Jaap Blonk: workshop + performance

© Poster by Rui Silva.

On May 20, 2019, the PhD Programme in Materialities of Literature will host the sound poet Jaap Blonk. Blonk will give a workshop about his creative practices at the School of Arts and Humanities, University of Coimbra, Sala Ferreira Lima, 4 pm (16h00).

The title of the workshop is “Secret Recipes: Jaap Blonk shows his ways to read and write sound poems”. This workshop will be followed by the evening performance “Dr Voxoid’s Next Move”, which will take place at Salão Brazil, Coimbra, 10 pm (22h00). Jaap Blonk’s visit to Portugal is a joint organization of the PhD Programme in Materialities of Literature, JACC-Serviço Educativo (Coimbra), Associação Cultural Calafrio (Guarda), Fundação Eugénio de Almeida (Évora) and Hipoglote (RUC-Rádio Universidade de Coimbra).


Jaap Blonk (born 1953 in Woerden, Holland) 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 made him start a research of the possibilities of algorithmic composition for the creation of music, visual work 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 around the world, on all continents. With the use of live electronics the scope and range of his concerts has acquired a considerable extension.

Besides working as a soloist, he collaborated with many musicians and ensembles in the field of contemporary and improvised music, like 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. On several occasions he collaborated with visual computer artist Golan Levin, for the Ars Electronica Festival.

Blonk’s work for radio and television includes several commissioned radio plays. He also makes larger-scale drawings of his scores, as well as visual poetry, which is being exhibited. He has his own record label, Kontrans, featuring a total of 25 releases so far. Other Blonk recordings appeared on various labels, such as Staalplaat, Basta, VICTO, Ecstatic Peace, Monotype Records, Terp and Elegua Records. His book/CD ‘Traces of Speech’ was published in 2012 by Hybriden-Verlag, Berlin. Forthcoming is a sequel with the title “Traces of Cookery”. A comprehensive collection of his sound poetry came out as a book with 2 CDs in 2013, entitled “KLINKT”. Source: http://www.jaapblonk.com/

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