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The Institute of Living Voice Shaping the songs of the 21st century, BELGIUM


The Institute of Living Voice

Shaping the songs of the 21st century.

What is it?
Beginning in 2001/2002, The Institute of Living Voice will offer workshops, seminars, master classes, solo concerts, community projects, and intensive master/student relationships with the world’s most exciting singers.

What will it offer?
From post-modern pop & electronic hip-hop, to opera & bel canto, from the “extended voice” of 20th century rnusic to traditional ethnic/cultural songs, from sound poetry to the poetry of jazz, from art song & chanson to extreme vocals. New jazz, ambient chant, a cappella, avant-garde, improvisation, alternative rock, world and choral music all find an equal place in the courses and programming of The Institute of Living Voice. (see list of possible Master Singers attached)

Why a new institution about singing?
The human voice stands at a unique crossroads at this change of millennium. Never before have so many kinds of singing, so many song-styles existed at the same moment, informing and inspiring each other. And never before have so many voices and styles disappeared at such an astonishing rate.

The Institute of Living Voice believes in the power and equality of the human voice. The highly diverse styles, traditions, and modes of human singing are presented as vital, ongoing expressions of the human spirit and body. The Institute aims to erase the borderlines between entertainment, classical, world, experimental, art, and traditional singing by presenting a vital living mix of 21st century Master Singers who, together, sow the seeds of future song.

How will It work?
Twice a year The Institute will present 5-15 day programs open to professional singers, artists, students, teachers, and anyone interested in the power and diversity of the human voice.

Each session of The Institute presents a curriculum of four very different styles. Each participant in a session take two active workshops with, for example Diamanda Galas and Joseph Shambalala; Joan LaBarbara and Blixe Bargeld; Bjork and David Moss; Hildegard Behrens and Arto Lindsay; Caetano Velose and Meredith Monk; Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Yma Sumac; Bobby McFerrin and Cheb Khaled; Ernst Jandl and Tom Waits; Mongolian overtone singing and Laurie Anderson.

Each 15 day session offers four Master Classes to observe or participate in; four concerts by Master singers; and round-table seminars about the human voice.

Additionally. The Institute offers dedicated participants the chance to take part in one longer project led by a Master singer (in collaboration with a local theater, school, or art institute) with the goal of a live music/theater performance in Gent and/or around Belgium.

The Institute offers “voice choices” (concentrations), over 2-3 year periods, in the following areas improvisation, extended vocal techniques, songs (singing and creating), the art of performance, finding your unique voice, traditional vocal techniques, extreme voice, singing for pleasure, voice in theater and dance.

Who can take part?
The Institute of Living Voice offers 6 kinds of participation

  • 1. For professional singers and performers a 1, or 2, year “course” consisting of 5, or 10, workshops, culminating in a solo performance by each member.
  • 2. For artists, musicians, non-professional singers 2 workshops each session which connect diverse vocal fields; plus a basic workshop for “opening the voice” each spring, and an advanced workshop, “Finding your own voice”, each autumn.
  • 3. For students, general public, young people 2 shorter workshop/seminars each session which allow participants to sample varied voice styles.
  • 4. For teachers, musicologists, archivists a resource for research and a tool for training.
  • 5. For local schools One 15-21 day workshop each session works with local students from an art/music/theater background to create an actual performance piece, or to make vocal music for a theater/music piece in collaboration with a theater director or composer.
  • 6. For audiences the chance to hear solo/duo concerts by powerful singers from around the world in an intimate and non-commercial setting. Each 15 day session presents at least 4 concerts or open-to-the-public master classes by participating workshop leaders.

The Institute of Living Voice presents the wide world of singing under one roof (something never done before). It offers young singers the chance to find their own voices in the company of great vocalists. And it offers Master Singers a stimulating and relaxed opportunity to hear and/or work with their peers; to experiment and try new combinations; to pass on their heritage and styles; to find and develop new young voices; and to create the songs of the 21st century.

When will it be?
The first session is planned to take place at the Vooruit Arts Center in Gent, Belgium from September 17 through September 31, 2001. An official Press Conference is set for May 18, 2001, but preliminary details (subject to change) are as follows:

  • Tran Quang Hai will lead a 5-6 day workshop in overtone/multitone singing beginning 9/17.
  • David Moss leads a 10 day workshop on voice, songs, improvisation, sound-stories 9/17-26.
  • Susannah Self will lead a 4-5 day workshop on classical voice in performance 9/23-27.
  • Cheryl Barker will direct a 1-2 day Master class.
  • Catherine Jauniaux will lead a 4 day workshop on songs and improvisation 9/27-30.
  • Diamanda Galas will perform a special solo concert and lead students through the process of a recent piece at a nearby castle.
  • Other Master Singers will be invited.
  • A series of “Singing Stories”, discussion/meetings with Master Singers, will take place.
  • A series of solo/duo voice concerts in intimate settings is planned.

Plans for Session #2 in Brugges include Meredith Monk, Blixa Bargeld, Phil Minton, Greetje Bijma.
Plans for Session #3 in Antwerp include Joan LaBarbara, Iva Bittova, Screaming Men Choir-Finland.

Founder and Artistic Director David Moss
Project Director Guy Coolen

The Institute of Living Voice is a cooperative project of Muziektheater Transparant, Antwerp and David Moss, supported by the Flemish Ministry of Culture.

Info/Applications: Wouter van Houy, Muziektheater Transparant
Address: Lange Nieuwstraat 43, B-2000 Antwerp
E-mail: wouter@transparant.be
Telephone: 0032/3/225 1702/1652 Fax