Years ago, singer Ineke Vandoorn and guitarist/composer Marc van Vugt, met Canadian conductor/singer/improvisor Christine Duncan who works with so-called “Soundmakers” in Toronto: People from diverse backgrounds, who enjoy using their voices, but would not necessarily identify themselves as singers. Guided by Christine’s cues they improvise soundscapes, texts, rhythms, emotions and create whole worlds. Sometimes the Soundmakers perform alone, but they also assist in concerts with other artists, such as world-renowned inuit singer Tanya Tagaq.
During one of our Canadian tours, we attended a rehearsal of the Soundmakers in Toronto and were immediately super excited. Not only because Christine Duncan is a phenomenon and we are crazy about the voice anyway, but also because working with Soundmakers allows you to collaborate with a group of people you normally don’t share the stage with. For that reason, we invited Christine Duncan to do a project with us in Jan 2024 for which we combine our music with soundscapes performed by a group of Dutch Soundmakers led by Christine Duncan. This project will be performed with different groups of Soundmakers in Houten, Arnhem and Den Bosch. There will be a final recording in Houten in which all the Soundmakers from Houten, Den Bosch and Arnhem will participate.
A musical chameleon, Christine Duncan uses her voice as an instrument, in a wide range of diverse musical styles She is involved in everything from jazz, R&B, gospel, improvised music, sound poetry, to new music, opera, and musique actuelle. She performs with many musical groups and projects, notably with Hugh Fraser’s VEJI (Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation) since the mid 1990’s, and Barnyard Drama with drummer/electronic artist Jean Martin, since 2002, and is part of the Barnyard Records family, the label run by Martin. She created and directs the Element Choir, an improvising choir in Toronto, active since 2007. Christine and the Element Choir have been performing with inuit throat singer/experimental vocalist Tanya Tagaq since 2014, and she performs with Tagaq on voice and theremin as well. For the last few years, as a community engagement outreach, Christine has been touring, putting together and training volunteer, improvising choirs to perform in concerts, with Tagaq and her band, and with other musical ensembles, both in Canada, and internationally. Duncan and Tagaq have also been performing their piece Qiksaaktuq, (by Martin, Duncan and Tagaq) for the last couple of years, with Symphony Orchestras, in Canada and internationally. An active educator, Duncan has been teaching in the jazz programs at Humber College and the University of Toronto since 2003.
Ineke Vandoorn & Marc van Vugt
With fairy-like sounds, funky arrangements, modern music full of harrowing and twisting harmonies and sadly comforting songs, singer/pianist Ineke Vandoorn and her partner in music composer/guitarist Marc van Vugt explore boundaries in an admirable and fascinating way: between improvisation and composition, in original songs with regular lyrics and in pure improvisations, by giving their characteristic interpretation of standards or by amalgation of different musical expressions.
In the intimacy of a duo, trio or quartet, and with surprising and original crossovers with a chamber choir or a full orchestra, Like the Dutch Metropole Orchestra or the Dutch Chamber choir. Jazz as a conception is reinvented time after time; Fantasy, technical skill and willpower as a guarantee for a primal emotional impact: Music that will reverberate in your head for a long time.
Marc and Ineke released 13 cd’s. Their original approach has taken them to clubs and festivals over the world, including Canada, USA, France, Germany, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Austria, Macedonia and Hungary. They recorded and performed with renown musicians like Kenny Wheeler (UK), Robin Eubanks (USA), Sylvain Beuf (F), Andy Sheppard (UK), Don Thompson (CA), David Linx (F), Norma Winstone (UK), Mario Pavone (USA),Thomas Chapin (USA), Paul van Kemenade (NL).
Invited by the Dutch state they worked and lived for two years in the Vandoesburghuis, Paris. Both Ineke and Marc are experienced teachers. Ineke’s 300-page book ‘Singing from the inside out’ (ArtEZ University Press) was released in 2016 and is being used in schools and universities all over the world.
The CD Crossing Canada got raving reviews in Europe:
.. the level of understanding has reached telepathic heights. Leonid Auskern – Jazzquad – Russia
The eleven original compositions sound like a road trip in itself, reflecting the emptiness and vastness of the Canadian landscape. Zing Magazine – The Netherlands
Crossing Canada opens up as an album with inspired guitar and vocals, harmonious and melodic, and full of surprising stories that you listen to intensely. Bernard Lefèvre – Jazz’halo – Belgium