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You Should See Caroline Shaw at Ravinia Saturday Night

The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer sings with the octet Roomful of Teeth in Highland Park tomorrow night.

Photo: Piotr Redlinski

The composer Caroline Shaw, 31, writes music for nontraditional vocal techniques, from the mundane (speaking, grunting) to the outré (yodeling, throat singing). She also sings in the octet Roomful of Teeth, which plays Ravinia this month.

On what to expect at the Ravinia concert:

It’s all new music written specifically for Roomful of Teeth [including Partita for 8 Voices, her 2013 Pulitzer Prize–winning composition]. Much of the advanced techniques [we use] are not in the score.

On her influences:

David Lang—how he thinks about art and music and objects—he’s sort of a hero of mine. I listened to Arvo Pärt in my early 20s. Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards, she inspired me to write a couple of the pieces in Partita.

On finding out she won the Pulitzer:

I was walking outside by Pier 64 [in New York City] by the Hudson River. I got a phone call from a friend who read about [the prize] online. Then I got about 50 phone calls and text messages all at once.

On what’s different post-Pulitzer:

Somehow I got this badge of credibility. In a roomful of high-school kids, I can keep the room a little bit quieter.

3/29 at 8 p.m. $10. Ravinia Festival, Lake Cook and Green Bay, Highland Park. ravinia.org


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