Saturday night, I went to the Ecstatic Music Festival with my friend Julia to see the vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth singing compositions by William Brittelle, Caleb Burhans, and Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs. Roomful of Teeth filled the hall with throat singing, exhalations, yodeling, and more. This drawing was made over two of William Brittelle's compositions "High Done No Why To" and "Done No Why Say Do." Sometimes, their voices would hover in the air, melting all together into something striking and beautiful.
Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs joined Roomful of Teeth onstage for the second half on the concert to play several compositions. I've heard a song or two from tUnE-yArDs from the first album, but the concert converted me into a fan. Garbus has a warm stage presence, and even invited people to get up and dance if they felt like it.
And here's Caleb Burhans playing his super cool violin. At least I think it was a violin. He joined Roomful of Teeth and Merrill Garbus for a few songs. This one was very moving, as you can probably tell from the title "why must you leave me now, when you're so far away?"
Last but not least is a drawing of Garbus and the ladies of Roomful of Teeth performing one of my favorite pieces of the night. Garbus cited the music of West Africa as her inspiration, and dedicated the song to the women of West Africa. The sound of the drum, her ukulele, and the swooping, yodeling voices of the women combined to create something kind of magical and joyous.
Be sure to check out Julia's beautiful drawings and her write-up here and special big ups to Judd Greenstein, the curator of the festival, for the tickets. You can see my other drawings from the Ecstatic Music Festival here.