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About this Piece

Composed: 2009-2012
Length: c. 30 minutes
Orchestration: vocal octet

The four pieces of Partita were written for the innovative vocal octet Roomful of Teeth and premiered individually from 2009-2011, at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, MA. Additional performances of selections from the set have occurred at Merkin Hall, the Lincoln Center Atrium, Williams College, Principia College, and Philadelphia University. Live concert recordings from 2010-2011 have been used for broadcast on WNYC, WQXR, WBUR, and WAMC; for a dance performance at MASS MoCA; and for a short film trailer. The four pieces were recorded by Roomful of Teeth and released together on the self-titled debut album Roomful of Teeth on October 30, 2012 (New Amsterdam Records). [The work won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Music.]

Partita is a simple piece. Born of a love of surface and structure, of the human voice, of dancing and tired ligaments, of music, and of our basic desire to draw a line from one point to another.

It was written with and for my dear friends in Roomful of Teeth. Inspired by Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing 305.

— Caroline Shaw