Review: "Roomful of Teeth Astounds in Commissioning Residency at MASS MoCA"

After the August 26, 2017 concert at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Amanda Cook at I Care If You Listen wrote a review of the evening that included a performance of the sketch for There is no stillness, a composition by Rinde Eckert. An excerpt below: 

“You are not the same as a composer after working with Roomful of Teeth.” Composer Richard Beaudoin described his transformative experience of working with this elite vocal ensemble during their August 26, 2017 performance at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. The concert marked the eighth anniversary of their annual commissioning residency, a time dedicated to workshopping new music and revisiting familiar repertoire.

"In addition to transforming the way contemporary composers write for the voice, Roomful of Teeth also possesses the ability to fundamentally change the way we listen. The ensemble has assembled a battalion of composers who are intimately familiar with the capabilities and nuances of the group, and as singers, they are able to synthesize a wide array of disparate styles in a way that does not feel contrived. However, despite their impressive conquest of complex harmonies and extended vocal techniques, the precise intonation of their unisons and the perfect balance of their major chords are perhaps even more awe-inspiring. Roomful of Teeth guides the listener toward hearing the basic building blocks of music in a new light, and in doing so, they prove that simplicity and innovation are not mutually exclusive."

"The first half opened with a sketch of Rinde Eckert’s haunting There is no stillness, which will eventually become an evening-length theatrical work. The text contemplates the destruction of nature by man through the perspective of a distant personal memory, and Eckert achieves this ambiance through use of reverb-heavy pizzicato violin (performed by Todd Reynolds), a hocketed delivery of the text, and atmospheric Ligeti-like harmonies..."

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