MARK VAN TONGEREN’s BIOGRAPHY

Biography
mark van tongeren
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photo by Jochem Hartz

Mark van Tongeren is a sound explorer and performance artist with a PhD in artistic research from Leiden University. He did ground-breaking research and vocal experiments in the field of overtone singing, which he began studying around 1990. He feels equally at home ‘in the field’ to study and practice indigenous vocal techniques, as in experimental performance art, using voice, small instruments and/or electronics.

He received his M.A. in ethnomusicology from the University of Amsterdam and has taught world music at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. His PhD from the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts at Leiden University explores the boundaries of science and art and is entitled Thresholds of the Audible: about the Polyphony of the Body. During his PhD studies he founded a vocal laboratory (Paraphony) to develop little known aspects of multi-voiced harmonic singing. He created a series of compositions for two or more voices, called 0… (‘Nulpunten’ or ‘Zero-points’), which make audible hundreds of possible connections or permutations within the natural harmonic series, so that it ‘encounters itself.’ The results were presented in 2010 and 2013 by Mark van Tongeren and Rollin Rachelle, aka the Superstringtrio, in the performances entitled 0… and Incognito Ergo Sum in Amsterdam and Poland. Composer Paul Oomen also conducted the three-hour Overtone Singing Marathon held at the occasion of van Tongeren’s PhD defense in 2013.

MARK BIOGRAPHY 0

Incognito Ergo Sum with Rollin Rachele

He began his performance carreer with the artists – contructors of Silo Theatre of Amsterdam (De Parade, Oerol), where he did sound-design, and created live and recorded soundtracks (1992 until 1998). In 1999 he presented new vocal works in The Trumpets of Jericho, alongside the Trivento organ of the project’s initiator Horst Rickels, and singing ‘with’ and ‘through’ Tjeerd Oostendorp’s 7-meter long tuba. In 2001 he was artist-in residence at the School of Music of Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand for Jack Body’s Secret Sounds project, producing the CD-Rom Secret Sounds and several performances. with Phil Dadson (NZ), Leo Tadagawa (JP) and Bennicio Sokong (PH). At the Silk Road Festival in Washington, D.C. he performed as a throat singer with the festival’s initiator – cellist Yo-Yo Ma – over one of Johann Sebastian Bach’s cello suites (2002).

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throat singing with cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the Smithsonian Folklife/Silk Road Festival

From 1995 onward van Tongeren has made solo appearances as a singer in the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, Belgium, China, the USA and most recently in Taiwan (Taipei, Chiayi). In 1995 he received a special prize at the International Throat Singing Festival in Tuva, Siberia (the same festival documented for the famous Gengghis Blues documentary).

He is featured on CD-ROM’s and DVDs, including Secret Sounds (an audio-visual guide to overtone singing and Jew’s harps with Jack Body; Ode Records); Raum Klang Stimme / Space Sound Voice (documentary about overtone singing by Minghao Xu; Traumzeit Verlag). His CDs include Paraphony-Extended Harmonic Techniques, a solo exploration of the resonances of the voice and space (Ode Records), Etos (with Oorbeek, Nice Noise Foundation) and Sphere by his ensemble Parafonia (Fusica). Horst Rickels’ piece Lift-Off, written for Parafonia, is also featured in Jiska Rickels’ award winning documentary Four Elements. Van Tongeren is featured prominently on Deer Woman, composed by Taiwanese film music composer Cincin Lee with Van Tongeren as a soloist. This CD was nominated for Taiwan’s Golden Melody Awards 2008.

An unusual collaboration was his involvement in the realisation of the world première of a work by the renowned Russian composer Dimitri Shoshtakovich (1906-1975), 28 years after his death. He assisted conductor Mark Fitz-Gerald at restoring the lost score of the film Odna (“Alone”), by directors Kozintsev and Trauberg (1931). Van Tongeren transcribed an original piece of Altay throat singing that was used for the film and took part in several screenings of Odna with live music, including the 2003 world première in The Netherlands. In 2008 Naxos published Fitz-Gerald’s CD recording in Germany with van Tongeren’s singing.

In 2002 Fusica published the book Overtone Singing – Physics and Metaphysics of Harmonics in East and West (Fusica/Eburon), the fruit of over 10 years of scholarly and artistic research on this vocal technique. It is the first book-CD to document comprehensively the traditional and modern forms of this unusual vocal art. It exemplifies Van Tongeren’s interest to fuse intuitive and creative processes of singing and art with theoretical issues and critical reflection.

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Van Tongeren began extending his array of small, toy and ethnic instruments, as well as a Korg Kaoss Pad, while playing with Oorbeek, an Amsterdam-based collective of artists exploring the boundaries of sound and visual art. Oorbeek is one of his most enduring collaborations. Though very un-typical for Oorbeek, their televised adaptation of John Cage’s 4’33” was selected in 2017 as one of the pearls of 70 years Holland Festival.

He played with Collision Palace, an Amsterdam-based improv collective led by Nathan Fuhr (NYC), in John Zorn’s game piece Cobra. In New Zealand he collaborated with former Scratch Orchestra member Phil Dadson and Japanese singer/performer/bandleader Makigami Koichi in Off the Wall: Vocal Acrobats.
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He provided electronic/vocal soundtracks for several animation video’s by Oorbeek’s Serge Onnen, displayed in New York and in MOCA Taipei, and took part in several of Onnen’s live shadowperformances with Oorbeek or as a duo on in Beijing.
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In Taipei Onnen and van Tongeren presented new works for video/shadow/sound at the Taipei Artist Village (together with composer/guzheng player Tung Chao-Ming) and Lacking Sound Festival. Also in 2014, he began collaborating with the dancers of Biao/Horse, in a project produced for the Chang Kai Shek National Theatre in Taipei collaborating with pianist Lee Shih-Yang and cellist Chen Yu-Rong. More dance collaborations followed, with Biao’s Yeh Ming-Hwa (2015, 2016, 2017) and with Taipei Dance Circle.
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As a teacher, Van Tongeren gave a one-minute crash course of overtone singing for His Royal Highness the Aga Khan and secretary of state Colin Powell at the opening ceremony of the Silk Road / Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. (2002). (usually learning to sing overtones takes longer, though). He has taught overtone singing workshops and courses for exploring/integrating the dynamics of voice, mind and body at various universities (Victoria School of Music, Wellington NZ; TNUA, Taipei TW) and privately. He teaches semester-long courses at National Cheng-Chi University’s creative department (X-Academy) in Taipei. Since 2012 he offers weekly Voice Yoga classes at Canjune and since 2014 a year-long Resonance course in Taipei.
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An enduring passion and artistic influence are local musical traditions from around the world. Since the 1990s Van Tongeren has studied music, singing and ritual in Siberia and Russia (Tuva, Altay, Khakassiya, Kalmukiya), Mongolia, India (Tibetan monks in Dharamsala), Sardinia and Corsica (polyphonic singing) and Taiwan. His move to Taiwan prompted a further study of its indigenous music and dance, particularly through the traditions of the Bunun and Saisiyat tribes. In Israel, Dutch composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven organised yearly events to empower Palestinian artist in East-Jeruzalem. In 2010, Twaalfhoven invited composer Paul Oomen, who guided a unique meeting between Firaz Gazzaz, a well-known Palestinian muezzin (reciter of the koran), and van Tongeren.

Since 2010 Van Tongeren lives in Taiwan with his wife June and his children Attar and Illy.

download biographie artistique-MvT.pdf
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One thought on “Biography”

maisa van der Kolk
09/08/2015 at 19:56

BEste Mark, Geen idee waar ik u kan bereiken, maar uw naam kreeg ik van Jan Van Dijk van de Univeriteit Amsterdam.Ik ben bevriend met zijn vrouw Leontien. Wij zijn druk bezig een cultureel centrum op te starten in Edam. Zelf organiseer ik inmiddels 5 jaar maandelijkse wereldmuziekconcerten en ben altijd op zoek naar bijzondere uitingen in de volksmuziek.Volgend jaar hopen we in ons centrum ook films te draaien met een mogelijkheid daar na afloop over te praten. Ik dacht aan Meeting with Remarkable Men van Gurdjieff en dan zou het geweldig zijn om ook live boventoonzang te beluisteren.Wie weet is er eenmogelijkheid om uw zang te beluisteren als u eens in Nederland bent. U kunt me antwoorden via de mail:maisavanderkolk@ziggo.nl , Met groet, Maisavan der Kolk.
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[ Colophon ]
4 concerts this week (NL/PL)
15/11/2013Artistic Research, People, ProjectsAMSTERDAM, Audio Art, Audio Art Festival, Bram Stadhouders, concerts, Daphne van Tongeren, Echokamer, Het Poortgebouw, improvisation, Krakow, Marek Cholonewksi, Mark Alban Lotz, Mark van Tongeren, Mediamatic, music, Oorbeek, oorsprong curator series, Overtone Singing, Rollin Rachele, sound-art, Superstringtrio, Voice

dear listeners,

I’d like to announce a couple of concerts in The Netherlands and in Poland in the coming week:

IMG_3788

Monday 18 november, AMSTERDAM, Het Poortgebouw, 1st Floor, Tolhuisweg 2: Oorsprong Curator Series, start at 20 o’ clock. Free-improvisation with flutist Mark Alban Lotz and guitarist Bram Stadhouders and vocalist Mark van Tongeren, and several other exciting music/dance impro-combinations in two other sets that same night.
Link: http://oorsprong.wordpress.com/

Thursday 21 November, AMSTERDAM, Mediamatic/Fabriek – Echokamer, 20:30, Superstringtrio (Rollin Rachele, Mark van Tongeren) and Daphne van Tongeren (light/performance).
Echokamer is a series of events during which composers, musicians and other sound-makers experiment with sound at, and with the sound of, Mediamatic Fabriek. The giant industrial hall reverberates and erodes, and produces quite a bit of sound all by itself. The perfect place for noisy experiments. Read more details about Superstringtrio’s sonic excursion next Thursday on this link: http://www.mediamatic.net/357851/en/echokamer-12-superstringtrio

Sunday 24 November, KRAKOW (Poland), Audio Art Festival/Bunkier Sztuki, 19 o’clock, Superstringtrio. We have been invited by Marek Choloniewski, founder of Audio Art Festival, one of the most long-standing festivals dedicated to Sound Art in all its beautiful, radical and weird manifestations, to join the ranks of many artists who have performed there in past decades. Superstringtrio will present an updated version of its performance Incognito Ergo Sum, premiered in Amsterdam earlier this year at the occasion of the PhD-defense of Mark van Tongeren’s Thresholds of the Audible- thesis at Leiden University. See a short clips of it on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/64866998. For the full program of the festival, which has already started yesterday and continues next week, check this link: http://www.audio.art.pl/
(with our thanks to Horst Rickels, who gives a workshop and concert in Krakow tomorrow with his Lesley-speakersystem, together with Robert Pravda).

In a couple of hours I am leaving Taiwan. If all goes well I might join Oorbeek tomorrow, Saturday 16 November at the opening of The New Institute in ROTTERDAM. Set 1 at 17 o’ clock, set 2 at 17:45. 6th floor, Museumpark 25, 3015 CB Rotterdam,
Link: http://www.hetnieuweinstituut.nl/nieuwnew

Hope to see you somewhere!

Best wishes,

mark van tongeren
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About me:
I was raised artistically with The Silo Theatre of Amsterdam in the 1990s, make improvised music with Oorbeek, compose and improvise with my own Parafonia crew, and have some solo musical and non-musical alter ego’s.

I do a PhD in the arts at Leiden University / docARTES in Ghent, entitled “Overtone Singing and the thresholds of audibility.” You’ll find more info on http://www.fusica.nl

Currently, I love philosophy/phenomenology.

And my my kids, who are half Taiwanese.

Instruments:
Jew’s Harp, KaossPad double-nose-flute and an array of Paraphonic instruments

Influences:
The Radiators, The Animals and other environmental sounds

Homepage:
http://www.fusica.nl

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Voice and Shruti performed live @ TCMA 2012 Pt. II by Mark van Tongeren
Voice and Shruti performed live @ TCMA 2012 Pt. II by Mark van Tongeren

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Mark van Tongeren @ TCMA 2012 Pt. I
Mark van Tongeren @ TCMA 2012 Pt. I

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Comment Wall (24 comments)
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At 2:47pm on September 15, 2011, frderik aldrik hendrik de wolff said…
ha Mark,

Goeie vlucht gehad? Mijn opleiders die ook regelmatig contact hebben in Taiwan zijn benieuwd of je als zij weer een keer daar zijn dan wel in de Volksrepubliek contact mogen zoeken met jou.

Breng straks je boek en cd naar de bieb. Inderdaad bijzondere cd,gaat dwars door het hoofd heen soms.

Ik vond het een erg leuk bezoek aan jou en je zus.

met vriendelijke groet,

Frits de Wolff

At 3:49pm on January 29, 2010, Jens Mügge said…
Hello Mark,

your CD Parafonia is listed now and played since yesterday at woodroot-radio.eu – Wolfhard selected the piece »Dulcet Ingratitude Oblique«

Stay tuned,
Jens

At 9:24am on November 19, 2009, Harold Grandstaff Moses said…
Thanks for the welcome. I am a believer in the healing power of Harmony. For the past 15 years I have experimented with engineering harmonic overtones in order to alter consciousness and effect healing. I invite you to sample these “Harmonics for Health” – I experience this music as a ‘theo-active’ adventure.

Enjoy these Free Downloads:
http://www.hgmoses.com/CDs_Downloads/Free_Music.html

Main Portal: http://www.hgmoses.com

“You are a harmonically unique vibrational signature of the Divine – a chord in the cosmic Harmony.”

At 11:51pm on August 20, 2009, Rowenna said…
Dear Marc, with the dates I ment a facture or the banking adress how to transfer the payment for the CD. I am looking forward listening your musik and wish you a good time and lots of inspiration,
with kind regards
Rowenna

At 2:14pm on August 20, 2009, Rowenna said…
Nice to have you as a friend. Would be interested in your CD. Could you send it to me with the dates for the exchange of money. My adress you find in my homepage: http://www.rowenna.ch

At 1:37am on May 20, 2009, Jens Mügge said…
Hi Mark, your book Overtone Singing Physics and Metaphysics of Harmonics in East and West is currently unavailable on amazon.com – Can I order it via The Tuva Trader only?
With kind regards,
Jens Mügge

At 9:42am on April 16, 2009, Tran Quang Hai said…
Dear Mark,
Congratulations for your CD . Hope to meet you next summer. I’ll go to South Africa to participate in the ICTM world conference (I am an executive board member, an obligation !) from 28 june till 11 july 2009
Love to you and your family
Tran Quang Hai

At 8:38am on April 16, 2009, Tran Quang Hai said…
Hi Mark,
How are you ? Where are you now ?
I am a retired man now . To morrow , I ‘ll give a workshop of overtone singing in Berlin until Sunday. Then Bach Yen and I shall go to Canada for 2 weeks to give concerts and lectures at Ottawa University from 27 april till 11 may.
How are all members of your family ?
Love,
Tran Quang Hai

At 6:33pm on February 27, 2009, Arjopa said…
Shagaa Bile Dear Mark!!

We wish you & your family a happy, healthy,fruit- & successful
New Year of the Earth Cow!!
May all your wishes & plans come true in thisyear of butter & cream!!

Shagaa Bile!!

Khoomei Throatsinging Country Punk Greetings from Berlin!!

Arjopa & The Master U-like

At 6:29pm on February 12, 2009, Arjopa said…
Dear Mark!!
Thanx a lot for your friendship,here!!
Haven´t seen us for a while – last time at our concert,
Obertonfest, Berlin 2002!!
We still like your work/music!!

Hope you like our Khoomei Throatsinging Country Punk,too!!

Greetings from Berlin!!

Arjopa & The Master U-like

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https://www.overtone.cc/profile/MarkvanTongeren

Mark van Tongeren : Sound artist

mark van tongeren
March 13th, 2013 (13h45)
Mark van Tongeren’s PhD Defense
Leiden University

Mark van Tongeren defended his thesis Grenzen van het hoorbare; over de meerstemmigheid van het lichaam.
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March 10 & 12, 2013 (18h30)
Mark van Tongeren’s doctoral concert part 1
Incognito Ergo Sum

Mark van Tongeren presented the outcomes of his doctoral research during this concert.
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March 11, 2013 (13h30-16h30)
Mark van Tongeren’s doctoral concert part 2
0…: een boventoonzangmarathon voor twee zangers

Mark van Tongeren demonstrated his findings of his doctoral research project during a 3-hour singing marathon.
Read more

http://www.docartes.be/en/persons/mark-van-tongeren

The Great Realm Part I (Tuvan Khoomej)

The Great Realm Part I (Tuvan Khoomej)

Published on Jul 8, 2015

Provided to YouTube by CDBaby The Great Realm Part I (Tuvan Khoomej) · Mark van Tongeren Paraphony. Extended Harmonic Techniques ℗ 2009 Mark van Tongeren Released on: 2009-10-11 Auto-generated by YouTube.