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Sound poet and digital artist Jaap Blonk to perform at UB Nov. 11-12

Using his phonetics and phonics, he performs in a language with no semantic meaning

Release Date: November 1, 2013

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Jaap Blonk

Jaap Blonk

The performance is likely to include sound and songs in Blonk’s personal English, which he calls “IngleTwist,” electronic and acoustic phonetic processes, samples from John Cage’s Solos for Voice and other sources.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – There will be plenty of hissing, moaning, flapping, croaking, puckering, African chants, electrically enhanced sound and more when the intense, eye- and ear-opening Dutch sound poet, digital artist and experimental performer Jaap Blonk visits the University at Buffalo this month.

Blonk will lecture and perform here at two events that are free of charge and open to the public. Timely arrival is requested so as not to disrupt the performances.

His visit is sponsored by the UB Techne Institute for Arts and Emerging Technology and the Department of Media Study.

Lecture: Nov. 11, 1-3 p.m., Center for the Arts Screening Room (Room 112), UB North Campus

Blonk will discuss his art and its roots in sound poetry, improvisation and new music, and present historic examples of sound poetry as well as his own work. This will involve live performance, projection of texts and scores, sound examples, including work with other musicians with electronics, and video fragments. A question-and-answer session will follow. 

Performance of “Dr. Voxoid’s Next Move”: Nov. 12, 7-8:30 p.m., Center for the Arts Screening Room

This improvisational performance is likely to include sound, strangely compelling songs in Blonk’s “personal English, which he calls “IngleTwist” (sample here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXlupDA4v_4); electronic and acoustic phonetic processes, samples from John Cage’s Solos for Voice, and other sources. Blonk calls this a “Dadaist experiment” and as he is performing is not sure what his next move will be. “It may be a knight’s jump, a king’s stately step or a bishop’s stealthy sneak-through,” he says.

Blonk is a self-taught composer, performer and poet who has presented his work throughout the world. He was born in Holland in 1953 and was influenced by mid-century German artist Kurt Schwitters whose work spans and represents the Dadaist, Constructivist and Surrealist movements. Early studies in mathematics and musicology led Blonk to vocal performances that began with recitations of poetry by other artists, and became improvisations employing his own compositions and modes of delivery – he “plays” his cheeks, lips and throat, to spectacular effect, for instance.

He began working with electronics around 2000, first using samples of his own voice, then employing pure sound synthesis. As a vocalist, Blonk is known for his powerful stage presence, almost childlike freedom in improvisation and keen grasp of structure.

The Techne Institute for Arts and Emerging Technologies was established at UB in 2012 to foster new work at the intersection of artistic expression and emerging technologies within UB’s research and pedagogical mission. The Department of Media Study was founded as an experimental media arts program in 1972 and offers graduate and undergraduate students a community in which they can develop their own artistic voices.

For information about Blonk, contact Holly Johnson in the Techne Institute at 645-2533, or haj2@buffalo.edu

Media Contact Information

Patricia Donovan
News Content Manager, Arts and Humanities, Public Health, Social Sciences
Tel: 716-645-4602
pdonovan@buffalo.edu