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September 13, 2019 | Theatre,

Roomful of Teeth’s Choral Revolution

Triptych (Eyes Of One On Another) (OCT 30-NOV 3) is a musical exploration of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photography, bringing together artists from a variety of genres together to perform in this unique music experience. Among those collaborators is Roomful of Teeth.

A Grammy Award winning vocal ensemble, Roomful of Teeth combine a variety of musical genres to create a completely unique experience. From throat singing and yodeling to Broadway belting and Gregorian chant, their continuous exploration of what the human voice is capable of is a masterful work in musicology and the expanding the perceptions of what a chorus of voices can create. Since their founding in 2009, Roomful of Teeth gathers at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) every year to study with professionals in each vocal genre, constantly adding to their repertoire of vocal ability.

The ensemble released their first album in 2012 Roomful of Teeth, and nominated for three Grammy Awards: Best Engineer for Classical Album, Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance, and Best Contemporary Classical Composition. The album subsequently received the Grammy for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. That same year, one of the group’s mezzo-sopranos won the Pulitzer Prize for music for her piece “Partita for 8 Voices,” and is the youngest person to win the award.

The New Yorker called them “a kind of lab experiment for the human voice. Its eight singers cover a five-octave range, from grunting lows to dog-whistle highs. Three have perfect pitch, all have classical training…” While choir music is traditionally rooted in the church, Roomful of Teeth produces music that worships exploration and the worldwide combination of genres, revolutionizing the meaning of choral music. Because Roomful of Teeth writes or commissions all of their pieces, they are able to dive into a vocal diversity that most choral groups shy away from, leaning into the absurd and the discovery of what an eight person ensemble can sound like.

With music composed by Bryce Dessner and words from Patti Smith and Essex Hemphill, the voices of Roomful of Teeth lift up the narrative in Triptych (Eyes Of One On Another), adding an essential ambiance to the performance. Through their voices, we experience Mapplethorpe in a whole new medium: sound.

Triptych (Eyes Of One On Another) opens at the Emerson Cutler Majestic on October 30, 2019 and runs through November 3, 2019. Tickets are available here.

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