.


Voice Yoga dates 2015


Here follow the dates of the Voice Yoga classes for the New Year. Changes may still occur: new dates or times will be replaced on this same page. If you plan to come, send an email to Mark van Tongeren (info at fusica dot nl) or a text message (09 10 38 27 49) half a day earlier (Thursday morning/Monday afternoon). You can always check this page if you are uncertain if there will be a class.


Afternoon class: Thursdays 2-4 PM

January 29

February 5, 12, 26

March  5, 12, 19, 26

April 2, 23   no classes on 9th and 16th due to Tuvans’ concerts and workshop.

May 7, 14, 21, 28

Summer break till August. Later dates t.b.a.

Evening class: Monday 7:30-9:30 PM

March 9, 16, 23, 30

April 6, 20, 27 no class on 30th due to workshop in Hong Kong

May 11, 18, 25 no class on 4th due to workshop in Hong Kong

June 1, 8

Summer break till August. Later dates t.b.a.


Canjune Training Centre, 4th Floor, number 3 , Lane 151, Fuxing South Road, Section 2, (this is about 20 meters from the corner of FuXing South Road, go up the stairs to the hairdresser and take the elevator to 4F; if you’re early the streetdoor may be closed).

Nearest MRT: Technology Building (10 min. walk).

Telephone training centre: 02 – 27 00 72 91.


Please notify Mark of your intention to join the class, by sending a text-message (SMS) with your name to 09 – 10  38 27 49 or an email to info at fusica dot nl.

For those unfamiliar with Voice Yoga, you can read more about it in this Fusica blog post.


Tserendavaa Dörvön Berkh

Mongolian Overtone Singing film online


Tserendavaa Dörvön Berkh

Tserendavaa in Dörvön Berkh

For all the khöömii (Mongolian throat singing) enthusiasts: the French, 2010 film Masters of Mongolian Overtone Singing is now online, with English subtitles. In this film scholar Johanni Curtet brings together 4 excellent Mongolian throat singers. They talk about their singing and work together for a concert tour for the first time.  Quite a challenge, because throat singers of this status usually work solo or with instrumentalists. Watch it for those always-impressive Mongolian landscape images and its singing inhabitants; for that unusual Mongolian habit of bloating the stomach to enormous proportions before singing khöömii – don’t try this at home! :-); for thoughtful commentary of Curtet; for learning about the way singers handle the ongoing national and global-connections; and much more – just have a look!

Link to the film.

I also wrote a review of the CD of Pan Records by the four musicians for the ICTM Yearbook, which you can find here: ICTM Review Dörvön Berkh.

Five reasons for remembering Michael Vetter


All photos in this post from

Today, December 7, 2014, it is one year ago since the German artist Michael Vetter passed away, shortly after turning 70. Several musical events commemorate the passing away of this visionary artist, who is best known as an overtone singer. Three weeks ago we had a Festival Transverbal here in Taipei, the German radio repeated DuO, a fantastic radio play by Michael Vetter and Natascha Nikeprelevic from 1997, and there will be a reprise of his Missa di Natale (1998) by his former students of the Diaphonisches Vokalensemble in Cologne (see links at end of the posting). But Michael Vetter did much more than making music, and here I will put his creative life and his critical mind in a wider perspective than is usually done.


painting ‘Altar’, 1960s

1. An outstanding and extremely productive visual artist
After spending many years of his youth already drawing and painting seriously, Vetter developed an extraordinary visual language of his own during the 1960s and 1970s, He used a wide range of techniques, from China ink drawings, paintings, watercolours and linocuts to ‘writing pieces’, perhaps his most far-fetching concept. Just like in music, Vetter was completely self-taught as a visual artist. Though he did of course absorb current techniques and styles, he drew much inspiration from Mediaeval techniques – a quite unfashionable source for artists in that period. His passion for great masters of the past was such, that as a teenager he already began collecting original Mediaeval volumes, which he apparently used as source material for his own techniques (he also kept hundreds of art books at home in recent years). If you ever heard Vetter talk about art – or read about his work in his own words – you know that his work was fully developed on a conceptual level: he was acutely aware of the peculiarities of all the major periods and styles in Western art of the second millennium, even of many artists and their development.


From ‘Buch der Zeichen’

2. Laying the basis of Western/contemporary overtone singing
Of course, overtone singing would not look the same if Vetter had not helped to define its modern, Western style. He educated dozens of students that became singers in their own right (some of them well-known), and inspired many more – in fact he blew away many listeners, who had never heard such things before, including myself. Again, Vetter did not just perform a trick, or ‘just make sounds’, like many overtone singers are tempted to do. His melodic-harmonic approach to overtones betrays deeper connections, like with his great example Johann-Sebastian Bach. Few overtone singers are able to achieve such clarity of tone and such variety in the development of their compositions / improvisations as Vetter did. Besides setting an example with his NG-RR techniques (for singing lower and higher overtones, respectively), he produced extensive learning materials for his students and developed at least one unique way of singing overtones I never heard anyone do.


Playing ‘Steinspiel’ in Vetter’s Academia Capraia, Italy

3. Beyond zen
Zen is too fashionable these days. You encounter the most obtuse uses of the word ‘zen’ in attempts to brand something as ‘spiritual’, ‘Asian’ and ‘cool’. Fortunately many people have also had genuine, first-hand zen experiences, among whom many artists. I think overall the transference of zen ideas to the West has led to some great artistic innovations. John Cage’s classes with the zen teacher Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki at Columbia University in the 1940s had far-reaching effects in every imaginable artistic discipline, well beyond the confines of his work as a composer. But Cage never sat cross-legged nor did he learn to meditate. Philip Glass, another big-name twentieth century composer who professed being influenced by Buddhism, did not have the kind of in-depth experiences that traditional students of Buddhism have. Vetter is one of few composers/musicians/artists who did go through the process more thoroughly. He observed daily morning meditations at his master’s shrine when he visited him, several months a year, while dedicating most his time to his own artistic work. He also spend several months a year at a monastery, where he took part in all the rituals, chanting, dressing up, begging for alms, et cetera.

For that reason, and for his superb grasp of art and aesthetics as a whole, I have high regard for the way he appropriated zen performing/visual art for his own artistic means. One of his best ideas is to transform the zen garden into a play, a dynamic process of moving and placing stones and other objects in an open-air surface. Another is his transformation of the okyo, the zen sutra’s. I will not go into those transformations here. Suffice it to say that the changes he made to these two zen traditions were well-informed, and in a way so much in tune with zen thought and practice, that they appear to be a logical step beyond traditional zen (as far as the overtone singing goes, monks disapproved when Vetter would slightly change the sound of his own okyos to amply certain harmonics).


From ‘Buch der Zeichen’

4. ‘The book of signs’: a 40+-year disciplined effort
Since 1972 or 1973 until his death, Vetter spent some time almost every day to work on a Magnus Opus of unusual breath: ‘Das Buch der Zeichen’ / ‘The Book of Signs’ (and that’s more than 40 years). In quick, improvised strokes, he would produce about 15-150 small China ink drawings. At the times I spend with him, he would do this after lunch. He carefully observed how the ink would flow, but as he continued to pull his brush across the paper, the ink would usually continue to flow. This would leave the final result undetermined by the time of his painting. He would continue to produce one drawing after another, mostly abstract, and pile them up while still wet. Then after 30 minutes or so, he would go through all the drawings one by one, carefully observing how the ink had settled. Like in some of his other work, it was his way of letting movement express itself, as it were, flowing through his hands not according to predetermined designs, but as an inevitable result of time unfolding. Each drawing is like a testimony of the flow of time expressed through spontaneous hand movements. I do it myself from time to time, like here, for example, as an ode to Michael. But I realised a few years ago, that if there is one thing I would wish I had (or could develop still), it was Michael’s discipline.


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5. humour
O yes, you could have great laughs with Michael. He was full of wit, full of stories of his own adventures, of poems he could recite by heart (and certainly not the romantic ones, but absurd and perplexing ones). He had this mix of seriousness with lightness, bringing everything in balance again after the mind-boggling, or physically-straining or emotionally-charged practicing was done. In his work there were always these unexpected twists, which sometimes turned out very funny. He once told me a story of an invitation to an annual congress of recorder players. Vetter first made his name as an avant-garde recorder player, who completely redefined the instrument in the 1960s. Some of the greatest composers of our time wrote new pieces for him in the 1960s. But when Vetter was heralded as the former avant-garde innovator at the European Recorder Festival in 2006, he noticed that all the vigor had gone. The new generation of students played the radical works of the 1960s almost like classical pieces. What had been thrilling and upsetting 40 years earlier, now sounded tame. Vetter himself played one of J.S. Bach’s violin sonata’s on his recorder at the festival, but not without making the necessary adjustments in timing and phrasing, due to the transference of the piece from violin to recorded. This shocked many a conservative lover of Bach music, so much so, that just like in the 1960s, people left the concert hall, some of them protesting loudly. He recalled this episode with much enjoyment, and though it is not a typical example of Vetter’s humor as such, I treasure those moments when he would tell of all the strange and funny moments in his carreer – or simply tell a joke.

Find the links to the events here:
listen here to the radio-play DuO (click on the photo; introduction in German)

Concert in Cologne

Natascha Nikeprelevic also updated Vetter’s biography on her own website and posted some in memoriams.

Photos from Festival Transverbal on my Facebook page.