Roomful of Teeth is a Grammy Award-winning musical group with Austin ties and a sound as interesting as its name (which, as a dental blog, we will presume is a warning about the hazards of not regularly brushing and visiting your dentist).
The eight-person vocal ensemble counts Austin-based Cameron Beauchamp, a bass, as a member. Roomful of Teeth performed in Austin earlier this year, and the group makes regular stops in Texas; check out its website for music samples and tour dates.
A Sound with Bite
If you haven’t already heard Roomful of Teeth, you probably haven’t heard much that compares to the group. “Most audiences who haven’t heard us live are pretty struck in the first 10 minutes of the show that they haven’t heard anything like this before,” Beauchamp said in a recent Waco Tribune article.
Roomful of Teeth takes various forms of traditional and contemporary vocal music, and blends them into something that feels simultaneously from the past and forward reaching. Founded in 2009, the diverse ensemble draws on global influences including Tuvan throat singing, Inuit throat singing, yodeling, and cantu a tenore (a type of multi-voiced folk singing that originated on the Italian island of Sardinia).
A growing fan base has taken notice of Roomful of Teeth, and the group’s musical impact is widespread. In addition to multiple Grammy nominations and one win, the ensemble has toured globally, collaborated with Kanye West, and partnered with multiple higher-education institutions. In 2013, member Caroline Shaw was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for a composition performed by the group.
About that Name…
The origins of the group’s name remain murky, though Beauchamp linked the moniker in part to the role of teeth in forming sounds to speak and sing.
“As humans, we all make sounds differently, but we all have teeth and gums and larynxes,” he said in the Waco Tribune article. Oral components such as the teeth and tongue are especially important when much of the vocals are based on sound techniques as opposed to the singing of straightforward musical notes.
More Musical Teeth
Roomful of Teeth is not alone in employing teeth to musical ends. There is a popular Filipino rock band known simply as Teeth, and Muppets fans are surely familiar with Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem.
Likewise, teeth are popular in song and album titles. The Grammy-winning band Wilco released the evocatively titled album “Summerteeth,” Steely Dan sang the praises of “Your Gold Teeth,” AC/DC warned of being “Kicked in the Teeth,” and multiple artists have put two front teeth on their Christmas wish lists.
Austin dentist Dr. Dan Matthews understands the importance of a beautiful, healthy smile to your oral health and your general well-being. If you’d like to learn more about cosmetic dentistry treatments to restore or maintain a vibrant smile, please call our Bee Cave Road office at 512-452-2273 to schedule a complimentary consultation.