Topaz trajectory

14. June 2018

after session with M


J: What is this that we are doing here?

What is the place of Oracle in this context?

How can we build / form an encounter through the practice? Meaning how can an encounter happen? I’m searching for the first step. maybe listening is enough for the moment. Listening in a fixed body position to someone else, to the nature, to each other.

I also wonder how the lightness and the fun of Oracle could manifest itself here? I could imagine us just sitting still in the living area and reacting to the sounds of the guests. Maybe Oracle needs to be taken apart. I don’t know. M. Did we exhaust him? Why did the room feel so claustrophobic. Maybe an open space. Maybe. I wanted to go and couldn’t. Is it the room or me?


M: It’s funny, the work to let go of control, to not judge or comment.  I’m speaking not of the practice but of Justine.  I get filled with thoughts of how “I” would do this. How to better listen to M, how to better introduce Oracle. Always a judgement.  Remember, Michel, you are also not an expert here.  Any judgements you have on the other is a judgement on yourself.

Key in this work more than ever is listening, literally listening and allowing the voice to dialogue with my voice.  To allow my voice to be influenced by the other.  As like in Jean-Rene’s work, listening is not about sound.  It’s not about the ears.

Also – how to give space.  Perhaps, for myself, this is to not enter virtuosity.  But also not to hold back.


19. June 2018

after session with R-M

J: Holding hands. All linked in between. “I wanted to laugh”. Holding back the laughter as if laughter is a sign of no-respect. Such a lovely encounter. I understand the feeling of not knowing what that is what we are doing. the feeling of wanting to laugh, and also the feeling of holding it back. Humble. There is something humble here. We Humble yourself to the …. of the…. you’ve got to lay down low and humble. Meeting at the same eye-level. How do you say it. 

From eye to eye.

Today we managed better. Still a lot to learn, but it feels like a beginning. Laugh. Laugh. Laugh. “I can’t close my eyes. Otherwise i get dizzy.”

What How can we approach the next step with R-M. Humble. It’s so much less about us. There’s a beauty here. We are in service. It’s not about Oracle, but about a possible encounter.


M: R-M – “I wanted to laugh.”  “I had no idea there could be those sounds/voices.”  I am touched how accepting people can be with a soft strangeness.  Strangeness or the unknown that infiltrates softly into our skin, ears, minds, bodies.  Sounds & vibrations that are healing.  I am full of wonder what this work touches in people.  Even if it would be “negative”  I put that in quotes because negative is not a judgement to say good or bad.  I wish to include negative.  I imagine this work will discover itself as we go.  It will make me discover me.

The ground.  Keep the ground contact with the ground.  Contact with her.  As Jean-Rene says, “dare to take.”  I could next time, take support on the person.  Don’t forget to take support on Justine, on her voice.


after session with I

J: I wonder what we are channeling here. The whole time i had the feeling that his hands were still on us, but in fact it was only Michel and me touching, being in physical contact.

Where are the sounds coming from?I felt some vulnerability, a lot of guttural sounds, no air to breath. suffocating.

What does it tell us, if someone says afterwards that he is a hard person, not sensitive, so he is not bothered at all. But where does the need to tell this come from? What does it say about feelings? I’m not a psycho-therapist, that’s not my metier, but still i wonder. I wonder. I wonder. I wonder a lot. know little. Especially in this context. Somehow i feel more free to be weird or whatever here, as somehow there seems to be less expectations / rules     word is missing here. There’s only time and one attribute bounding us all together here. Terminality.


M: I — It’s a trigger.  A rush of thoughts, motoring thru so much to sort, so much to say, and by saying many things, it is the things not said that tells us more.  He can handle it.  It’s strange but I can handle it.  I won’t stop it.  It’s ok.  I can handle it.  I’ve been thru lots, so this is strange, I can handle it.  Something has been touched?  Maybe?  Or is he always like this?  What will happen next time?  With this go too far?  What did he read about himself?  He is a tough person.  He is tough.  He has walls.  He will be (hopefully) clear with us if it goes too far.  Or maybe not.  I sought.  


28. June 2018

C: A wasteland of banality that I combat to find my worth within. Ow am  worthy to be here? Am I doing my ‘job’? What is my ‘job’? How do I define myself in this context? At first I try to make a contact, this is difficult. There is such a range of people, ages, abilities, illness, languages and sociability. It will be good to have some consistency, to come regularly. I feel that we – Oracle, fall into a different category to the former Kaaitheater artists but not in a very different way. .. I suppose it is to do with the ‘care’ element… where art finishes and therapy begins… or vice versa. Oracle walks along this line.

I like the challenge of not offering a workshop but rather existing and sharing the practice with the guests at TOPAZ. I would like to know what I would be like if  was a guest here. As a guest would I hang back and not want contact? Would I be skeptical? Would I be really judgmental? Was it ‘cheating’ when I vocalized in regard to our guests? I knew M would enjoy or respond to a certain way of singing so I improvised around that vocal quality. It was quite liberating to do so. It feels like a songwriting workshop for me, in a certain quality/genre of song.


M: Still lost & wandering.  Amazing how I begin to feel the “work” format tick in, nudge me, judge me, observe my actions.   Is this “work”?  Am I working?  Being available to others, listening, bringing coffee.  Are they waiting for something?  What are we waiting for?  Waht is the entry point?  Am I hear to draw songs out of them?  Shall we not try to get the Oracle introduced?  They know nothing about what we want to bring.  Bring it to them.  Why talk about ti?  Things felt clumsy today.  Offer a blessing.  C is a social person.  Observe her.  Learn from her.  Surrender into the moment.  But what are we doing?  I want to care.  I want Oracle to care for others.


5. July 2018

M: I am warmed up.  Warmed up in spirit, warmed up to listen, warmed up to be social.  After doing a dedication with J, I feel available to listen.  There is sense & logic to how he relates to us, to the practice, to the solos, to the location.  I have underestimated this person as merely a ranter.  When you can listen, really connect & listen to the way of being for the person, everything makes sense.  The corn, the nature, channeling.  I have a desire to touch the elderly sitting at the table, not just the social ones.  I believe the depth that the voice can touch deep within a person.  I started the day feeling distant.  I couldn’t

Impressive how some people just join unashamedly.  On the one hand, it makes me feel good.  And there’s the other half of me that desires even more to touch the ones who are further away from this.  Is it that I seek a challenge?  Do I always have to make things difficult?  Admittedly it was incredibly unexpected that B would join. All the macho exterior that some men can show, can be dropped in an instant.  Then there’s someone like R, or who represents the “old white folks”, the conservative ones.  I want them to surprise me too!  I suppose B and J, from their culture & background & culturally diverse encounters have prepared them for unexpected and risking & unknown.  Where as the conservative whites – having only encountered one culture, one taste, do not wish to sirk losing their composure & dignity?  Oh my, how I can sometimes project.

What are the limits?  Could I just take R’s hands, place them on me and begin to vocalize?  She’s sitting there in her world.  Would I be crossing limits?

C: The second session: It is about talking. It’s all about the first contact, the first response. So I come back to where I began. So already I feel that I have the same response after the first time. Next time someone different. So again what is this practice here. It only works with the courage of Michel, she begins it all. J said that it was about emptying the mind/spirit “l’esprit” so it can fill with something else. S that was fulfilling my aims and objective but now I can refine them more. Which language? How does Justine write it all in English? The story of my life. Drugs, prison. “compte sur toi”…. It is like being in my small town in Australia.

Second Practice: (B)

So again a surprise. I think we can ask a lot of people. I think next time will be difficult as we will have high expectations of the practice. Can we do it with the other guests? This will be a thing. So far it has been an installation last week and 2 practices today. This was enjoyable. It was fun and I did record all of the practices and the talks afterwards. I could make a copy for Jamal of his dedication and a copy of send to B his piece. It was  lively and we can adapt but still keep within the protocol of the practice. I wonder about the future. Where will it go now? This I wonder about and it is a good place to be in. I think I learn a lot. But I also feel like when I worked in the nightclub. These kinds of interactions. Next to move to another deeper sphere. An activity together. Great to see how C works. He has an activity to do with some one ad he says its great to come everyday of the week to see how the days and the people go. J looked tired when we arrived …  I imagine he will be tired this afternoon… he did a lot today. 


J: 1st practice (J): There’s a difference in being the 2 or the 3 of us. I’m wondering about, if we need to make decisions about how to o the dedications for people. With three it’s different. I feel a slight glimpse of miscommunication. We are so polite. Is it distance between us that i sense or is it just a common sense of not-knowing. I don’t mind the unknown, but how to approach the unknown together? How to face it together? And still stay also in connection with the person we are working with. 

It’s not easy and i am tired and tired, no very active, contact con’t come natural. So i lean back and let the others do. The differences between us are so apparent in this place here. Our individualities come out more in even unexpected ways.

2nd practice (B)

What a nice practice. An unexpected encounter, another voice joining our collective vocal assemblage. Someone joining in spontaneously creating another field of resonance.

I felt his body was relaxed, he seemed to be at ease. After he said he was moved by the vibrations our voices created and that he could feel in his body through our hands.

I’m curious where we could go with him. There is a general interest coming from his side, but it seems that something needs to be passed. There is potential for another encounter with him. I’m curious. 

It makes me feel like encountering more people. HOPE seems to be in the air. The dissonance from before is gone. A feeling of peace and harmony is spreading inside of me. And it all can change very abruptly again. We don’t know, but we keep on walking.


11. September 2018

M: Why are you going to Topaz today?

5 min. before Topaz


I keep thinking about R-M and R.  A start of a connection.  How to connect with people?  Without getting disconnected with myself.  Yesterday’s therapy session was remarkable.  I connected with loneliness and the ugly feeling of self-pity.  Even ugly feelings deserve a space I realized.  Why do these people come to Topaz?  What does Topaz give them?  Good good, company, a non-medical sphere.  They are not object bodies as one may feel in a hospital.  They are not alone.  I’ve been searching many things to not be alone and yet still feeling lonely.  I wonder if this vocal work can partake in the confrontation of self and feeling.


After Topaz

They know each other.  Everyone says hi to each other.  It’s a community, a family.  One has to find their place here and to take one’s space if one needs it.  Little by little the puzzle will fit in with each other.  In your family, you don’t choose your siblings & parents (or maybe well according to some indigenous cultures).  Kwetsbareheid.  Vulnerability. To enter this context without a purpose, one feels lost perhaps, but in that lostness a space is created.  A suspended space where one’s self slowly spreads itself.  Slowly spilling out tf the neatly formed box that society has put us into.  I realized this is not so far from the ways of working as an artist.  Not so far from art making, the artistic process.  Without an aim, purpose, goal, we float suspended or ewe wander through clouds.  Either we wander searching, grasping, or we float & suspend allowing things to pass thru us.  Liever de later.  Floating & suspended we become aware of the wind & moisture on the skin, the taste transforming in the mouth, the shape of our body oozing out of society’s box metamorphosizing into I-don’t-know-what.

One spreads its body, its form metamorphing. The mind spreads, its boundaries taking irregular ameobae-morphic forms.  The mind begins to enter other strange spaces.  Spaces not always vibrant, energetic, living, but also thick like sludge, stuffy yet comforting like a thick cotton-ball, airy & aimless like flipping through promo pamphlets, pickets of concentration like crossing the mind of Jo in his kinosphere with his computer and the virtual space he creates with his database of music.  Or crossing the concentrated bubble of 3-4 people concentrated on a gin-tile game (T, R, R-M, O).


I sat with R, Just being.  Being with her, trying not to grasp, fill the space, or fill the silence, to be available, or to just be.  62 years she was with her man. Her man passed away 2 years ago.  A whole story comes out of this.  Yet, this is not what I’m here for.  The story and the pursuit of it is merely a distraction for me.  Not to say it’s not valuable.  A way to avoid myself rather.  Just be.  I was direct with R-M.  “Dare to take” I told myself.  I asked her if she’d like to do some voice with me.  Immediate without hesitation she said yes.  It was almost as if she had been waiting to be asked.

I met someone new today.  H.  He looked quite sick, no energy, low eyes, little motivation to do more than necessary. I would like to meet him again.  To find a way to enter his world, non-invasively.

J tagged on to my session with R-M.  So as a result I ended up doing the practice with him too.  He seems eager to participate.  He likes to be a part of something different.  He doesn’t vocalize but nevertheless enjoys being a part & experiencing & being transported.  Like Rosalie, I spent the time here not being alone.  Simply that.


5 min.

R-M.  I recalled what W told about R-M.  About how her own body emits strange noises because of her esophogus condition – a side effect of her illness/meds (whatever that may be).  I wanted to welcome those sounds.  So I started with growls, gutteral, squeeks… those sounds often considered odd or ugly.  I varied in volume often embracing the soft and quiet so as not to overwhelm her.  She wishes to try vocalizing today.  So try not to set any sort of clear example that she might feel obliged to follow.  Then I recalled, this work is about connecting to my own interiority too. Don’t forget yourself.

5 min.

R-M hummed.  I placed her hand on my cheek.  I felt some resistance, her hand slightly pulling away from this intimacy.  She hums.  A soft continuous hum.  I could be her baby but she is ever so slightly pulling her hand away from my cheek.  Afterwards, she shares that she felt it down in her belly, she places her hands over her intestines.  J is with us.  He can’t help himself from his chatter.  I would have enjoyed trying to do it again or go further with R-Ma, but she goes away.  I wonder if she was escaping J’s chatter.


18th september 2018

J: How calm it is today. How fluent the encounters happen and develop or dissolve. Flowing into meetings and flowing out of them again. And then the sounds take over. The moment the vocal channels open up, a new space is created. A new space for encounters, a new space for listening, a new space for communication.

A young boy is directly receptive to the vocals, responds and invents a vocal game on his own.

Being here, without tension, observing, meeting, talking, being open. I’m opening up, i’m opening up for change.



Godlieve Godlieve

Sometimes a person appears and the heart opens.


The boy that can’t stop making sounds.


The sonic space at Topaz

It feels it’s opening

C: So complex this activity is and the voice is complex. So simple but but has so many functions. The child, J, joining and what do we do with screaming in public space? It is indeed good to sit and arrive and listen.  And I need to arrange my recording better. I do need wind Jammer s for my binaural microphones and my zoom. But I think I will give people the microphones/zoom to record if they want to, well, who? Maybe me, even to walk through the environment in Topaz and to binaurally record the environment, the planes, the cars, the constant cars. The interior, the exterior. This is a full environment. Are we rude writing here in amongst people? What a woman is Godliever? God’s love. Nice energy and open. I sometimes need to put my heart back in. I need to practice the Dutch language. That’s for sure. I did some sitting in the salon. This was a different energy but not unfamiliar. The child copies the siren. Beautiful, I hear the pigeons.

M: Rustig.  Geen stress.  Geen haast.  Reaching back into a time of present.  Out of producing.  J shared this too.  She’s researching.  She need not be concerned with data.  It will come.  My belly.  The group work touched me in my belly.  I could let my belly out.  It’s the practice that brings me towards C&J.  Th admin & production kills us.  The practice heals & feeds us.  Why can’t we, humans, get our priorities right?  Time and practice to get in touch with the essence of life.  Being here. Collecting stones & sea shells.  Listening to the sea.  At Topaz today I feel I am at the seaside.


25. September 2018

C: What a strange day… very different. How different each day is that we come to Topaz. I saw A’s film today and B is back from Morocco. There is sun, but it is fresh. J and G joined in the practice with us. I met new people, Joseph who has been coming since 2006. The energy is up. So maybe this is what it used to be like? I feel the energy and effect of A’s presence. It is bright, people talk, and those that don’t, are present hanging in the chair or corner, but still taking their place. There is much happening. B wants to come on the boat, his father used to work in the dock near BRYC and he used to take him his lunch. So we were almost straight into the practice inside. I had a long conversation about language.

J: Today G joined us for the group practice. Another voice that contributed to the aural space. I remember that we weren’t sure, if G would ever join us or is just interested in witnessing and sometimes responding. But today she joined; already on the 2nd day. What a surprise. It feels like we have arrived. We can exist among this environment. It feels like we can become part of this environment. There are possibilities. Many different ones. B is just sitting next to me, trying to read what i’m writing. Are we in relation? Are we already in relation with some guests? Yes, we are. A also showed her movie today. Many eyes of people that are not anymore. How can we not enter the space of vulnerability and fragility that Topaz offers? We are amongst it.


Mother and daughter dying together…


2. October 2108

after solo, solo, group, solo solo in living-room inside, G and even Jo joined for a bit


J: Wow. What a pleasure to be here today.  What a pleasure to simply exist here. Exist in this environment. We are embraced and we are embracing. We are starting to communicate in sounds. G is with us now; she even did a solo. Jo joined. I thought it will be hard to engage Jo in our practice. But simply through being here, new ways of meetings surface. Another world is possible. 

The gong for food.

Another world is opening; a world created by the guests and Oracle together. It’s a shared world.


I’m all over the place. Hard to focus. 65.000 Euros. Woohaa. I bring my dispersed being into Topaz today. The whole atmosphere here seems to be very chippy-chatty today as well. So we are fitting perfectly well together today. Or just my projections… Me. We. A never ending dialogue. So happy. There’s so much happiness and lightness here, though enveloped in fragility and vulnerability. So much to learn from each other. We are growing. We are growing through the possibility of being in Topaz. Even Jo joined today. There is a sparkle in the air. How did this sparkle get sparkled? Maybe not that necessary to know, but the relation that is created between Oracle and Topaz brings another “world” into being. I like what we are creating together very much. And it’s so much not about me. : )


M: The heaviness of earlier.  Sleep exhaustion.  Car sickness.  Gone.  Cleared away by a Godelieve vogel.  A call of a bird at the other tree.  The same forest.  Comradery.  Clearing the air.  A call & response.  Spontaneous.  Still coming from deep in the earth of one’s belly.  Unthought.  Spontaneous.  Flipping playing cards. Solitaire but far from solitary.  Threading beads & tubes of straws.  Another reepje of a curtain. All overlapping, happening at the same time.  Scoring at the same time on top of the same paper.  R-M, T, G.  Lovelies.  Lovely birds.


9. October 2018

9th October 2018 Topaz

C: Every day, every session at Topaz is different. I enjoy the inside practising as well as the out doors. I feel the progression of time, of being here regularly. I can see how I could make a sound piece and that it now needs a through-line, a way through, a title, a way to approach people. This will help me to harvest the sessions. Thank you Justine! Your harvesting is amazing. When we finish vocalising I keep hearing the sounds, the sounds of Topaz, the planes the birds, the chairs. Unfortunately all the time I was recording it wasn’t recording! How upsetting. The experience was great, being in it was great. So much happening, but my recording non-existent. I need to make a strategy for recording better. I need a new zoom! The sun is so hot. And the sounds are so great. So many reactions. I hope we can now move into other peoples sounds and reactions. Already an amazing opening. What are we doing here? What is this work? Play? Research?

M: The co-existence of things, of people, of channels of communication.  The incessant buzz of J.  Where am I in this buzz?  Amongst it all?  Places finding a place inside.  Finding internal vx interior.  Being alone and amongst.  Extending myself.  My voice.  Voice as voicing?  Voice as a co-existences.  Not extending.  Not covering.  Not expressing.  Maybe co-existing Maybe being itself.  Itself is nothing?  Itself has an identity? Or not?  Itself has a place amongst this many multiple existences?  Everything, must it end with a question?  Itself is just here.  Itself is it anything or does it feel like nothing.  C with recording and sharing and J with drawing accessing the others through their natural social natures.  Me, am I poking my head out?  Am I daring?  Or am I extending?

J: It’s always surprising what is happening. Nothing is certain. Serendipity, the ability to be surprised by outcomes out of the research frame. Or sthg like that.

I shouldn’t have drawn on the same page as H. I feel sorry for having lost that document by putting my scribblings on top. Learning on the way… There will be more opportunities. I would like to include him in the scoring practice. His concentration on the task is incredible. I’m surprised by it. It fills me. Filling. I’m filled. Filled with serendipitous happenings.

Out of the blue.

Out of the yellow.

Out of the red.

G wanted to be drawn in red. Where is my red crayon. Exactly what she wanted was not available in that moment. But what is red anyways.


October 16 2018

C: What is the strategy of repetition? Today I allowed myself to stay in melodious repetition. Like the baseline of a song. What does this do to the practice? What choices does it create for the others? What type of ecosystem does it create to be in? To vocalise in? I wanted to try words today and then it changed into song. I wanted to know more about the difference when breath becomes words and what happens to meaning when that then becomes sound or song?  The difference between vocal sound and song is interesting. The words becoming more like song. It must first go through sound, elongating in the vowels, repeating the consonants. Imagining breath coming from different inner landscapes. The breath travelling from different parts of my body, my limbs. The length of the breath is different depending upon the visualisation of the trajectory of the breath. Breath that has not yet become sound. Or has it? Breath moving through body does make some sound, Sometimes almost imperceptible, other times raspy. But it is breath over flesh, chords, flesh and ligaments and through a bony skeleton. So breath is never silent. Then the difference of sound quality between breath and voice, words and song? So many little gaps and stops in landscapes of the breath to travel through, over and into. And then when it comes into the atmosphere outside the body it has meaning. It has meaning because it comes from a body.


J: A moment of communality drawn in space and time

M: A continuous through line.  Everything leading from one to the next.  Everything carried along together.  Rivers flowing.  Indigenous call.  Indigenous song.  Indigenous Wemmel.  Indigenous to the Topaz land, the garden, its people.  The cackle of crows, the clank of the kitchen.  The rolling chats of the background.  The silent reading of the Portuguese.  Inside, time flows, fluid, swirling inside me, swirls of song arise effortless. It arises out of the fluids of the inside.  The embryonic fluids of life painted out into colors of sound.  Changed from liquid to gas.  Swirls of sounds called out, drawn out by the land, by the green garden, the grey brick terrace, the plastic lawn chairs with their Monet-motif cushions.  This is the indigenous elements now calling out the liquid sounds from its embryonic fluids inside me into its gaseous, or not even! Its matterless state neither solid, liquid, nor gas.  Rather transfroming into energy.  Colors that swirl in & out of the chorus of shounds – plane, chatter, kitchen, C, and J.

It was one continuous call co-existing in the mountains.  A yodel existing without having to be directed.  A soft existence.  Effortless. Existing as it needs to exist whether called out, drawn out, channeled out.  No matter.

Landscape — Indian lands.


23. October 2018

J: I understand it so well; this feeling of being not there today. Out. Out. Out. Out. Wow, what an idea to write close to the assemblage of guests and staff. So hard to concentrate.

Why did i want to come closer? Get in touch. Not feel seperated. Whatever the reasons were, they pull me out of the focus, the task becomes blurry, Jo music is all over me. So present. Is that how it feels, when Oracle is around, while other people try to focus on something else. An external source of sound. Information Information that you might not want to process in this moment. 

H is having fun with the nurse-stagiars. But with who doesn’t he have fun. A very talented young man, when it comes to social situations.

Je bent een pitie chat

Random writing: A special moment outside. A place not quiet, not silent, but not noisy neither. The nature plays with its possibilities of sound, the airplane “noise” above us and our vocals join this orchestra.

Somehow this moment embrace us well enough, so we could go deep into the practice. Hanging on a branch, my body was reacting to the waves of the wind, the voice stays reactive to it as well. The whole body listens; not just to the sounds, but to all impulses and elements. H couldn’t stand still, while he was doing his practice. Maybe his body reacted as well to the overflow of information.

How an isolated place can still be so full of information. I was so impressed with his voice, his range and possibilities, his dedication to the moment. He dived totally into it. It touched me to watch and listens. At one point he sounded like a cryer, my mind directly went to Michel. I wonder how she is doing. R-M is in a very good mood today, while Re fell down the stairs. So many different emotions, so many different states of being and still everyone is together.

R is in a lot of pain. I chose without knowing it to score her breath. Now i feel like a voyeur to score her., while she is in pain. How did this choice happen? I didn’t know….


C: If I was to describe the air here… the unseen waves, the ultrasonic waves… what would that be? Strident NL to a hard of hearing and hushed tones. Like a high frequency fog in the air and disturbed every now and then. I get distracted. I try to gauge the day when I arrive. What is today? I think the walking in the open air is what happens to me. ABBA. “Take a chance on me”. I can remember the words. Ideas for today. 1 on 1s. Soundbath. Of course a practice. Drawing the breath. There were 5 ideas but now what is it? Then I must be in action…

random writing: C

Beginning slowly going with my energy or lack of it. My experiment of going with my lack of energy. This is a weird feeling. I still functioned but at a lower level a reclusive approach but we still managed to have a great day. So this is good news to me that I can come here and come with what I have. I mean what is the choice? I think if I feel like this then normally I force myself to rise up against it. Maybe it’s the huge piece of meat that my body is dealing with. Big lot of meat last night and today. So much animal. And what is today? I feel empty. I feel settled in. There is crazy energy. Yelling, laughing, a fire drill. And only 10 guests. Almost the same amount of worker to guests. Who else is going to play?

NB: Bring portable vinyl player for Jo.


30. October 2018

Nika joins us to Topaz

J: It was inspiring today to do the practice in “C’s room”, a little performance just for her. The conversation that emerged after was of a different wort with her than usually. Many personal stories were shared, her affinity with religious songs, her daughters stories… I felt inspired by our exchange I wondered, if we could bring her to a church to practice with us there. Somehow if feel like she should take us to a place that matters for her. Also i’ve asked her to bring the partitions and songtexts of the songs she’s singing at church. I’m curious what we can do with it. 

Everytime something else happens here. You have prejudgements to who you feel closer etc. and how this person is etc. Then you do a practice together and the space changes, allowing for different perspectives.

M: We are all groggy sick.  Thankfully there’s a gregarious Nika to pump up the energy (or rather to drain us maybe? 🙂  )  I was noticing how I approach the voice differently than a year or 2 or 3 ago.  I am searching for the deep pit, a deep source in my belly from which the sounds, vibrations and feelings come.  I used to be occupied with exploring my vocal range and physical possibilities.  I used to be occupied with the time development, the vocal trajectory dictated by sound.  Now the trajectory is not vocal.  It’s a shamanic voyage searching for that deep source, that pit of fire that has doust out a long time ago.

C: Why do I have another migraine? This is puzzling. So Topaz today. Not many guests but it seems to be consistent with the last couple of weeks. We spent the morning in ‘C’s Room’. Patricia (her friend) was not there today so I felt ok about asking her if I could do my solo in her room. (who was the guy that sat in? What is his role? He is not a guest but where does he fit in?) It was a real chatty morning. C spoke a lot about her life. She used to sing in a choir in Toulouse. She wants to sing in a choir again but she cant get around very easily. So she doesnt go. A lot about voice and religion. My head hurts but it didn’t hurt during the morning, only now. It is something to do with food. M (?sp) comes from Ethiopia. So the different from each week is great. Different people.


6. November 2018

J: What informations does a voice carry? I wonder, if something in my voice is triggering something in R-M. It’s the 2nd time she reacted on a solo of mine. The 1st time she voiced that my solo made her want to go to the toilet, made her stomach turn. This time she left her place next to me to lie down far away, get away from the situation of my solo. I wonder, if borders were crossed. I know it about myself that i like to figure out where potential borders are and extend them. But if i crossed them in a harsh way, it would make me feel uncomfortable. That’s not my intention. I need to check in with her.

It’s a constant negotiation of space and your own placement in it. Many different energies and needs combined in one space. How to not disturb each other from time to time? But there is ask myself what right do i have to be the disturber.  But why not?

later group-practice outside: M, J, J 

Another voice, an unknown voice. Normally it’s quite easy for me to identify Michel, but at one point i couldn’t tell anymore who was who, though sometimes a distinguishable voice appeared, almost like a cry: Hallo it’s me, i’m still there. Alone as well, still alone amongst the mash of sounds and voices. An airplane passed, just above our heads. I know Johnny and Rose-Marie were still inside. Could our vocals reach them and continue vibrating in their body? I guess our voices anyways still continued in Rose-Maries back. So nice to give her a treatment. She seemed responsive to it. “Shining afterwards”, as Rasa is saying. A dispersed being. Today we are dispersed beings. And even for that there is space here. No need to worry.


M: First into a plant.  Activating the corner of the room.  The quiet dusty sleepy lonely corner.  I seek those out it seems.  The in between, non-existent, identity-less zones.  A stream of I-don’t-know-what’s come out.  No rootedness.   Just a stream of things, n’importe quoi.  But no worries neither.  I’m not bothered, just in a stateless state.  Aimless.  What will come?  Vocalizing in the hall today as a group. H joined in such a unique spontaneous way.  Moving us about, installing and fitting himself in among us.  It seems to give him life.  The voice streams between and within us beneath the colorful streamers.  Streams of worlds and sounds.  Not particularly chosen, but streaming thru a chosen clear physical form.

Maybe it’s the sun, maybe it’s being outdoors, maybe it’s from laying on the grass, maybe it’s the wind, air, birds.  I can’t find them, but I find myself, that low deep rumble that vibrates the leaves & earth settled into the hole in the tree, the one my head was buried in last week.  The rumble vibrates low & deep in my insides at the range of the intestines or is that the gluten?  No, it’s the voice rumbling deep & rumbling deeper into the hole down the tree.  The vibration expands, spreading deep like roots.  Like the rumble of the airplane passing vibrating expansively into the air, the sky & clouds, so does my rumble expand deep into the earth like the worms & bugs giving the ground air & life, a network of living beings.


13. November 2018

M: Rumbles in my chest coming from the ground that magical space under a table.  As a child hiding under the table.  The sun sneaking into that private space that personal space that hiding space.  The space that becomes a treehouse, pirates ship.  I feel the rumbling vibrations there covering from ground to the ceiling created by the underside of the table.  Just living in the space of vibrations, the living presence of the spirits that reside under tables, under beds, dust mice collecting in the most low energy, efficient, low entropy spaces.  Spirits shy, cozy, comfortable in their corners.  Not the dark monsters often imagined living under the beds of our nightmares.  No they are shy homey vibrations living, co-existing with our everyday lives.

J: I feel i’m in my bubble today, our bubble, our Oraclebubble. There is a big need from myself not to invade, but rather be with each other, if someone wants to interact, i’m here, but i’m not forcing myself on top of someone. Strange, it feels like we are not pressing any borders today, it seems like we have been accepted into the group. Became plants of Topaz. It’s fine to be here, we are just there.

Co-existence without invading was our theme today. It seems to be an easy one after having been here for quite a while. 

People are dying. Are they?

What a bizarre place we are at.

What is the next step to take for us. There seems to be room created to allow for another step, though it feels comfortable to be where we are now. Why not rest in comfort for a moment? I’m fine being a plant.

“It’s not supposed to be easy.

You’re not supposed to understand…”

other J: “The voices <Michel & Justine, group session & solo sessions inside> were easy to follow, I could stick with them more easily than with any other sounds in the space, was drawn towards their full quality. When I went to sit elsewhere at the table where they were playing games, “huray, huray” < referring to cheering at table>; in the salon where a volunteer pushed the arm of an intern UP with positive thoughts and DOWN with negative thoughts < a female volunteer explained both female interns how when you think of something negative, it’s easier for somebody else to push down your arm, and harder to do so when you think positive thoughts; she demonstrated it on one of them, that girl reacted: ‘amai, ja, het werkt’>  I could still hear <the voices>, warm and comforting it was comforting to know that I hadn’t lost touch with them. The others < referring to everybody else present in the room: staff, guests, volunteers, actual guest-students> didn’t seem to hear at all what I was hearing I was flabbergasted <extremely surprised> by the liveliness of the life going on around us, around me, made more visible by the practice <by/ through contrast?> but I felt grateful to have found a space HERE for me to breath to live to feel sparkling particles of life flowing through my body, not tired now this is not tiring <referring to how often I feel tired, drained, after spending time at TOPAZ> far beyond all the social actions, transactions of who is trying to impress who <as I wrote this, I overheard some volunteers what sounded to me a bit like bragging>, who is shifting their uncomfortableness onto another, seeing that witnessing that feeling obliged to step in <referring to the visiting students, having observed earlier how uncomfortable they were trying to make contact and me holding back of jumping in, as I would normally do, because I wanted to stay in my role as observer>. The files <the question forms I had prepared> won’t matter nobody noticed <the practice> perhaps I won’t be able to use them but also that is a liberating thought.


20. November 2018

other J: What a beautiful day today! As I’m writing, Jo’s music is still playing –‘what a beautiful life’- but Johny is already gone, to eat, as the bell has already sounded, Today, for the first time, I felt for a moment that we were all <everybody around the table>  connected through sound, all listening, to this interplay of sounds: Jo’s music playing, Justine vocalizing, RM shaking wildly the rummikub  game stones. But there were moments later too, when I looked at Jo’s face, and I saw his eyelids trembling, as when he does when he concentrates on something or when he’s getting stressed, and he seemed so far to reach, and this connection that I think was there, the change I think I detected in the atmosphere, more focused on sounds, was it really there, did it really happen?

 A lot of noise around me now, P talking to M, it is hard to concentrate on this writing practice, again sounds, but creating another landscape, different from when I had asked Jo how he had experienced Justine vocalizing and his music together and he had answered me that she <Justine> had just hummed the music but later with H, clearly, Jo had experienced it differently, there had been more contrast between the vocalizing and the music <to him>. How brilliant of Justine to incorporate H’s words – always the same words the same words the same words- in the three minute practice and by doing so, giving it another quality. 

J: A walk through a forest, soft rattling around, calm and soft interactions between the inhabitants of the space. A festive atmosphere. It feels like family. Small chatters, loving punches, necking each other. But all coming from a place of acceptance. Acceptance of sharing space and time with each other. And where are we?

Where am I?

Hard to tell. A bit lost, making me remain sitting on one spot and allowing for the things to happen. My ass is rooted on the chair. I’m here available.

Who are you all?

I know why you all are here, i get little glimpses of your stories and still everyone remains a mystery. 

A meeting without the over-presence of past. Past is there, but looking from a more distant corner in the room. 

One more day.

Just another day.

M: Closed eyes.  Soundscape scoring.  Bringing me here & present.  Under the table channeling the soundscape of conversations, chatter, tiles, French, Dutch, mumbles and Johnny’s music.  No.  Don’t go away to the halls or toilets.  They may be in between spaces, but the in betweenness that you wish to embrace is in yourself.  It’s here at the clarity of the table.  I am practicing, listening, vocal channeling, using scoring as a supportive tool.  Listen to the sea & sounds & layers.  Being in-between the layers, between the tones, pitches, comments, words, a blur of layers, grasping to nothing.  Not a word, not a voice, not a source.  Like a baby just born, unable to distinguish between sounds borders, simply swimming in the sea of sounds.


27. November 2018

M: It’s a regular thing to be “off” here.  And it feels welcomed.  One can be “off” and it brings something.  We just work.  They just chat.  He’s reading.  J’s behind his computer as usual.  Nostalgie (music symbol) radio.  They are smart-phoning.  There are the knitters.  It’s a weekend afternoon with the family in the suburban home.  Everyone is home and hanging out.  So much is happening and at the same time.  It’s a rich sphere.  With nothing in particular.  NOthing is more important than the other.   Co-existing in sounds.  Co-existing in actions.  Each deal with things as he/she can.  And it’s all welkom.  Only lief zijn, says A.

Lostness.  Concreteness. Making things clear?  Not necessary.  Do we know what we are doing? and why?  I don’t know why we are here, but I do know I do feel right at this very moment a warm feeling inside me at the zone of the chest.  A softening of the muscles.  Perhaps it is from Justine’s vocals & touch.  We had just done an exercise of listening to the inside, allowing voice to travel to places of the body that is touched by the other person.  Somehow I feel I can focus on myself, my feelings & interior while still being aware of what’s around me.  H & B chatting & trying to get our attention.  I can still stay with myself.  I wonder sometimes if I should be doing more here, to propose something more concrete like engaging a person into the practice.  Sometimes I think people are waiting for something to happen, that we propose something to do or make.  And sometimes I think I’m projecting that feeling and in fact no one is waiting for anything in particular to happen.  Just like life & death.  We live, day by day, time passes.  Sometimes we desire to do, make, mark something for leaving traces, or for meaning, for ego, for self.  And sometimes life & living is enough to just be.  Neither being concrete nor doing.  Just being here like at Topaz.  Time will pass and things will happen anyway.  Is this work?  Is this our work? To come and simply do as we need to do.


J: calmness. covered in calmness. Nowhere, but still somewhere. Where is somewhere? The radio plays, Jo is playing the radio, the others are playing with Rummy stones, someone is knitting, we are doing what we usually do. The WALL. THE WALL. There’s a wall. What wall am i talking about. Maybe an invisible wall inside of me. A lack of understanding. There is always a lack of understanding. Who thinks he knows, goes nowhere, but up his own asshole. Deep down into his own shit. Continue. Just keep on walking. Getting lost. But you are already lost.

Can i get loster?

Who of us is the lostest?

We are lost in each other.

Trying to find ourselves in each other. or trying to find each other in ourselves.

M is searching for contact.

Loster seems not a bad place to be.


Swimming in words. Hanging out. Sitting with myself, surrounded by others. Where is the place for going sad.

“Je suis la.”

H directly responds to my concerns. 

Where is my place for allowing all those emotions to rise and gulf out. Wobbling, gurgling emotions. Which better place could i imagine now to be at. Right place to be for now. R-M is puking. Maybe she is getting those emotions out for me. Our own little dialogue that no one is aware of. Not even her. That’s so wrong, Justine. Abuse of other people’s stories, starts here. Her story, not yours. 

Huh, tiredness is taking over. Stuck tears. Stuck. Being stuck with each other. Being stuck in each other. You are stuck in me. We are stuck in Topaz. I enjoy being stuck here. Paper to Paper glue. Glued well. One human glued to another. Human Human glue. A little portion of glue. 

We are searching for the link today. The link slipping away from articulation, the link less definable. A hood instead of glue? Anyways better no tools for linking. No glue, no hooks, no no  no no no no no no o o oo ooooo

A is a link.

Human ‘aned’ to another human.

No hiding place here. I feel like i’m inside out.



These blogs from our Topaz trajectory are continuing, but not archived yet.