Adding Colours to Your Musical Palette: Roomful of Teeth

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Hopefully you don’t need to be convinced, as a songwriter, of the importance of daily listening to music from as many different genres as possible. Even though you may have one particular genre that you call your own, allowing yourself to be influenced by others puts more colours on your musical palette, and you’re able to offer something more creative to your fanbase.

I’m becoming acquainted with a vocal group called Roomful of Teeth, a nine-voice vocal ensemble from Massachusetts, USA. You can read their bio here. A couple of the singers are composers for the group, but they largely use outside writers.

And probably most importantly, they explore the music of different cultures and genres in compiling their performing catalogue. In a way, they’re a prime example of what it means to incorporate music from different genres into what they do.

I’m discovering that I absolutely love this group, and love what they do. If you want a taste of how they perform, give a listen to “Are we death” from their recent album: “The Ascendant” (music composed by Wally Gunn):

Even if this style of music isn’t your thing, you just can’t deny the originality and creativity of the composition and performance here. And you can easily hear the influence of different compositional styles, genres and performance techniques.

Whenever you take time in your day to immerse yourself in music like this, your own songwriting will get pulled and prodded in a new direction. That’s practically always a good thing.

So if you’ve been finding that your songwriting has been getting a bit stale lately, the solution is often to allow yourself to be nudged into new directions by some other group that’s doing something a little (or perhaps in this case, a lot) different.

Gary EwerWritten by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter.

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