Polyphonic Song: Voice and Theatre Practice

Polyphonic song is a tradition of singing together in different voices, which combine to make the whole sound. This workshop involves learning by ear and using songs in theatre.

Polyphonic song is a tradition of singing together in different voices, which combine to make the whole sound. The origins vocal polyphony can be traced far back in the cultures of Greece, Albania, Serbia, and Georgia. Georgian polyphonic song is described by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (as is Chinese tea!). Songs are taught through listening rather than by following scores, and are usually sung a cappella.

Course Content

The workshop will be carried out in two phases. The first phase of the workshops will focus on freeing the voice, practice and techniques of singing together and the importance of listening. We will learn songs mainly from the Georgian tradition, but will also go through several from traditional cultures. Towards the middle of the course, we will develop more complex rhythmic structures, including learning of polyrhythmic techniques (in which two different rhythms are simultaneous). The second phase will be held in June 2015. It will involve further refinement of techniques learnt, and build towards a final presentation at the end of the workshops. This will be a song theatre performance, which will incorporate some theatrical techniques into the performance of choral song.

Course Details for First Phase

Dates: 22/1, 29/1, 5/2, 12/2, 26/2, 5/3, 12/3, 19/3, 26/3, 2/4 (Thursdays, total 10 sessions.)

Time: 8:00-10:00pm

Fee: $2,000

Quota: 20 participants

Target: This course is suitable for people who are able to sing a tune, and are looking to develop new skills.

Tutors: Ivor Houlker and Michelle Li

Discount: Former students will get a10% discount*

Full-time students will get a $500 discount (Fee: $1,500)*

*These discounts cannot be used together.

This programme is conducted in English and Cantonese.

Tutor Biographies

Ivor Houlker

Ivor Houlker is a multidisciplinary performer and theatre artist, who works internationally as an actor, musician and director. He specialises in physical theatre and site-specific performances, involving live music, choral movement, multimedia projection, sound installation, and audience interaction. Ivor also writes computer programmes/apps to make new types of interaction possible.

Michelle Li

Michelle Li Yuen Jing holds an MA in Performance Making from Goldsmiths, University of London, and BA in English Studies from the University of Hong Kong. She has returned to Hong Kong to develop her work as a multidisciplinary theatre artist. Michelle is also an experienced theatre educator, writing and facilitating different theatre arts course for schools in Hong Kong.

Course Details

    We Draman Rehearsal Rooms

    3/F, Cheong Tai Industrial Building, 16 Tai Yau Street, San Po Kong

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