Be Here Now: Roomful of Teeth @ Williams College, 2/18/11

Roomful of Teeth is a vocal group with serious attitude. The eight voices are all classically trained, but they incorporate and experiment with a wide variety of globe-trotting vocal techniques from yodeling to Tuvan throat singing in their envelope-pushing music.

Performing at Williams College’s Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall at 8pm on Friday, the group’s wide-ranging program will feature rising star Oakland-based musician tUnE-yArDs (Merrill Garbus) in works she has written exclusively for the ensemble. tUnE-yArDs’ self-produced album, “Bird-Brains,” utilizes shareware mixing software and a digital voice recorder. The New York Times has described her free-thinking vocals as “somewhere between Aretha Franklin and Yoko Ono,” which leaves an awful lot of ground to cover. And she recently toured with Dirty Projectors, adding yet another dimension to her work.

Works by composers Caleb Burhans (hailed as a “new music virtuoso” by The New York Times) and William Brittelle (former lead singer of The Blondes) will also be featured, and they will join the ensemble as performers in their own expanded arrangements.

Roomful of Teeth and their guest composer-vocalists perform at Williams College’s Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall in Williamstown at 8pm on Friday. Admission is free.

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