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Roomful of Teeth: New Music for Voices

September 20, 2013 at 7:30 pm

$11 – $35


The vocal octet Roomful of Teeth will make its Portland debut on Friday, September 20, at 7:30 p.m. at Agnes Flanagan Chapel on the campus of Lewis & Clark College. The concert will include excerpts from the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning composition, Partita for Eight Voices, composed by group member Caroline Shaw. At 30, Shaw is the youngest ever recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Roomful of Teeth is a vocal octet dedicated to re-imagining singing in the 21st century. Through study with vocal masters from non-classical traditions the world over, Roomful of Teeth continually expands their vocabulary of singing techniques and, through an on-going commissioning project, invites today’s brightest composers to create a repertoire without borders. Winners of the 2010 American Prize, two-time TimeOut New York Critic’s Picks, and featured ensemble in the 2011 Merkin Hall Ecstatic Music Festival, the group brings audiences to their feet with vibrant performances of all-new music.

The ensemble gathers annually at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA), where they’ve studied Tuvan throat singing, yodeling, belting, Inuit throat singing, Korean P’ansori, Georgian singing and Sardinian cantu a tenore styles with some of the world’s top performers and teachers of the styles. Commissioned composers include Rinde Eckert, Judd Greenstein, Caleb Burhans, Merrill Garbus (of tUnE-yArDs), William Brittelle, Sarah Kirkland Snider and Missy Mazzoli. Upcoming collaborators include Holly Herndon and Sam Amidon.

The project’s debut album, Roomful of Teeth, was released in 2012. The New York Times called it “sensually stunning.” Included on many Best of 2012 lists, topping the classical charts on iTunes and Amazon, even breaking into the top 10 on the Billboard charts, the album was deemed “fiercely beautiful and bravely, utterly exposed” (NPR); Pitchfork predicted “it will send an unnameable thrill down your spine”; and Textura declared, “The group re-writes the vocal rulebook.”

Repertoire for the concert will include:

The Guest (from Unremembered, 2011) Sarah Kirkland Snider (b. 1973)

Montmartre (2009) Judd Greenstein (b. 1979)

Courante (from Partita, 2010) Caroline Shaw

High Done No Why To (2010) William Brittelle (b. 1976)

Cesca’s View (2009)  Rinde Eckert (b. 1951)
Estelí Gomez, soprano

Otherwise  (2012) Brad Wells (b. 1961)

No  Caleb Burhans (b. 1980)
Virginia Warnken, alto

Vesper Sparrow (2012)  Missy Mazzoli (b. 1980)

Passacaglia (from Partita, 2012) Caroline Shaw

Quizassa  (2011) Merrill Garbus (b. 1979)

This performance is presented in partnership between Resonance Ensemble and FearNoMusic, with the sponsorship of Lewis & Clark College.

For more information about the concert, please contact 503-427-8701. For more information about Roomful of Teeth, please visit http://roomfulofteeth.org.


September 20, 2013
7:30 pm
$11 – $35
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