Ekodrom - Udruga za bolje sada

Udruga za bolje sada

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Globoskop - musical woorkshop - Nathan Bontrager


April 2014.

Nathan is a multiintrumentalist from America, who lives and works in Germany for a couple of years.
Together we will explore the ‘world of sound’ and will try to see if everybody can create something beautiful, or that is reserved for musicians only!

To get a better impression about how Nathan describes his workshop, please read the following text:

As we talked about, I'm planning to focus on 2 areas; group singing and improvisation.

Singing: the idea here is to first explore simple, basic ways our voices interact. So that will involve breathing exercises and somewhat meditative, drone-based singing. We'll do things like singing long, sustained intervals together where, after a time, everyone's individual voice blends into one homogeneous sound. We will even do some basic overtone singing (the crazy 2-tone singing from Mongolia, always lots of fun).

Then we will learn some songs from different parts of the world where there are strong traditions of unaccompanied singing (South Africa, the US South, etc.). Some of the music will come from religious traditions but people should know for sure that we're using it for the music and that there will be nothing religious about it.

Improvisation: whereas the singing part will be on the simple, beautiful side of things, the improvisation part will be much more about all kinds of sound and freedom. We will do some improvised  "games", for example, everyone chooses one sound to use without any prior discussion and we see how these sounds interact over a set period of time. Or an exercise where we go around in a circle keeping a rhythm but always changing our sounds. Another thing I would like to do, which can be really fun, is to do a "found object orchestra". What this means is that people go out into the woods or in the house or wherever and they choose some objects that they find and we build our own "instruments" which we then use to create some kind of ensemble. Depending on what people are into this can be a weird, freaky sound world or we can also use these found objects to make more "normal" music. Since the improvisation thing is more about experiencing sound in a democratized, universal way we will also do things to really break out and see how anyone can create a huge range of sounds. So we will try some always stretching but great exercises where we get outside the normal sounds we make (i.e., screaming, etc.). May sound strange but people always like it.

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