Roomful of Teeth to Perform at Kaneko

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November 16th, 2017

Omaha, NE—Dedicated to the work of living composers and music of the 21st century, The Generator Series is returning to Kaneko tonight for its third installment with choral group, Roomful of Teeth. Inspired by vocal styles from around the world, Roomful of Teeth reimagines the expressive potential of the human voice, utilizing techniques like throat singing explained Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, director of Omaha Under the Radar.

“Throat singing is a general term for a style of singing that occurs throughout the world that emphasizes overtones within the voice, so if you hear someone throat singing in different styles, you might hear a low grumbly tone,” DeBoer Bartlett said. “It’s easier for people with lower voices, and as you create that overpressure in the sound and adjust the shape of the mouth, you’re able to hear different overtones and it can sound almost like a whistle. You might have heard it before. It’s hard to sometimes hear the overtone whistle effect unless you’re in the room with the person because it’s so faint. It’s almost like a ghost tone.”

Founded in 2009, Roomful of Teeth gathers each year at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary art, where they’ve studied Tuvan throat singing from Mongolia, Persian classical, and other vocal styles from Sardinia, Georgia and Korea. Though inspired by many forms, their work is original and uniquely contemporary.

“Roomful of Teeth is a really interesting vocal ensemble. If you listen to their albums, you’ll notice they don’t use a lot of text, and the text that they do use is not really geared toward storytelling. They are very interested in the voice as its own expressive gestures, its own expressive instrument and they’re really interested in exploring the different virtuous colors of the voice and the way voices can interact with each other. So they treat the voice as its own instrument, and using all of these different styles that they’ve studied throughout the years, they integrate that within their own sound. So when you listen to them, it becomes a very unique personality for the group. I haven’t heard another vocal group like this.”

Roomful of Teeth performs original pieces composed by some of its members, and they also work with some of the most critically acclaimed contemporary composers. Following performances, the ensemble welcomes questions from the audiences that are curious about their style and technique.

“I think that people should come to the show prepared to hear something that they haven’t heard before, and they should feel comfortable asking questions afterward and feeding their curiosity. I mean, this is what Kaneko is all about right? Let’s create a situation in which your curiosity is peaked and which you have the opportunity to discover things, so I think this group is the perfect group to be playing at Kaneko. Also because Kaneko is such a reverberant space, it sounds like a cathedral in there, so hearing these voices in this cathedral like space is going to be absolutely exquisite. I’m so excited for that.”

Roomful of Teeth will perform at Kaneko as part of the Generator Series tonight at 7:00pm. For more information or tickets, visit theKaneko.org.

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