Founded in 2009 by Brad Wells, cutting-edge vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth‘s stated mission is to “mine the expressive potential of the human voice,” and that they do. They’re extremely versatile, excelling in styles ranging from renaissance polyphony to vocal techniques from around the world, such as yodels, grunts, audible exhalations, and drones, all heard on their self-titled debut album (which, by the way, won the 2014 Grammy for “Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance”).
Roomful of Teeth is dedicated to new music and composers of today, they’ve commissioned works by Rinde Eckert, Judd Greenstein, Caleb Burhans, Merrill Garbus (of tUnE-yArDs), Sarah Kirkland Snider and Missy Mazzoli, and William Brittelle, who says his melodic sensibility tends more toward the pop side than classical or experimental side, resulting in some very fun music.
Roomful of Teeth was the first all vocal program presented by TownMusic in September 2013. We have some selections from this concert for your listening pleasure, including a couple of movements from Caroline Shaw’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning piece, Partita for 8 voices!
There’s one more concert on the 2013-14 TownMusic Series on June 24, featuring four world premieres and soprano Mary Mackenzie to sing Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire.