Pholyphonic Singing Workshops in Hong Kong

Polyphonic Song: Voice and Theatre Practice

22/1/2015 — 2/4/2015

Directors Ivor and Michelle co-taught a course on polyphonic song in Hong Kong. This workshop is the first of its kind to introduce traditional polyphonic singing to Hong Kong.

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
Venue: We Draman Studio (3/F, Cheong Tai Industrial Building, 16 Tai Yau Street, San Po Kong)
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.