Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Technorati button
Reddit button
Myspace button
Linkedin button
Webonews button
Delicious button
Digg button
Flickr button
Stumbleupon button
Newsvine button

Archiv

Artikel Tagged ‘Jens Johansen’

LEOsings #1 Barcelona – Interview Jim Daus Hjernoe, pt.2

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog editor-in-chief

Jim Hjernoe and Jens Johansen at AAVF 2011

Jim Hjernoe and Jens Johansen at AAVF 2011

Those who have watched the first part are anxiously waiting for part 2 of the interview I was able to do with Danish vocal music education specialist Jim Daus Hjernoe in Barcelona. In this part of the interview we are talking about the Aarhus Vocal Music Festival, Associate Professor Bobby Mc Ferrin, Vocal Line, choir sound, the “Intelligent Vocal Ensemble” and the new possibilities for professional singers to study at the Royal Conservatory in Aalborg and Aarhus. Let us know about your Aarhus experiences or send questions via the comment section.

Before you watch the video, I’ll let you know about the end of the clip: It’s a reminder to become an EVA member, as this opens up the opportunity to apply for travel and accommodation funding for the next LEOsings session in – guess where? – Aalborg, hosted by Jim and his students in May 2014. So hurry up, we still have some spots to fill. And with the brandnew EVA memberships, it is even more fun to be part of the European a cappella movement.

I’m Florian Städtler, a cappella agent, blogger and event planner. If you are into a cappella and choir music, you might want to follow me on  Twitter or check out Vocal Blog’s Facebook fanpage and group. If you want to buy cds, dvds, sheet music and other cool stuff, visit www.acappallezone.com. And if you want to contribute, feel free to send me your news, links, videos etc. via florian@acappellazone.com: This is a multi-author blog.

LEOsings #1 Barcelona – Interview Jim Daus Hjernoe, pt.1

by Florian Städtler, European Voices Association (Chairman of the Board)

LEOsings is a European Union project exploring the “Diversity of Singing Practices in Europe”, which had its kick-off session in February 2014 in Barcelona. There will be a more detailed report about the project and opportunities to take part in the following sessions in Aalborg (May 2014), Tours (October 2014), Freiburg (March 2015) and Copenhagen (2015, tba). The most exciting piece of information is the fact, that the European Union potentially pays for travel and accomodation of the Aalborg, Tours and Copenhagen workshops, if you are/become an EVA member.

Which leads us to the second big news: You can now apply for the new EVA membership at the European Voices Association’s website. The new thing about becoming a member is, that there are customized membership benefit packages for singers, supporters, small and large vocal group and choirs. So don’t hesitate, become a part of the contemporary a cappella movement in Europe and profit from your membership package!

Talking of vocal music education and networking, you very often end up in Denmark. I had the pleasure to meet and talk to Jim Daus Hjernoe, professor at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus and Aalborg and while the other LEOsings participants went for tapas y vino, we met on the rooftop of our Barcelona hotel and in my hotel room to talk about the Danish vocal music scene, the Academy programs, Vocal Line and Jens Johansen. Enjoy the first half of the interview, the second one will be online soon here at Vocal Blog and on the EVA website.

I’m Florian Städtler, a cappella agent, blogger and event planner. If you are into a cappella and choir music, you might want to follow me on  Twitter or check out Vocal Blog’s Facebook fanpage and group. If you want to buy cds, dvds, sheet music and other cool stuff, visit www.acappallezone.com. And if you want to contribute, feel free to send me your news, links, videos etc. via florian@acappellazone.com: This is a multi-author blog.

Aarhus Vocal Festival 2013

by Jeff Meshel, originally posted as letter to Vocal Blog founder Florian Städtler (on the day of Florian’s birthday) on Jeff Meshel’s World on May 23rd 2013.

 

Dear Florian,

Morning Warmup

AAVF 2013 is chronologically over, but still pumping in my veins and breathing in my soul.

It was a wonderful, educationally enriching and communally loving experience. It would be impossible to give you an overview, but I’ll try to relate to you some of my personal experiences, in hopes that the subjective view will give some sort of representative impression of what went on.

It was all pretty well organized, user-friendly. My hotel was only a five-minute walk from the site, which was a big advantage. The biggest problem was not enough hours in the day—wanting to simultaneously attend all the workshops, watch the small group and large group competitions, hear the midday concerts in the foyer, grab some food, and schmooze!!

Concerts

Level Eleven

Pre-FestivalSono and Naura were both new for me, young Danish groups of about 20 singers, both really high quality, interesting repertoire, flawless performance, charming appearance, setting the bar high for the rest of the festival.

Friday – The Mzansi Youth Choir and the Boxettes gave two very different examples of how far contemporary a cappella can go and still knock out the crowd. The Girls Choir of Mariagerfjord were ‘just’ another one of those perfect Danish choirs.

Saturday – Since first hearing them in Vasteros in 2008, I’ve become an impassioned devotee of Vocal Line, so it was of course a really great thrill to hear them again. The combination of Vocal Line, VoxNorth and Eivør wasn’t easy for me. It was a new aesthetic, speaking in a musical language I was less familiar with. It sounds fascinating to me, and I plan on exploring it in the future (in the present, actually—I’m listening to Eivør as I write!)

SundayWeBe3 was a totally new treat for me, improvisation at its purest, and you know I’m a purist ;-). The Real Group and Rajaton both gave short but absolutely first-rate sets, showed why they’re the acknowledged leaders of our cult. It’s the third time I’ve heard both, and maybe the best. Level Eleven had some high points, and promises more to come in the future.

Touché

Monday – The group that completely blew me away was Jesper Holm’s Touché, as I had never even heard them recorded, let alone live. I knew they were a 12-voice group singing Count Basie big band charts and complex Gene Puerling arrangements from Singers Unlimited. What I wasn’t prepared for was the total, absolute technical perfection Jesper has achieved with these guys. Brassier than Basie, subtler than the Singers Unlimited, and purer than Gene Puerling, their mastery of these genres was TOTAL. The delivery was crystal-clear, as pure as glacial water. Even the soloists sang with superhuman control. And I was particularly impressed by how steeped these kids are in the vocal jazz tradition. They really do know where they’re coming from. And I can only dream where they’re going. More about that below. Just to make you even sorrier you weren’t here, I’ve posted the entire set as soundcloud links on Jeff Meshel’s World.

 

Reach Out and Touch a Star

Jens, Jeff, Line, Jim

It’s a strange situation at these festivals – you listen to the artist at home, think about their music; read about the upcoming concert; buy a ticket, buy a plane ticket and reserve a hotel; travel, with all the anticipation and excitement and build-up; and then an hour after the show you’re drinking a beer with the artist, with him telling you how he felt about the show. We’re used to admiring our ‘idols’ from afar. The warmth and intimacy of a festival such as this is a big part of its utter charm.

I met a guy on the train who was coming from Belgium to hear Bruce Springsteen in Denmark. They say Bruce is a really nice guy, but you’re watching him with 20,000 strangers from 3 kilometers away, with 500 armed guards in between you and him. Here, an hour after the show, you share a beer with the artist and hug him and thank him for the fine show, and he tells you how excited he was… Who de boss now?

Workshops

Line Groth Riis & Anders Hornshøj, “Just Sing It”

They started with the incomparable dynamo Line Groth Riis leading 800 people singing two ultra-cool arrangements, with really fine, overpowering results. Go beat that. And that’s just for starters.

The Single Singers had to prepare four songs, three of which were quite difficult, in two rehearsals with no clear conductor. No mean feat that! It seemed quite impossible at the beginning, but somehow it worked at the end. The really great thing that happened there for me was singing Vocal Line’s version of Peter Garbiel’s “Don’t Give Up” with Jens Johansen himself conducting! So, that was a thrill in and of itself, but the really inspiring aspect was singing the song, being part of the tapestry of that beautiful, divine arrangement. I had listened to the song many, many times, but there’s nothing like singing it from within. (Guess what is going to be Song of The Week on my blog tomorrow?)

Jim Daus Hjernøe workshop

I joined five other workshops, each one an education in and of itself.
The amazingly talented Roger Treece, the man behind Bobby McFerrin’s “VOCAbuLarieS” was really pushing the envelope of grasping how rhythm and pulse work. It was sometimes a stretch to follow him, but yet a lot of fun.
Everyone was raving about Jim Daus Hjernøe’s workshop in Sweden, and I finally caught up with him here. “Rhythm and Groove” was uplifting, mind-expanding. He made so much sense out of central elements I’d never been aware of previously. I told him that in my next incarnation I want to come study in Aarhus. He responded that they have a really good remote learning program. If only I had the courage! Me, studying with these giants?

Single Singers rehearsal

I attended Katarina Henryson and Anders Edenroth’s “All Ears” workshop. I’d heard them go over the same material before more than once. And you know what? It gets better each time. Eighty strangers walk into a room, mostly fairly talented amateur singers. Then Katarina and Anders start teaching you the Art of Listening. And at the end of two hours we did a group improvisation – with our eyes closed!!! – about seven minutes of beautiful, transcendent, magical music. Just mind-boggling. Just these two hours were worth the 12-hour trip.
And Jesper Holm’s Advanced Vocal Technique. The program said ‘Harmonic complexity, swing feeling, jazz phrasing, sound and blend.’ Yes, that’s what he did. But I was reminded of the Yeats’ poem: That girls at puberty may find/The first Adam in their thought,/Shut the door of the Pope’s chapel,/Keep those children out./There on that scaffolding reclines/Michael Angelo./With no more sound than the mice make/His hand moves to and fro./(Like a long-legged fly upon the stream/His mind moves upon silence.) The absolute precision of his approach showed again that ‘God is in the details’. It was a truly inspiring workshop experience. Jesper is my new role model for doing a job well. And I’m proud to count him as a new friend.

People

I met SO many people—friends from Vasteros 2008, friends from Stockholm 2012, more recent Facebook friends, and new friends from Aarhus – too many to mention. I made a list of about 25 people that I had memorable interactions with, but I’m not going to list them because I know there were another dozen that are escaping my fuzzy brain, and hopefully another dozen that I’ll get to know now by writing. I did notice that the hugs have gotten tighter over the years, that each subsequent meeting with these fine people deepens the connection from the cordial to the friendly to the beginning of real involvement.

As you know, I do a lot of talking and thinking and writing about music, and I was fortunate enough to have three serious, focused, professional conversations.

The first was with Peder Karlsson. I first met Peder at Vasteros in 2008. I had brought a group from Israel and had briefly corresponded with him via email. On the first day I was nervous, confused, excited. Peder walked by, and I asked him timidly where the Whatever Room was.
I was a novice, a nobody, an attendee from afar; he was The Star. He looked at my nametag, looked at me, let out a shout of “Jeff!” and gave me a bearhug. I knew something different was going on in this community. Then in 2012, our second meeting, we became a bit friendly.
So now in 2013 I told Peder that I wanted to Skype with him about the history of TRG. He said, “Now!” For an entire morning, Peder told me about the origins of The Real Group’s music. There was a bit of an argument: I was maintaining that TRG invented our contemporary a cappella, while Peder was (over-modestly, I think) asserting that TRG drew from a number of different existing sources. In any case, we both agreed that this is fascinating piece of AC folklore, and it will be my pleasure to work our discussion into a printed interview in the near future. Oh, and now I can comfortably say that I feel Peder is a friend.

This is just one example of many–too many (and too personal) to recount here.

By the way, the origin of TRG’s music issue has riveted me for a long time and spilled over into several other conversations I had. Bill Hare had a lot of first-hand knowledge to share, and Jonathan Minkoff was gleefully maintaining that just about everything I think is diametrically opposed to the truth. Fortunately Judy Fontana was there to keep us from trans-Atlantic blows, suggesting the theory that vocal percussion was developed simultaneously on either side of the ocean. I’m gonna be thinking about that, Judy!

The second conversation was with Roger Treece, whom I’d asked in advance to meet with. I was aware of his work on “VOCAbuLarieS”, and really wanted to hear how Vocal Line was connected to that project. I also wanted to learn more about where Roger is applying his very prodigious talents these days. We had a great, honest, intimate talk which I hope to write up in one form or another (assuming that the glass of water I spilled on the table didn’t erase the file on my recorder). I sincerely hope Roger finds the perfect venue in which to work in the future, because I think his talent is unlimited and he can be a formative voice in a cappella in the next generation.

The third conversation was with Jesper Holm. I’d met Jesper very briefly in 2012, barely long enough to discover that we have a lot of overlapping interests and that I possess an obscure Singers Unlimited CD that he covets. I gladly brought it to Aarhus as an offering, looking forward to getting to know him a bit. We talked for less than an hour, but reached incredibly interesting places. We discussed the very substance of vocality, where group vocal jazz is today, and where it might go in the future. We also raised some ideas about utterly new vistas to explore, and concrete plans about how to do that. We were talking about inventing a new musical language. My blood is still pounding over that conversation. I hope that when the clouds clear, the substance remains and that Jesper sets out on that very profound journey.

What I’ve Taken Home

Oh, just so many ideas. And techniques for making better music. And exposure to new types of music. And hopes and plans for the future. And friendships. Membership in a most special community. And a whole lotta love.

I was at the original Woodstock festival. Given the choice of going back there or going to the next AAVF—no competition, man. Hands down, it’s Aarhus. Something is very sweet in the state of Denmark.

Really, I have only one serious complaint about the festival. You weren’t there, Florian. You and my old buddies Kongero and my new buddies The Swingles and my future buddies The Idea of North.

So I guess we’ll just have to make plans to meet again in Aarhus in 2015.

Till then,

Jeff

Please feel free to visit Song of The Week, where you’ll find lots of postings on a cappella and other musical genres.

Jazzchor Freiburg – A Glimpse of Heaven Every Now and Then

Bertrand Gröger (Jazzchor Freiburg founder and conductor) interviewed by Florian Städtler

VB: In 1996, the Jazz Choir Freiburg released (perhaps) the first-ever CD of Choral Jazz Music. What comes spontaneously to mind when thinking of this “pioneering”?

BG: That’s a good question. And the idea that it could have been the first jazz choral record ever, never dawned on me. Thanks for the hint! Yes, at that point in time there were no role models, except for a few vocal groups, but actually no choirs. In any case, we wanted to create our own concept, arrangements, ideas, coloration: to find our own language. That was exciting.  And we were well received by the press and the public.

VB: The CD was followed by countless tours, an increasing number of 1st places in international choral competitions, appearances at major social and political events, collaboration with various soloists and finally, even with the god-father of vocal music: Bobby McFerrin.  Well over 20 years of Vocal-Music History but only the third CD?

BG: Indeed, it was a long wait. There are two reasons. Firstly, the most important thing for us was to perform live, and as often as possible. I would personally say, a concert has something almost holy. Each concert is unique. We always aim to unite: composition, choir, audience, venue and many other factors. So we dedicated much time to Concerts. The second reason: to squeeze the Jazz Choir sound onto a disc, is technically not very easy. Therefore, I was always a bit hesitant. But now we had the right sound team together and I think it was worth the wait.

_______________________________________________________

JAZZCHOR FREIBURG GERMAN TOUR 2012

Fr, 26. Oktober 2012 Halle, Konzerthalle Ulrichskirche, 19:30 Uhr
Sa, 27. Oktober 2012 Berlin, Radialsystem, 20 Uhr
So, 28. Oktober 2012 Bremen, Sendesaal, 18 Uhr
Mo, 29. Oktober 2012 Hamburg, Komödie Winterhuder Fährhaus, 19:30 Uhr
Di, 30. Oktober 2012 Kassel, Konzertsaal der Universität, 20 Uhr
Mi, 31. Oktober 2012 Bad Nauheim, Konzertsaal der Trinkkuranlage, 19:30 Uhr
Do, 1. November 2012 Lahr, Chrysanthema, 14 Uhr
Fr, 2. November 2012 Lörrach, Burghof, 20 Uhr
Sa, 3. November 2012 Landau, Universum Kinocenter, 19:30 Uhr
So, 4. November 2012 München, Spectaculum Mundi, 18 Uhr

Tickets: www.jazzchorfreiburg.de

_______________________________________________________

VB: The current CD is titled “A Cappella”. Yet, from the outset, it has been one of the trademarks and strengths of the Jazz Choir that instrumental accompaniment / rhythm section, soloists and choir worked together.

BG: And that will certainly always remain. But we have had so much encouragement with regard to our A Cappella songs, which make up about one-third of our repertoire. They just had to be recorded!  And we have the good fortune of having the great a cappella recording professional: Jens Johansen (DK) as a producer with his sound engineer Henrik Aaboe.

VB: What actually distinguishes the Jazz Choir from one of the many a cappella groups in smaller formation?

BG: Perhaps it is comparable to a string quartet and an orchestra, or jazz trio and big band.  The fact that many more people play/sing with each other requires that everyone listen with greater intent which creates a wonderful harmony in the larger group. And such a group can, with practice, develop tremendous strength and energy in performance.

VB: Since the 1990s a lot has been done in the field of pop and jazz choirs. There are now a considerable number of choirs singing jazz, pop, rock, etc. What distinguishes the Jazz Choir from the “competition”?

BG: The program. I always strived never to imitate. Why should we sing songs that others have already done with greatness? I want to use our energy: to learn through collaboration with other artists, to discover and experiment with new sounds, to take risks, as was the case working with different orchestras, with Bobby McFerrin and Torun Eriksen.  And so, we seek diversity while keeping true to our name: Jazz Choir, but at the same time, adding world music to “Serious Music”.

VB: The CD is now released. Anyone who knows Bertrand Gröger, knows that the choir always new songs and projects up its sleeve. What may we look forward to in the next few years?

BG: Ideas are many. We will see which of them develop. But, we can’t give away our secrets?

VB: If you had to choose five vocal-music CDs for the deserted island, which ones would they be and why?

BG: I hardly ever hear any other music because I’m constantly involved/surrounded by the music that I’m doing, and when, then usually from completely different genres. But I’d rather take five people to the island, with whom I can make music with. And then the island wouldn’t so deserted/lonely.

VB: Final question: In 2040, when summing up 50 years of Jazz Choir History, in one sentence. What would you like to be able to say?

BG: I think that by that time I’ll be somewhere else, completely. But I would enjoy saying that: “From time to time, we were allowed to knock on/approach the heavenly gate of divine music!”

VB: Thank you and continued success! 

Freiburg (Germany) based Jazzchor Freiburg was founded in 1990 by Bertrand Gröger. Since then, it has been one of the most active and successful contemporary, rhythmic vocal ensembles in Europe.

A Happy Birthday Gallery for Tine Fris

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog founder & chief listener

I’ve worked with quite a few achievers, movers, shakers, creative and energetic people. However, some people surprise you again and again with their dedication and willpower. One of these people is Danish singer, composer, arranger, vocal coach and organizer Tine Fris of Aarhus-based electronic vocal group Postyr Project.

As a mini-tribute to her birthday, here’s a spontaneously compiled gallery with a few snapshots from Aarhus, Freiburg and London. Happy birthday, Tine!

Hosting aca-celebrities Céline Morel (CEPRAVOI, FRA) and Peder Karlsson (The Real Academy, SWE) at Aarhus Vocal Festival 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting Jens Johansen (Vocal Line, DK), the maestro of contemporary, rhythmic choral music right after Postyr's AAVF show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a passionate teacher and vocal coach at the old school house during AAVF 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back at Ridehuset for the AAVF 2011 final party, having a chat with Clare Wheeler (The Swingle Singers, UK) and Peter Martin Jacob (magenta concerts, GER)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the winner of the London A Cappella 2012 shoe fashion competition is: From Denmark!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More aca-fashion presented by Tine at King’s Place, London, January 2012

What have I done to deserve this...? (says a happy German agent & blogger). With Line Groth (Postyr Project, DEN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The core of Tine's musical life: Postyr Project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Bonne anniversaire! Happy Birthday!

If you want to become (or already are) a Tine Fris fan, too, check her out on Facebook, Twitter and through the Postyr Project website.