Jaap Blonk: Dr Voxoid’s Next Move

Renowned Dutch vocalist and sound poet Jaap Blonk is unique for his powerful stage presence and almost childlike freedom in improvisation, combined with a keen grasp of structure. With the use of live electronics, the scope and range of his concerts has acquired a considerable extension.

Dr Voxoid’s Next Move is Blonk’s current voice and electronics performance. It is in constant development, new possibilities being added frequently. He prefers to choose a specific program on the spot and may even change it during a performance. It may contain:

– sound poetry (his own works and possibly an occasional ‘classic’ from this tradition)
– pieces in invented languages, for instance in “Onderlands” (the language of the Underlands, a variation on Netherlands)
– phonetic etudes and processes
– live soundscapes
– improvisations, both for solo voice and in dialogue with his live electronics
– and more…

Jaap Blonk is a self-taught composer, performer and poet. He went to university for mathematics and musicology but did not finish those studies. In the late 1970s he took up saxophone and started to compose music. A few years later he discovered his potential as a vocal performer, at first in reciting poetry and later on in improvisations and his own compositions. For almost two decades the voice was his main means for the discovery and development of new sounds.

From around the year 2000 on Blonk started work with electronics, at first using samples of his own voice, then extending the field to include pure sound synthesis as well. He took a year off of performing in 2006. As a result, his renewed interest in mathematics led him to research the possibilities of algorithmic composition for the creation of music, visual work and poetry.

Besides working as a soloist, he has collaborated with many musicians and ensembles in the field of contemporary and improvised music, such as Maja Ratkje, Mats Gustafsson, Joan La Barbara, The Ex, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble and the Ebony Band. He premiered several compositions by the German composer Carola Bauckholt, including a piece for voice and orchestra. A solo voice piece was commissioned by the Donaueschinger Musiktage.