The Grammy-winning ensemble Roomful of Teeth brings its vocal adventuring to Kenyon College in a free concert on Thursday, March 27, at 8 p.m., in Rosse Hall.
The octet, founded in 2009, describes itself as “mining the expressive potential of the human voice.”
Roomful of Teeth won a Grammy for best chamber music/small ensemble performance for the album Roomful of Teeth. Nominations included best engineer for classical album and best contemporary classical composition for “Partita for 8 Voices,” written by Caroline Shaw. Shaw, an ensemble member, became, in 2013, the youngest composer to win a Pulitzer Prize in music for the song, which the New York Times called “exhilarating, sensual and playful.”
In concert, the group of “skilled vocalists can sing with rich-toned, full-bodied beauty and power,” the Times said.
An album review posted at Pitchfork.com said the ensemble is “interested in the places where the human voice is stretched to extremes, and they've gone to great lengths to study all the wildest sounds it can make.” Members have studied Tuvan and Inuit throat singing, yodeling, belting, Korean pansori, Georgian polyphonic singing, and Sardinian cantu a tenore styles. They have invited contemporary composers to create a repertoire that embraces non-classical vocal traditions.
"New classical music is well and alive," ensemble director and founder Brad Wells said at the Grammy Awards ceremony this year. The ensemble is in residence at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
The concert is part of the Gund Concert Series. “It’s a steal to be able to hear this performance for free,” Professor of Music Ted Buehrer said. To learn more, call 740-427-5197.