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February 7, 2004

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Take five lead singers/songwriters, mix in a rich history of a cappella singing experience, blend with impeccable improvisation skills, and you have SoVoSo. A spinoff of singer Bobby McFerrin's highly successful "Voicestra," the San Francisco-area ensemble - whose name is derived from the phrase "from the soul to the voice to the song" - has been wowing audiences with its unique musical style and polished vocal talents since 1994. "We fall into the world-music category," says David Worm, one of the founders of the group. "We tend to gravitate more toward soul music and are more Afrocentric than a standard choir. With this group, you are getting a vocal band' - bass, drums and all the various instruments."

The concert will also include a few improvisational vocal segments. "During one of our songs, we may just elicit something from the crowd and have them add something to the chord or something to the piece in a musical way," Worm says. Another improvisational technique the group is known for is "circle singing." Sometimes referred to as "add a part, change a part," circle singing is a vocal style that has ancient roots and involves the introduction of an ostinato (a short melodic phrase persistently repeated) to a group of singers, which turns it into a song. Worm says he and his fellow singers do not employ any predetermined cues to signal one another during an improvisation when to begin or end a solo. "In our case, because we have been working with each other for so long, we are just prepared to let go and be open to the moment," he says. "You just pick it up in the air as it is going by. We start things, and we don't know where they are going to end up." More

Posted by acapnews at February 7, 2004 8:29 AM

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