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When Brad Wells, Founder and Artistic Director of GRAMMY winning ensemble Roomful of Teeth, and I were talking about creating a new piece for the group, there were a few specific parameters in play. First of all, the vocal range and ability of Roomful of Teeth is unique and amazing, and this new piece would be written for the specific ranges and talents of the 8 singers in the group. Second, the premiere would take place in The TANK Center for Sonic Arts in Rangely, CO. The concert and recording sessions would take place inside the TANK, an old metal water storage tank turned concert hall. The acoustics inside boast up to 40 seconds of reverb. 40! So there was that. Third, Brad was toying with the idea of a winter album, and wanted something that would fit that theme. When I went back to this poetic excerpt by St. Paul writer William Reichard, I knew that it could suit all three of those parameters.
“Everything is Made of Light” is an exploration of sound, of environment, and of texture. It was written for the extremely wet acoustic of the TANK, but it should work in other acoustics as well. Part of the exploration should be to determine how to play with the rests and silences in your own concert hall.
The 1st baritone part would also be well suited to be sung by a second tenor. That line in this piece was written for my good friend Dashon Burton, who has a killer range.
The “Inuit” rhythmic parts were written for a specific technique that the singers employ, but feel free to use pitched and varying breath pulses to achieve a similar effect.
- Timothy C. Takach, 2017
The moon translates a rhythm
of this night that knows no breath.
Everything is made of light.
The whole world is glowing.
- William Reichard