Dispatch: Jaap Blonk

Release Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Dutch avant-garde composer and performance artist Jaap Blonk performs an iteration of a recent piece at home in the Netherlands. His absurd multimedia work YappiScope with live visual accompaniment was originally included in Roulette’s 2020 spring season and has been postponed. Blonk’s latest recordings can be heard here and here.

As a vocalist, the self-taught Dutch composer, performer, and sound poet Jaap Blonk is unique for his powerful stage presence and keen grasp of structure, even in free improvisation. He has performed around the world, on all continents. With the use of live electronics, and sometimes projection of visuals, the scope and range of his concerts has acquired a considerable extension. Blonk has been performing since the early 70s and has worked with The Ex, Mats Gustafsson, Joan La Barbara, Michael Zerang, John Tchicai, Tristan Honsinger and many others. At the start, Blonk’s unfinished studies in mathematics and musicology mainly created a penchant for activities in a Dada vein, as did several unsuccessful jobs in offices and other well-organized systems. In the last decade, his renewed interest in mathematics made him start a research of the possibilities of algorithmic composition for the creation of music, visual animation, and poetry.

As part of our Roulette at Home digital initiative, Dispatches is a set of brief communications or small collections of new work from artists, sent directly to our community—a way to remain connected and engaged in a time marked by distance and isolation caused by COVID-19.