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Experience a dynamic collaboration between an innovative voice ensemble and self-conducted orchestra

January 31, 2017

A Far Cry
Self-conducted orchestra, A Far Cry

Two energetic ensembles, A Far Cry and Roomful of Teeth, are joining forces to bring to Blacksburg a one-of-a-kind concert experience, featuring music from two young composers and a vivid set of character pieces by Sergei Prokofiev. They will appear on Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Presented by the Moss Arts Center, the performance will be held in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall.

A Far Cry is a self-conducted orchestra that stands at the forefront of an exciting new generation in classical music, while Grammy Award-winning vocal project Roomful of Teeth is dedicated to reimagining the expressive potential of the human voice. Together, the ensembles create a unique and inspiring sonic experience.

The program includes a piece by Caroline Shaw, Roomful of Teeth member and 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner for music. An original commission for both ensembles, “Music in Common Time,” merges A Far Cry’s rich string sound with the varied vocal timbres of Roomful of Teeth.

The program is anchored by two raw, energetic, and intertwined works by Ted Hearne — “Coloring Book” and “Law of Mosaics” — each commissioned by the ensembles.

Spanning and connecting these two Generation X composers is “Visions Fugitives,” a startlingly beautiful and vivid set of character pieces by Prokofiev.

A Far Cry was founded in 2007 by a group of 17 young professional musicians and developed an innovative process where decisions are made collectively, with leadership rotating among the members.

For each piece, the members elect a group of principals, and these five musicians guide the rehearsal process and shape the interpretation.

A Far Cry has collaborated with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Jake Shimabukuro, and Urbanity Dance, and has put on hundreds of performances coast to coast and around the globe. By working with local students through an educational partnership with the New England Conservatory, the orchestra aims to pass on the spirit of collaboratively empowered music to the next generation.

Roomful of Teeth is an eight-voice ensemble that continually expands its vocabulary of singing techniques through study with masters of vocal traditions from around the world and forges a new repertoire without borders through an ongoing commissioning process.

Founded in 2009 by Brad Wells, Roomful of Teeth has studied with some of the world’s top performers and teachers in Tuvan throat singing, yodeling, Broadway belting, Inuit throat singing, Korean p’ansori, Georgian singing, Sardinian cantu a tenore, Hindustani music, Persian classical singing, and death metal singing.

The ensemble’s recent activities include “The Colorado,” a music-driven documentary that explores water, land, and survival in the Colorado River Basin and features former Kronos Quartet cellist Jeffrey Zeigler and Wilco’s Glenn Kotche; collaborations with A Far Cry and Nick Zammuto of The Books; appearances at new music festivals in the U.S., Canada, and Sweden; and partnerships with over 20 higher education institutions across the country.

During their visit, composers Shaw and Hearne will meet with students in a music composition class led by Charles Nichols, assistant professor of music technology and composition in Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts.

Tickets

Tickets for the performance are $20-45 for general public and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email kmcallis@vt.edu during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to an event.

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