Roomful of Teeth premiere '7 Planets' by Alev Lenz

Roomful of Teeth premiere '7 Planets' by Alev Lenz
Roomful of Teeth, the Grammy-winning vocal band dedicated to reimagining the expressive potential of the human voice

'The voice is such a unique instrument, why not take it beyond the five lines?'
Alev Lenz


The new choral work 7 Planets by Bosworth composer Alev Lenz will be premiered by the vocal group Roomful of Teeth on Saturday October 7 at Barbican's Milton Court, accompanied by visuals by Moritz Mayerhofer.

Alev Lenz's compositions are a gateway to infinite space, inviting you to dream away and dive into the mysteries of our celestial bodies. This extraordinary musical journey takes us on an exploration of seven planets of our solar system. Inspired by the spherical soundscape and deep atmospheric tones, award-winning animation director Moritz Mayerhofer has created calm and contemplative visuals that will harmoniously merge with Alev's enchanting composition. 

Lenz says: 'Exploring the planets, their wondrous influences on us and our magical togetherness in the solar system has been stirring my interest ever since I spotted a glowing Venus in the night sky in the spring of 2020. A vision that became a fixture for many months while the world seemed to spin out of orbit and our realities rapidly changed. Observing the planets became a solace, offering a night time comfort with their consistency in a time when there wasn’t any around us.

'During that time I stumbled upon a video that encouraged musicians to 'ditch the pitch', and due to my Turkish heritage I was already familiar and comfortable with quarter tones, so this led me to dive deeper into the possibilities of singing to the planetary frequencies. The voice is such a unique instrument, why not take it beyond the five lines?

'Having previously worked with the vocal ensemble Roomful Of Teeth, I couldn’t think of a better constellation of singers to go on this `out-of-pitch-and-space-journey` with me.

'Since planetary frequencies are too low for tuning chords on regular resonator boxes, I had to get creative about ideas of how to do this analogue. After some thought, I unstrung a guitar, cut off its neck, stuck a tuning fold holder on top and built the tuning fork resonator. Subsequently I travelled to see Roomful of Teeth at their 2022 residency at MassMoCa and born were the pieces: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. All written on the planetary frequencies that reside outside of concert pitch, these pieces honour the planets of our solar system that travel alongside us through time and space.'

For more information, please see the website of Barbican.


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