They moan! They groan! They growl! They wail! They yodel! They belt! Are they a toy store full of Chatty Cathys? No! They’re Roomful of Teeth, the vocal octet — part chamber choir, part demented college a cappella — that’s performing at Amherst College this Friday evening.
Founded (2009) and directed by Brad Wells of Williams College, and in residence ever summer at Mass MoCA, Roomful got quite a boost when one of its singers, Caroline Shaw, won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2012 for her “Partita for Eight Voices,” a four-movement suite composed for Roomful, and inspired by the Sol Lewitt line drawings at Mass MoCA. The Partita is on Roomful’s self-titled debut album (purchase and download in high quality formats here), along with pieces by such new music stalwarts as Judd Greenstein, Caleb Burhans and (Smith alumna and tUnE-yArDs creator) Merrill Garbus. Dunno what they’ll be doing this Friday, but I can pretty safely say that if you have any interest at all in what those crazy, wonderful kids are up to today, you’ll want to be there. Here they are performing Rinde Eckert’s “Cesca’s View.” I told you they yodeled!