Roomful of Teeth
Roomful of Teeth is a GRAMMY-winning vocal project dedicated to mining the expressive potential of the human voice. Through study with masters from singing traditions the world over, the eight-voice ensemble continually expands its vocabulary of singing techniques and, by commissioning and creating new works, forges a repertoire without borders.
Founded in 2009 by Brad Wells, the band gathers 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, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Missy Mazzoli, Michael Harrison, Sam Amidon and Ted Hearne.
The project’s debut album, Roomful of Teeth, was released in October, 2012, on New Amsterdam Records. The New York Times called it “sensually stunning,” and it was 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.”
In April, 2013, ensemble member Caroline Shaw received the Pulitzer Prize in Music for Partita for 8 Voices, the four movements of which appear on the debut album. An iTunes exclusive EP of Partita was subsequently released and ranked no. 1 on iTunes classical charts.
Roomful of Teeth’s sophomore album, Render, was released by New Amsterdam Records on April 28, 2015, featuring debut recordings of works by William Brittelle, Caleb Burhans, (ensemble tenor) Eric Dudley, Wally Gunn, Missy Mazzoli and (artistic director) Brad Wells. The album was produced by Jesse Lewis and, on three tracks, features Jason Treuting of So Percussion.