Roomful of Teeth

roomful of teethWhen you hear the name Roomful of Teeth what image comes to mind? Perhaps a brutal Swedish metal group invoking a pagan mosh. Or maybe a mid-70s Italian exploitation film filled with vampiric episodes. In Pee Wee’s Playhouse both guesses would be correct, however this is the realm of new music where esoterica thrives and fragment-sentenced band names reign supreme (yes you, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead).

Roomful of Teeth is in fact a cappella vocal ensemble “dedicated to re-imaging singing in the 21st century.” The eight classically trained members each studied unconventional singing techniques like yodeling and a variety of throatsingers styles. Then the group commissioned contemporary (read: living) composers and indie musicians to write works specifically for their unique abilities. The process produced works by Judd Greenstein, Merrill Garbus, Caroline Shaw and others—each one a powerful composition with virtuosic flare. Listen to Greenstein’s AEIOU below and see what you think. I wouldn’t mind hearing that Swedish metal band cover this…

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