ShoutHouse is an embodiment of the true creative spirit. What else would have drawn these people together? In a group that is roughly equal parts Juilliard, Vassar, Manhattan School of Music and Craigslist, the common thread seems to be the spirit of creation.
A classical musician tends to follow a certain path – a path that generally leads to a lifetime of jazz standards or Wagner, Brahms and Beethoven. There’s a reason people still play Take 5 and Beethoven’s Eroica. These are brilliant and timeless pieces that people will always need to hear and to play. However, the members of ShoutHouse recognize that music like that came from the spirit of bold innovation and experimentation, which is how it came to be that on one night at The Bitter End, I saw before me a 13-piece orchestra behind a singer, two rappers and 4 bucket drummers.
For about an hour, i watched them mixing a cocktail of classical, jazz, spoken word, hip-hop, pop in a way i’ve never seen, let alone imagined. It was as if Holst, Zappa and Robert Glasper had grown up in the East Village and formed a supergroup. It never occurred to me that someone could rap in 7/8. The whole night was a cacophony of shock, awe and whiskey gingers.
In what was by far the largest TSNP shoot ever undertaken, we brought them to Sara D. Roosevelt Park off of Houston St. between Chrystie and Forsyth. I wanted to shoot somewhere near the East Village and they wanted to shoot somewhere near Rockwood Music Hall where they had soundcheck at 5pm for a show that night. It was the perfect spot, tucked enough away that i thought we’d have a chance at not getting shut down immediately.
As it happened, we shot for about an hour and a half and nobody bothered us once. Park goers and passerbys stopped and listened, and for a while, we all forgot about the world outside of a tiny piece of the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Will Healy, the piano man and ShoutHouse founder serves as the composer of roughly half of their music, but this piece, “Escher’s Friend” was designed by Jesse Greenberg, multi-instrumentalist and keys, mallets and synths player for the band.
Find their music and upcoming shows (including an approaching collaborative performance with a group of Hip-Hop and modern dancers at the DiMenna Center) at www.shouthousemusic.com