Roomful of Teeth Roomful of Teeth



release date: October 30, 2012

release date: October 30, 2012

The adventurous and renowned vocal octet Roomful of Teeth released their debut self-titled album Roomful of Teeth in October 2012, which was subsequently nominated for three GRAMMY awards and won for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance in 2014.

From the neo-alpine yodel on Rinde Eckert’s "Cesca’s View" to Caleb Burhans’s stirring post-minimalist take on bel canto singing in "No," the album breathes fresh life into the a cappella landscape. One of this generation’s most dynamic vocal talents, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, contributes two electrifying songs that explore a range of world-inspired grooves. African pygmy yodels, Inuit rhythmic pulsing, Appalachian hymn tunes, and bracing Eastern European belting all filter through Garbus’s powerful compositional voice. For her Pulitzer Prize-winning four-part composition Partita for 8 VoicesCaroline Shaw uses her insider vantage as a Roomful of Teeth vocalist to create a sonically exquisite and emotionally charged journey through the ensemble’s soundworld.

New Amsterdam co-directors William BrittelleJudd Greenstein, and Sarah Kirkland Snider contribute as well: Brittelle’s daring "Amid the Minotaurs" pushes and pulls before opening into a heart-stopping soprano solo; Snider’s otherworldly "The Orchard" intertwines haunting vocals with the text of poet Nathaniel Bellows; and Greenstein’s three pieces explore the group’s polyphony at its most lively, tender, and affecting. Altogether, the album is a 13-piece showcase of this adventurous ensemble’s staggering range, resulting in an entirely unforgettable listening experience.

Additionally, Roomful of Teeth member and New Amsterdam composer Caroline Shaw’s Partita for 8 Voices, which is featured on the album, was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Music. The Pulitzer jury praised Shaw’s composition as “a highly polished and inventive a cappella work uniquely embracing speech, whispers, sighs, murmurs, wordless melodies and novel vocal effects.”


  1. Passacaglia (composed by Caroline Shaw)

  2. Amid the Minotaurs (composed by William Brittelle)

  3. Montmartre (composed by Judd Greenstein)

  4. No (composed by Caleb Burhans)

  5. Courante (composed by Caroline Shaw)

  6. AEIOU (composed by Judd Greenstein)

  7. The Orchard (composed by Sarah Kirkland Snider)

  8. Cesca's View (composed by Rinde Eckert)

  9. Allemande (composed by Caroline Shaw)

  10. Quizassa (composed by Merrill Garbus)

  11. Sarabande (composed by Caroline Shaw)

  12. Run Away (composed by Judd Greenstein)

  13. Ansa Ya (composed by Merrill Garbus)