MASS MoCA 2014


August 18th marks the start of our 2014 residency at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art! We'll be studying Hindustani music with teacher, singer and composer Warren Senders and Persian classical singing with Iranian performer and scholar Sepideh Raissadat. Michael Harrison (called "an American maverick" by Philip Glass) will write music informed by his three decades of study and practice of Indian music. Julia Wolfe, Bang on a Can co-director, will bring her bracing, fresh compositional voice to the ensemble. And singer/songwriter Sam Amidon, thanks to a commission by Lincoln Center White Lights Festival, will create new music to be premiered at MASS MoCA (and subsequently to be performed in the White Lights Festival in October).

Our concert on August 29th will include the rapturously beautiful Ritornello - music and film by ensemble member (and Pulitzer Prize winner) Caroline Shaw.  

And for the first time, we'll be performing OUTDOORS in Courtyard C (weather permitting! Otherwise, Hunter Center. Plenty of seats this time!)

Reserve tickets in advance here.

Guggenheim Fellowship for composer Elena Ruehr

A belated congratulations to composer Elena Ruehr, who was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to write an opera for Roomful of Teeth. Ruehr is currently composing the opera with librettist Gretchen Henderson, and she, MIT Music and Theater Arts, and the Center for Art, Science and Technology will host Roomful of Teeth as Visiting Artists in residence at MIT in November, 2014.

Click here for more info.

New Music USA Project Grant

Roomful of Teeth is very honored and excited to have received a New Music USA Project Grant, to help fund its fifth residency at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in mid-August 2014. There the group will study with masters of Hindustani and Persian singing styles and along the way will sponsor open rehearsals and a Kids' Day when children and adults can try the vocal techniques for themselves. As usual, the residency will end with a concert premiering new works as well as other pieces.

Click here for more info on the New Music USA Project Grant.

GRAMMY Award Press Round-Up

Following Roomful of Teeth's performance at the GRAMMY Pre-Telecast Awards Ceremony, The Rolling Stone declared it "one of the best musical moments" of the evening. RantChic also included the performance in their "20 Best Moments from The GRAMMYs" and the Daily Illini called it "the best performance you probably didn't see."  

[You can view the performance here at the GRAMMY website at 1:09 and the announcement and acceptance at 1:24.]

Roomful of Teeth's win was also mentioned by NPR Music, Classicalite and Vents Magazine.

56th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominations

Roomful of Teeth has been nominated in three categories for the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards! The self-titled debut album has been nominated in the categories of Best Engineer for Classical Album, Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance, and Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Caroline Shaw’s Partita for 8 Voices. Roomful of Teeth will also be performing at the GRAMMY Awards Ceremony.

Click HERE to view a listing of all the GRAMMY nominees.


New York Magazine Feature on Caroline Shaw’s “Partita”




New York Magazine's Justin Davidson recently wrote a feature on Caroline Shaw's Pulitzer Prize-winning composition, Partita, praising the piece for its "luminous, sensual...clarity of sound" and stating that "the Pulitzer's jolt of affirmation passes through her to a whole new-music ecosystem: to the ensembles in which she plays, to the composer-run label New Amsterdam Records, and to her mostly Brooklynite cohort." To read the full article, click HERE.

West Coast Tour

Roomful of Teeth recently completed a West Coast debut tour, performing in Seattle, Portland, and at the Carlsbad Music Festival in California. The Seattle Times called the whole concert an "extraordinary experience" and The San Diego Union-Tribune described the ensemble as "innovative, imaginative, entertaining, surprising and ingratiating." Oregon Arts Watch also praised the ensemble for their "dizzying variety of vocal color."

In addition, Brad Wells and Caroline Shaw visited the Tacoma School for the Arts in Washington; their visit is described HERE.  


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Caroline Shaw wins Pulitzer for Partita

Partita for 8 Voices by Caroline Shaw has been awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music! The 26-minute four-movement work composed between 2009-2012 was recorded by the vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth for New Amsterdam (released on October 30, 2012). The prize is for a “distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States” during the previous calendar year and comes with a cash award of ten thousand dollars. The jury described Shaw’s composition as “a highly polished and inventive a cappella work uniquely embracing speech, whispers, sighs, murmurs, wordless melodies and novel vocal effects.’

The New School Chorus Kick-off Event

We’re excited to be a part of a cool new project with the New School — an open, and open-minded, community of people who love singing or want to start! Roomful of Teeth will be leading a session (workshop and performance, with lots of group singing and participation) on March 13. Come by and make some sounds with us!

The Mannes Extension Division invites you to join us for an event to celebrate and engage in communal singing, New School style. Roomful of Teeth, a vocal octet dedicated to re-imagining singing in the 21st century, will perform, speak, and teach the audience vocal music that will span styles ranging from brand-new classical compositions, yodeling, throat singing, and beyond, including music by Caroline Shaw, Judd Greenstein, Merrill Garbus (tUnEyArDs) and more. Part concert, part discussion, part chorus rehearsal, this event will leave you wanting to sing more in our community, and ready to explore music from around the globe. This event is open to all New School students, faculty and staff. No formal singing experience is necessary to participate.