Performance by Jaap Blonk

The University of Maine’s Intermedia MFA program is pleased to welcome Jaap Blonk as our next artist in residence for the fall. While in residence Blonk will perform on Thursday, December 4th at 7:00 PM in the APPE Space of the IMRC, Stewart Commons.

Jaap Blonk  is a self-taught composer, performer and poet. He went to university for mathematics and musicology but did not finish those studies. In the late 1970s he took up saxophone and started to compose music. A few years later he discovered his potential as a vocal performer, at first reciting poetry and later in improvisations and his own compositions. For almost two decades the voice was his main means for the discovery and development of new sounds. Blonk started working with electronics in the year 2000, at first using samples of his own voice, then extending the field to include pure sound synthesis as well. He took a year off of performing in 2006 when his renewed interest in mathematics initiated research into the possibilities of algorithmic composition for the creation of music, visual animation and poetry. As a vocalist, Blonk has a unique and powerful stage presence, an almost childlike freedom in improvisation and a keen sense of structure. He has performed around the world on all continents.

Besides working as a soloist, he collaborated with many musicians and ensembles in the field of contemporary and improvised music, like Maja Ratkje, Mats Gustafsson, Joan La Barbara, The Ex, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble and the Ebony Band. He premiered several compositions by the German composer Carola Bauckholt, including a piece for voice and orchestra. A solo voice piece was commissioned by the Donaueschinger Musiktage 2002. On several occasions he collaborated with visual computer artist Golan Levin. Blonk’s work for radio and television includes several commissioned radio plays. He also makes and exhibits larger-scale drawings of his scores.

He has his own record label, Kontrans, featuring a total of 21 available releases so far. Other Blonk recordings have appeared on Staalplaat, Basta, VICTO, Ecstatic Peace, My Dance The Skull, Monotype, Plant Migration Records, Elegua Records and Scumbag Relations. His book/CD ‘Traces of Speech’ was published in 2012 by Hybriden-Verlag, Berlin. A comprehensive collection of his sound poetry came out as a book with 2 CDs in August, 2013, entitled “KLINKT”.

On December 4th Jaap Blonk will perform his quadraphonic vocal piece “Polyphtong”:
For more on Jaap Blonk please visit

For questions regarding this event and the fall visiting artists, please send messages to

The Masters of Fine Arts in Intermedia at the University of Maine provides substantial advanced study for individuals interested in interdisciplinary study in the arts. The program emphasizes intensive development of students’ creative and innovative abilities through a diverse engagement with multiple research processes, critical thinking skills and creative production tools and technologies. The visiting artist series supports and reflects the wide variety of disciplines represented by the program including but not limited to: Art, New Media, Theater, Dance, Philosophy, Art History, Engineering, Communications, Media Studies, Music, Psychology, Natural Sciences, and others.

The IMRC Researcher in Residence Program is made possible by support from the Intermedia MFA Program, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Department of New Media, The University of Maine Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series, and the Alston D. and Ada Lee Correll New Media Fund.