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August 31, 2011

Swingles become 7

This announcement today from the Swingle Singers:-

"We are delighted to announce a fantastic new venture for The Swingle Singers. As of the middle of September, we will be changing to a SEVEN person line-up! We are hugely excited by the artistic possibilities this new line-up brings us, so come and see the Swingles soon - like they've never been seen before!"

After 40 years as an octect this is a most interesting development. Hmm.

Posted by acapnews at August 31, 2011 10:36 PM


Yep, hmmm here too...what is the meaning of being "excited by the artistic possibilities this new line-up brings" if you shrink a line-up?? Making the sound more transparent?? Strange development but nothing unexpected from this group where every three or four years you have an almost completely new group as people pop out and in like in a London double-decker... very disappointing by a once so famous name in the a cappella-scene... *shaking head*

Posted by: Chris at September 2, 2011 4:39 PM

Dear Chris,

I'm sorry you feel that our decisions have been disappointing. I can assure you that from inside the group, we have never been more excited about the music we're making, and I hope you have a chance to hear us live in concert so we can win you over! ;-)

With regards to the "artistic possibilities", the group has been moving into more modern music, a more contemporary sound, and the double-quartet line-up is a very classical one. With the two basses often doing the rhythm section parts, we were left with two male voices and four female for the harmony parts. This often meant more female solos than male, and could sound girl-heavy in the harmony part. With our newer material, we're exploring different ways of mixing up the roles within the group. "Excited by the artistic possibilities" is genuinely our feeling. We wouldn't do it otherwise. We would just replace the singer.

(More members doesn't automatically make it better, Take6 do just fine!) ;-)

As for the turnover...the group has been going for almost 50 years. Some members have been in the group for 10. It's a life-changing venture that is not for the faint hearted. And this current group believes in change for inspiration. Every new person that has joined the group has brought fresh ideas/sound/inspiration and we need that in a group as old as this one.

Anyway, I hope that answers your question a little! And hope to see you at a gig sometime!



Posted by: Clare at September 15, 2011 12:34 PM

Maybe wait and hear them with 7 before you judge. Like you said, they've been one of the most respected names in a cappella for 50 years - probably ought to give them the benefit of the doubt, n'est-ce pas? You seem to be making the flawed assumption that change is bad simply because it's change.

As for the meaning of being "excited by the artistic possibilities this new line-up brings" ... seems pretty straightforward. I would venture to guess that they probably intended it literally.

Posted by: Tom at September 15, 2011 1:17 PM

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