Jaap Blonk ( NL )

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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.

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.