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Artikel Tagged ‘Postyr Project’

Vocal Edu Series (4): Make the most of your expensive voice lessons: Practice!

by Tine Fris, Postyr Project (DK)

Rehearsal Methods for Individual Singers

Taking voice lessons can be an expensive pleasure. In this blog, I would like to share some tips and tricks for you to make the most of the time in between lessons, so you will improve more and faster from lesson to lesson and ask better and more precise questions during your lessons. How much you want to practise is of course up to you. The amount of practise time needed depends of course on your skills and resources and on the goal or level you want to reach within a certain timeframe. No matter your goal, level or timeframe, there are some things you could consider.

 

The Room

Make sure that you have a rehearsal room, where you can actually sing out loud, and where you are not disturbed. To practise you need to be focused and to feel free to make mistakes without being judged.

 

Duration and frequency

Studies have shown that most people find it difficult to stay concentrated for more than 45 min in a row. The longer you continue after that, the less you remember, the more mistakes you make and the more exhausted you will be. This means that you are likely to not rehearse again later the same day or maybe even the day after. In the worst case scenario, you might actually get worse and not better, if you push yourself for too long time, because your muscular memory will “save” all the mistakes you made when you were exhausted in the end of the session and not all the rights you made in the beginning, when you were focused and well-rested. Studies have also shown that you learn more from practising 2 x 45 min than 90 in a row. This also means, that you could consider splitting your rehearsal time during a day up in two or three laps: 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon and maybe 30 min in the evening.

 

Breaks

A break is not checking your cell phone, answering emails, watching television or things like that. A break is something where the brain can be unfocused and your thoughts can wander. Make a cup of tea. Go for a little walk. Or even better: Take a power nap! Studies have shown that the best way to save things from the short-term memory to the long-term memory is to sleep.

 

Structure

  • Make a plan of what you are going to rehearse. Make it a mixture of different disciplines, so you don’t get bored and lose your motivation. It could be:
  • Physical excercises to strengthen and stretch to improve posture and decrease involuntary/compensatory tensions.
  • Breathing and support excercises
  • Modes/different sounds in different ranges and volumes
  • Some kind of effect like vibrato or creeking you want to improve.
  • Improvisation over a vamp or a jazz standard. Give yourself assignments like: legato/staccato, change the first note of the phrase or don’t ever sing on the first beat of the bar.
  • Work on a song or two. Focus on different parameters: Rhythm/time/groove, sound colours, pronunciation, dynamics, interpretation etc.
  • Remember to take breaks every 45 min.

 

Observe – Consider – Take Action

Here is a simple model to help you analyze the observations you make about yourself and help you take appropriate short term and long term action:

  • What do I hear? What do I see? What do I feel?
  • What could possibly cause this?
  • What could possibly change this to the better here and now and on longer terms?
  • What should we do here and now, and what should we do on longer terms?

Thank you, Tine, for contributing a great article on vocal music education – again. Hope to have you back soon and safe travels with your wonderful group, Postyr Project! {FSt/Vocal Blog}

10 People You And I Want to Meet at LACF 2013

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog

Happy New Year, everyone – I hope you had some nice relaxing holidays and are ready for another year of fantastic news for all of us vocal music afficionados. The first wonderful thing to happen every year is an event that most of us only refer to as LACF: The London A Cappella Festival, curated by The Swingle Singers and executed by their longtime partners in crime, Ikon Arts. In only four years, LACF has become a top-notch international festival, featuring artists like The Real Group, FORK, The Swingle Singers, Cadence, The Boxettes, Witloof Bay, The Vasari Singers in earlier years as well as a growing programme of workshops, panels and network activities.

This year’s line-up is quite spectacular in many ways, too: The Swingles inviting The King’s Singers shows the mutual respect between two groups who are both living legends and at the same time alive and kicking. Finally, one of Britain’s most successful live acts, The Magnets, have their LACF spot as well as Finnish vocal music stars Rajaton, who will spread their soundscapes of pop and Nordic music at King’s Place for the first time. And don’t forget the next generation: Postyr Project from Aarhus, Denmark with their blend of electronic and vocal music. The Exchange (USA), a five-part all-star band from NBC’s Sing-off supporting The Swingle Singers. Vive, one of the big hopes of young British vocal music. Retrocity from Canada with their mix of pop, soul and funk…you better get your tickets now at www.londonacappellafestival.co.uk.

With the first two articles about LACF2013, I would like to feature some people who I want to meet in London in person. Simply because I know that it will be fascinating to talk to them about their reasons for coming to London, about the festival’s artists and the development of vocal music in Europe, America and Asia. This first one is about what we might call “hidden champions”: People who work backstage, people who organize and network, people who care so much about the a cappella community that they travel from (very) far to see the concerts and meet their aca-friends. It goes without saying, that this is a very subjective selection and of course I could easily have titled this “101 People You and I…”. However, if you meet some of these featured, you will sooner or later bump into more inspiring, thoughtful and/or crazy a cappella people.

Here are the hidden champs I want to meet and talk to from Jan 24th-26th:

Alex Godfree (UK), because as the figurehead of Voice Festival UK, she is one of THE movers and shakers in the UK a cappella scene. Watch her on that little LACF2012 video greeting and check out Voice Festival UK’s brandnew website, Facebook page and Twitter.

Jeanine Rondas (BEL), because Jeanine is one of these people who have made a cappella their favourite thing. She probably knows more about vocal music in Europe than most of the “vocal music pros” around. Get to know her via Facebook and ask her anything about aca-travelling – she’ll have the dates, names and figures.

Andrea Figallo (Flying Pickets, Wise Guys) with Jeanine Rondas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessica Hill (UK), because her work with the Ikon Arts team makes LACF happen. Thank you! Watch Jessica, Nicola and Beccy in their LACF 2012 video greeting and check out Ikon Arts via Facebook and Twitter. (To meet these ladies during the festival buzz will be rather easy…talking to them will be much more difficult. #busybuddies

Yael Levin (ISR), because she (together with Yarden Cohen) seems to be very a cappella active in her home country – and I want to learn more about what happens over there regarding vocal music. Welcome to London, Yael – who else will be coming from Israel?

Yael meets Katarina Henryson (The Real Group) at The Real Group Festival 2012, Stockholm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sven-Michael Salzer  (GER) – I’m actually not sure if “SMS” aka Festival-Sven will be joining us at LACF2013, but I do hope so. He is a member of the Hannover-based vocal group Essenzen and fell in love with another LACF2012 attendee – which means we have one more aca-couple. Here’s Sven’s Facebook and Twitter contact…ah, and by the way: Sven works as a manager of Hannover A Cappella Festival, one of the major vocal music events in Germany for more than a decade now.

Festival-Sven meeting Clare “Twitterqueen” Wheeler of The Swingle Singers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michele Manzotti (ITA) – Michele, a journalist and writer based in Florence, Italy is one of the greatest Swinglesingerologists on the planet. Ask him a question about Swingle Singing and he will have the answer. He made his debut as a performing vocal artist joining the fabulous “Single Singers” (no typo; pun intended, find more on this project’s website) at LACF2012. Michele is such a great guy – chat him up if you can!

 

Michele Manzotti with his wife at LACF2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joan Hare (USA) - Well, what can I say about Joan? She is probably one of the most unique and wonderful people in a community that is not exactly poor regarding original personalities. Joan “A Cappella Mum” Hare actually is the mother of Bill Hare, the world’s no.1 vocal music producer (the list of his clients would make this blog explode). But Joan is much more: She’s a symbol of what makes this community so special, the figurehead of aca-love. You won’t be able not to meet her – and that’s perfectly fine.

Joan Hare (front right) with Sonia Kilianova…and Bill Hare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hans Cassa (NED) - Is Hans a hidden champion or should he rather be mentioned in the next blog post, when the stars on stage will be featured? Difficult, because being a longtime member of Dutch a cappella pioneers Montezuma’s Revenge as well as a passionate “Single Singer“, aca-traveller, teacher and fan, he is a perfect example of how the border between pros and amateurs have no meaning at all at the great a cappella festivals . It’s the joy of music and good company. You will certainly meet Hans both at the “Festival Pub” called “The Fellow” and at the Premier Inn’s hotel bar. He’s not tweeting a lot, but anyway here’s his Twitter and Facebook contact.

Deborah Rosanwo (GER) – If you want to meet a passionate choir singer (with Bonner Jazzchor) and want to learn about the best things about Stockholm, Aarhus or other festivals in Europe, just ask Deborah. She seems to be online 24/7 and her posts are often real vocal music gems. I’m not sure, well, actually quite sure that Deb will be joining the “Single Singers” at their 1st anniversary gig at King’s Place. If you want to learn more about Deborah, see if she wants you as a Facebook friend and follow her on Twitter….if you can find her.

Deborah (on the right) with Bill Hare at The Real Group Festival, Stockholm 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willy Eteson (UK)Richard “Willy” Eteson was The Swingles high tenor and business director for almost ten years. He is a passionate cook and deli expert. This passion culminates in an annual slaughter of a pig, executed (literally…) by Willy and some former choir boys. He married his beautiful wife Joanna Goldsmith-Eteson (don’t look into her eyes, you will both faint and Willy will consider you to become a delicate home-made sausage) on Copacabana beach (not kidding!) in Rio de Janeiro and they now live in Hackney, a part of London that will soon be as glamorous as Rio’s seaside. Meet Willy live and be prepared to be offered exceptional home-made delicacies. Meet him online and you will experience British humour and obscure fourth league football comments.

And now….! As I have left out dozens of other, equally nice, charming good-looking  and nice-smelling people: Who do you want to meet in London? Post your comments and I promise every single suggestion will be featured with a mini-portrait on the blog. Let’s introduce your personal LACF2013 star and meet them in the real world very soon!

I’m Florian Städtler, 42 (the answer to life, the universe and everything) a father of two wonderful daughters who can sing but don’t admit it. I studied electric guitar, became a marketing and event planning pro and finally decided to fall in love with a cappella (#Iloveyouall). Meet me, tweet me, facebook me, watch me, buy me, join me.

So…Business and Pleasure

by Tine Fris (Postyr Project, DEN), originally posted at postyrproject.com on Aug 11th, 2012

So… it’s been busy -not boring- lately, and that’s why I haven’t written you a blog for a while. I feel like I have been living inside a washing machine for the last couple of months. Trying to find some solid ground under my feet, but constantly finding myself turning upside down, bending over backwards or simply just dizzy.

So… what’s the fuzz about? Well, basically we have been trying to build a sustainable structure around the ”Postyr Project” to ensure our continuous creative development. Maybe you would think that would mean a looot of time spent in a nice summer house by the beach writing songs, drinking red wine and eating a home cooked meal, but no.

So… Yes, I also really like to cook, but that’s besides the point. For now, I will leave it at letting you in on my basic recipe for writing music

1)    Inspiration (red wine, summer house, life, other artists, a bird, what ever)

2)    Improvisation (in the bath, on the bike, walking, where ever)

3)    Composition (taking the best parts of the improvisation and developing and shaping them into a certain more or less fixed form –it’s like a puzzle, suddenly it’s all into place)

4)    Arranging (What aspect of the song should be in focus? –It’s like arranging the meal on the plate –just to top it off with a food metaphor)

So… basically it all starts with inspiration. But let me tell you what is NOT inspirational: Bills, tech stuff that doesn’t work and not sleeping at night because the to do list keeps getting longer every day.

So… Basically, what we found out during the fall of 2011 was that in order to be able to have the time to be inspired (and write music and rehearse it and record it etc.) we needed to do a couple of other things first:

1)    Make a business plan that would make us able to make enough money to quit most of our day jobs, so we could spent more time on Postyr Project.

2)    Find the right business partners that could help us realize the business plan.

3)    Find out what yet undiscovered creative, organizational and personal resources we had within the group and find a way to use these resources in the best way.

4)    Find a way to improve communication to ensure that information is shared and everyone has their say and is on the same page as to where the project is heading and why we are making the decisions we are making

5)    Find a way to handle the physical stress in relation to heavy traveling and touring so the voices are ready for rehearsal, recordings and concerts when needed.

6)    Find a way to handle the emotional stress of dealing with uncertainty of the future, outside pressure and personal ups and downs.

So… We haven’t been bored. It’s been and it still is a true journey into the minefield of the business and into the hearts and minds of everyone in the group. And then after we got the most important things done, we wrote a whole bunch of new songs and recorded it and now we are in the process of mixing it and deciding what to do with it, and tomorrow we are meeting at my new place to hang out, talk and enjoy a bottle of red wine or two. I think that’s what they call business AND pleasure.

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.

My Favourite Real Group Festival Moments

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog

“A life-changing experience” – this was only one of the enthusiastic descriptions of the 2nd vocal music festival hosted by The Real Group in their hometown Stockholm. Can three festival days in the Swedish capital change your life? How comes that even seasoned professionals could be seen wiping a tear at The Real Group Festival’s improvised closing ceremony? Why do people accept a lot of little glitches by the mostly volunteer organization although they spend a significant amount of money to travel, sleep and take part in workshops and concerts? And why do a cappella people seem to hug each other at every possible opportunity?

I’m going write another blog post about the things that we can learn from The Real Group Festival, to maybe end up with an even better festival experience. But right now, I would like to give my dear readers (those who joined the Stockholm extravaganza and those who couldn’t make it this time) a very personal explanation, why I enjoyed this festival so much and was one of those who had to wipe away a tear when the celebrations reached its climax in Eric Ericsson Hall. So here are my favorite Real Group Festival moments:

1. Stockholm, capital of Sweden: This city is certainly one of the most beautiful capitals of the world. Friendly, clean, safe and with people who make a very relaxed and open-minded impression to visitors. Even a heavy rain shower right when I had to find my way from “Centralstation” to my hotel couldn’t spoil the positive impression of the Swedish capital.

2. The Opening Concert (1), Postyr Project: Maybe the 5 Danes who started their journey of “ecappella” (vocal music fused with electronic music) less than 2 years ago haven’t even realized how quickly they have become both the darling of the festival hosts and highly praised vocal music teachers. Not a dream, Line, Tine, Anders, Andreas and Kristoffer: But certainly an obligation to keep pushing the borders of vocal music.

Christine Liu (Voco Novo) with Florian Städtler (Vocal Blog)

3. The Opening Concert (2), Voco Novo: My personal discovery of TRGF2012. A Cappella music from Taiwan? Vocal music from Asia? Fasten your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen. When our friends from the East do something, they do it 100%. And they have learnt very, very quickly that their true strength is not copying the American or European groups, but finding their own voice. You can’t out-realgroup The Real Group anyway.

4. Watching Jim Daus Hjernoe: Jim is not only an exceptional teacher of rhythmic choral music, a professor and a member of the European Voices Association core team. As if that wasn’t enough, he just looks damn’ good. As the Danish answer to George Clooney and a colleague of Bobby McFerrin the number of his disciples is constantly growing. Watch this space for more news on the latest vocal music edu news – you can be sure that Jim is pulling some of the strings.

5. Meeting acafriends from other continents: Yes, there are people who fly many thousands of miles to be part a three-day event and – judging from their happy smiles, perpetual hugging, Facebook posts etc. – they don’t regret having booked the trip to Stockholm. Judy Fontana (USA), Kari Francis (USA), Jonathan Minkoff (USA), David Longo (USA), Paul Jay (CAN), Christine Liu (Taiwan), Catherine Liu (Taiwan), Bill Hare (USA) and a vocal group leader from Venezuela (who ran out of business cards) are only a few of those long-distance a cappella travelers.

6. Meeting Jeff Meshel (ISR): Jeff Meshel, well, what can I say. I have not known his work as a music journalist and publisher for too long. However I’ve completely fallen in love with his blog and writing style. His knowledge about jazz is almost scary. And his enthusiasm for authentic music and authentic vocal music easily made him part of the Stockholm aca-family. The intense talk about the global development of what Jeff calls “The New A Cappella” (in a restaurant on a ship next to Skeppsholmen island, close to the festival center) was a 2-hour deep-dive into the worldwide phenomenon of vocal music. Can’t wait to continue this conversation.

"Swingle Singers?" "Bello impossibile" - Erik Bosio (Cluster) with Florian Städtler (Vocal Blog)

7. The Swingle Singers, live in concert: It’s hard for me to be objective, so I won’t even try. The Swingles have been part of my musical and agent’s life for a decade now. And I love them. No…after the performance at China Teatern (after Rajaton, no big deal, really…), I believe in the NEW Swingle Singers and I am proud of the seven of them. The current line-up sings originals. They have the best soloists the group ever had. And when it counted (a gig at TRGF is more or less one of the most important showcases on planet a cappella), they delivered what David Longo called “the perfect set”. If there were any doubts about the Swingles going to have a glorious 50th anniversary year in 2013, they wiped them away with musical perfection (“Clair de Lune”, “Libertango”) and world-class entertainment (“All the Swingle Ladies”, “Diva”) that proved that this group belongs to the champions league of vocal music.

8. The Story of Perpetuum Jazzile: It was one of these tough choices you have to make when attending a jam-packed festival. Should I see Jim Hjernoe’s vocal rhythm workshop or do I want to get the inside scoop of the YouTube wonder with the strange name? I chose Bostjan Usenik’s workshop on the success story of Slowenian pop choir Perpetuum Jazzile. Their story, the story of 55 (amateur) singers going viral on YouTube with one of the unjazziest and covered-to-death songs in the world – Toto’s “Africa” – is as unbelievable as the fact that they use the word “Jazz” in their group name and have as of today not only appeared in major European TV shows, but tour Germany with the support of the country’s most prominent tabloid newspaper and national TV channel SAT1. The funny thing is: Bostjan wasn’t really able to explain WHY it all happened as it happened. But one thing became very clear. He and his team worked very, very hard and for a very long time.

The Stockholm Vocal Jog #1 team

9. The Stockholm Vocal Jog was a triple success. Despite the completely unrealistic starting time of 7:30am, both the Friday and Saturday Vocal Jog was well attended – six heroes on Friday, five Vocal Joggers on Saturday. The real surprise was a single jogger who for years had only laughed at me and told me that “one can only run from something” (or for something…that something being pudding, chocolate etc.), the Swingle Singers “alto, arranger and party planner” Clare @dinkyswingle Wheeler. Wheelie, you made me smile before, but  this time, it’s special. Keep on running, we can’t wait until you join us!

10. The EVA Open Meetings: The European Voices Association (EVA) was founded on the 1st of January 2012. And it was time to get the movers and shakers from all over Europe on board. In two meetings a great number of interested people who represented the whole variety of European vocal music gathered: Singers in vocal groups and choirs, conductors of classical, jazz and pop choirs, representatives of national vocal music institutions and friends from similar organisations like Vocalasia and CASA (Contemporary A Cappella Society, USA). Volunteering needs motivation – here you are. The EVA board went home with lots of new ideas to be thought about and homework to be done. NOTE (1): EVA needs members! You can become one for 60 EUR per year via www.europeanvoices.org – welcome and thanks for your support! NOTE (2): EVA needs volunteers, e.g. benefit scouts, fundraisers, EU funding specialists, PR experts, researchers etc. etc. Apply via info@europeanvoices.org if you want to contribute and share!

11. The Real Group: “Define The Real Group”, I asked the members of the Vocal Blog Facebook group. And nothing happened. It’s hard to put in words what five Swedish singers have achieved for themselves and the vocal music community in more than 25 years. Authenticity. Openness. Curiosity. Approachability. Innovation. Modesty. Genius. Empathy. Charisma. Humanity. Inspiration. Role Models….all of this is true, but it only partly describes the work of art that now inspires a new, self-confident and competent generation singers, conductors, arrangers, composers and producers. Maybe we just shouldn’t solve this mystery and simply enjoy the beauty and the kindness we see and hear. And stay curious. Forever curious.

A big thank you to TRGF team, who made this event possible. And for all the beautiful moments that linger on and made our love of singing in groups even stronger. See you at the London A Cappella Festival in January 2013.

Florian Städtler is an agent, blogger and vocal music lover from Freiburg Germany. He is founder of Vocal Blog, Acappellazone and Chairman of the Board and co-founder of the European Voices Association.

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.