Roomful of TeethVocal Ensemble

Roomful of Teeth

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PIVOT: New Adventures in the Performing Arts

Sunday, April 23, 2017 | 5pm

Taube Atrium Theater

$25 General Admission


Shaw & Shakespeare

CAROLINE SHAW: Partita for 8 Voices [Bay Area Premiere]; New work set to text from The Tempest [West Coast Premiere]
ANNA CLYNE: Pocket Book VIII (setting of Shakespeare Sonnet 8); Pocket Book LXV (setting of Shakespeare Sonnet 65)
ERIC DUDLEY: QuietUs (setting of Shakespeare Sonnet 60 and text from Hamlet) [West Coast Premiere]

The program will be 75 minutes long, with one brief intermission.

About This Performance

The Grammy-award winning vocal project Roomful of Teeth, is dedicated to mining the expressive potential of the human voice. The eight-voice a cappella octet’s imaginative vocalizing is certainly cool, attracting standing-room-only crowds to recent East Coast appearances.

Their San Francisco debut will include composer/ensemble member Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Partita for 8 Voices, a four-movement highly polished and inventive a cappella work embracing speech, whispers, sighs, murmurs, wordless melodies and novel vocal effects. The piece was created expressly for Roomful of Teeth and is inspired by Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing 305. Other pieces on the Shaw & Shakespeare program will include Anna Clyne’s Pocket Book VIII set to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 8 and Pocket Book LXV set to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 65, along with composer/ensemble member Eric Dudley’s QuietUs, set to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 60 and text from Hamlet.

“On the L Train from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, after an impressive concert by the vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth on Saturday evening, I overheard a young woman enthusiastically describe the group as ‘like a glee club, but cool in a really nerdy way.’”

—The New York Times

Performer Biographies

Founded in 2009 by Brad Wells, the group gathers annually at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams, Massachusetts, where they’ve studied Tuvan throat singing, yodeling, belting, Inuit throat singing, Korean P’ansori, Georgian singing, Sardinian cantu a tenore, Hindustani music and Persian classical singing with some of the world’s top performers and teachers. Commissioned composers include Rinde Eckert, Judd Greenstein, Caleb Burhans, Merrill Garbus (of tUnE-yArDs), William Brittelle, Anna Clyne, Fred Hersch, Wally Gunn, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Missy Mazzoli, Michael Harrison, Sam Amidon, and Ted Hearne.

Projects in 2015–2016 include The Colorado, a music-driven documentary film that explores water, land and survival in the Colorado River Basin (featuring former Kronos Quartet cellist Jeffrey Zeigler and Wilco’s Glenn Kotche); collaborations with NOW Ensemble, Kanye West and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME); performances with the Seattle Symphony featuring Luciano Berio's Sinfonia, appearances at new music festivals in the US, Mexico and Canada; and partnerships with over a dozen higher education institutions across the country.

Lead sponsorship for Roomful of Teeth’s 2015–2016 season is generously provided by Sharon Banker, the Lenore S. & Bernard A. Greenberg Fund, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and New Music USA. Additional support provided by Herb Allen, Katie Schmidt, Virginia Philhower, Pacific Harmony Foundation, the Amphion Foundation and the Cheswatyr Foundation.

Caroline Shaw is a New York-based musician. She is a Grammy-winning singer in Roomful of Teeth and a violinist in ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble), and in 2013 Caroline became the youngest ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, for her enigmatic composition Partita for 8 Voices. She was the inaugural musician in residence at Dumbarton Oaks (2014–15) and continues her residency with Vancouver’s Music on Main through 2016. Recent and current projects include commissions for the Cincinnati Symphony, the Guggenheim Museum Works & Process Series, and the Folger Library, as well as collaborations with Kanye West.

Roomful of Teeth sings Ted Hearne—Letter to my Father