Red Room’s sixth exclusive event, where these artists share their most imaginative, courageous and inspiring performances.
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Mark van Tongeren is a sound explorer, experimental vocalist and cultural musicologist, well-known for his work on Tuvan throat singing and other kinds of overtone singing around the world. He wrote a textbook Overtone Singing (2004) and presented his work internationally from the USA and New Zealand to Taiwan. In 2013 he received his PhD from Leiden University with his thesis ‘Thresholds of the Audible. About the Polyphony of the Body’. Mark is a member of the arts/sound-collective Oorbeek and founded Parafonia and Superstringtrio. He lives in Taiwan with his Taiwanese wife Wen Yo-June and their two children.
Performance statement: For this Red Room I have prepared a sound massage, to clean the audience’ ears, brains and cells. Simple, flowing vocal sounds (though with a twist …. ) that can swallow up all the confused energy in your body-mind. Close your eyes, open your ears, and experience soundspace the way you have never experienced it before. Forget what you were doing, what troubled you, forget even who you are and where you are. Enjoy some moments of pure silence, of simple being afterwards. And come out refreshed.
Coming from Indianapolis, U.SA.
Apelles Johnson is a poet of simplicity. His poems vary in subject matter and mood, but he tries to maintain a style of speaking clearly and giving a message easily understood.
He is proud to have performed in Taipei as it shows an appreciation for his style of universal poetry. He has also hosted a poetry workshop here through the organization ‘Becoming’ as well as written and performed short plays with the Taipei Players. He loves listening to live music and works as an English teacher at Tamkang High School.
David Gentile came to Taiwan years ago to study Chinese and Kung Fu, then ended up graduating from the Chinese Dept. at NTNU this past Summer. He traveled throughout the US before coming to Taiwan, and has always enjoyed coming up with little one-two line rhymes about the strange, beautiful, or troubling people, places, and things he encountered along the way.
“The poems started to become a way for me to impermanently document my experiences and even influenced the way I saw the world. Places became references to epic lines with names like “The Dog-Rocket House” or “The Dust Palace” that echoed the feeling of the abandoned hotel in the Lost Boys. People around me started to have nicknames so colorful and fitting that they sounded like the cast of Dick Tracy villains, and even the simplest of tasks were a mix between everyone’s own unique dog commands and rhyming slang. Basically, we got in there like swimwear, and now I have a whole new time zone…”
Like most artists, in younger days Tina was a Taiwanese hippy, rebelling against anything that interfered with her free will. She loved playing the guitar and learned American music while participating in all the social movements when Taiwan was seeking its identity in the early 80s.
After 30 years, she knows that the voice and sound must come from her own ground and soil now.
Having explored different art forms, she has finally chosen telling Taiwanese stories through songs from the ancient Chinese to current days, and to follow her bliss…
She likes to see herself as someone who uses this ancient musical instrument – moon guitar, to share shamanic spirits from nature and folklore of the mother earth. The instrument is two stringed, but says a lot in a simple ways, as most of life’s wisdom does.
I’ve been involved in the performing arts in a wide variety of ways since early childhood. Since coming to Taipei five years ago, I find myself in an entirely new-to-me sub-genre: Radio Drama and it might never have occurred to me if not for my involvement with the Red Room Community. The experience has been transformative. I’m Director/Producer of a fledgling company: Red Room Radio Redux (R4). Our mission is to share great classic Western literature with a wide audience using simple techniques of readers’ theater and radio drama. In our productions, we seek to re-kindle an appreciation for Western literary tradition and to find common purpose through a shared, re-imagined experience of these great works.
A not-for-profit organization, R4 is always grateful for support in any form: technical assistance online and onstage, opportunities to perform, gifts in kind and, of course, sponsorship. We seek to connect with educational institutions in Taipei; we want to share our passion for the spoken word and do our part for education. If you can help in any way, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas Bellmore has been a valuable player with R4 starting with his portrayal of Jonathan Harker in Dracula LIVE! Halloween 2013. He recorded the same role for broadcast on ICRT-FM100 this year (10/30 at a time TBA)
Last December, he played Marley’s Ghost for our annual presentations of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and, in a special command performance, took the challenge to portray 8 different characters before a live audience.
We are grateful to him for his time and talent.