PREMIERE: Roomful of Teeth, Ohio's Constella Festival Team Up for William Brittelle's "High Done No Why To" Music Video

By Logan K. Young on Apr 01, 2015 01:49 AM EDT

With Ward Swingle gone from the SATB earth and Tim Hauser transferring no more 'cross Manhattan, the timing couldn't be any more right for Roomful of Teeth to become our starriest vocal band.

Fresh off one of the most exciting drones at the Met's Temple of Dendur since, well, Interpol's record release party, the GRAMMY Award-winning ensemble (Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance) with that youngest-ever Pulitzer recipient (Caroline Shaw) on one of the best labels in the new music biz (New Amsterdam) hasn't yet made a music vid proper.

Until now, of course.

Sure, Classicalites will have seen RoT before, albeit somewhat ad hoc, at The Strand's Rare Book Room for but a bit of David Lang.

But the full video below for Teeth alum William Brittelle's "High Done No Why To"--produced in conjunction with Cincinnati's expertly curated Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts--is quite the visual achievement. Alternating between in-studio, black-and-white footage and a technicolor-ed New York City moto perpetuo, director David Donnelly and producer/Constella founder Tatiana Berman exquisitely capture both persons and place.

Have a look, and listen, for yourselves...

Even better, there's more still to come from Constella 2015.

The RoT collab here is only the second in a series of digi-offerings (the first being violinist Berman's Vitali Variations) that the intrepid presenters will premiere prior to and during Constella 2015. Running from Wednesday, April 8 to Sunday, April 19, this fourth iteration takes up the cross of fest's past: namely, "challenging misconceptions of classical music and the performing arts through the creation of original music, interdisciplinary works and digital content" (including a screening of the Donnelly doc Maestro we helped Kickstart back in October).

Whatever they're putting in the contemporary classical waters over there in Cincinnati, be it Chris Rouse or Bryce Dessner, we could indeed use a hefty dose of here in the Big Apple, especially when it comes to bono vox--lest we suffer through another stale Stockhausen Stimmung at Zankel.

As for the nine-strong Roomful of Teeth, their true sophomore effort, Render, is set for release via New Amsterdam on April 28. In addition to Brittelle's effervescent "High Done No Why To," it'll have brand new tunes from Brad Wells, Caleb Burhans, RoT's own Eric Dudley and a lead-off vesper of imagined birdsong-cum-Sardinian throat singing from Constella artistic advisory board member Missy Mazzoli.

Finally, with all due click respect to Tiny Mix Tapes, check out this Render excerpt from Australian composer Wally Gunn, featuring Jason Treuting of Classicalite favorites Sō Percussion. A three-parter set to the verse of Maria Zajkowski, it's a more thorough hocket than the one RoT did crowded around Bob Boilen's Tiny Desk.

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TagsPremiere, Roomful of Teeth, Constella Festival, William Brittelle, Caroline Shaw

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