Vocal Explosion are a 17 piece choir specialising in world music - Eastern European, Corsican, African, Middle Eastern, Celtic, Cuban, Gospel and much more besides, even Gregorian chants and beatbox. Musical Director Juliet Russell writes much of the material which is heavily influenced by the above cultures; the sound she creates often has a ancient feel with bass hypnotic rhythms and a multi-layering of harmonies.
Powerful, human and exhilaratingWOMAD
Sung with forceful and tender passionThe Times
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Vocal Explosion's Bio
Vocal Explosion are a 17 piece choir specialising in world music – Eastern European, Corsican, African, Middle Eastern, Celtic, Cuban, Gospel and much more besides, even Gregorian chants and beatbox. Musical Director Juliet Russell writes much of the material which is heavily influenced by the above cultures; the sound she creates often has a ancient feel with bass hypnotic rhythms and a multi-layering of harmonies.
The choir can work either as an a cappella ensemble, providing both upbeat and atmospheric, ambient music or with hand percussion, a brass section and various instruments including violin, accordion, Celtic pipes, flamenco guitar and Klezmer clarinet.
Vocal Explosion is not only a unique stand-alone choir but also an amazing participatory process which has inspired thousands of event goers from WOMAD to CPSI, the world’s largest Creativity Conference hosted in the USA. The VE ‘Happening’ facilitates audiences to create an instant sound in the shortest space of time, often accompanied by samba percussion and sometimes a brass section. The music used is designed to layer up simple harmonies and phonetics producing a powerful sound within minutes. This ‘Happening’ can be a one-off song to quickly bring a group together or can be a 45 minute set. The Vocal Explosion Choir can also be woven into this package, either on stage or planted into the crowd. This package works with a willing audience who know from the outset exactly what they are attending. The ‘Happening’ has been experienced at:
WOMAD (three times)
Barcelona International Women’s Forum (1500 women speaking over 20 different languages from around the globe)
Big Green Gathering
CPSI International Creativity Conference, Buffalo USA
DUMBO Arts Festival, New York
Juliet Russell has performed with her choirs at festivals across Britain, either with their own established set or as part of a larger performance working with dancers, actors, pyrotechnics, bands, orchestras and various visuals. Festival packages can consist of four elements:
- Choir performing on stage
- The ‘Happening’ with or without the choir/instrumental accompaniment
- Addition of vocal quintet – a sub-section of the choir who produce a bass heavy sound often working over a vocally percussive, powerful soundtrack combining contempoary beats with a monastic tone.
- Vocal workshops using many musical influences from Gospel to Eastern European and all in between. Lead by Juliet, these workshops can be tailored to the event.
Juliet has been a facilitator for the last 20 years. In addition to festivals, she has experience of working with corporate clients, in the public sector and throughout all areas of the community, providing workshops in everything from basic beatbox to teaching music teachers.
‘Drawing influences from around the Globe and across the centuries…Vocal Explosion is an extraordinary sonic experience’ – Phil Jackson, BBC Radio
‘The Vocal Explosion choir deliver masterpieces, making beauty from sounds. conveying narrative and emotion with no need for translation. This rich and powerful choir transcends language barriers’– Euton Daley, Director, Pegasus Theatre
‘A richly complex singing in tongues which fused blissed out township a cappella with Gregorian chant…. Stunning!’ – The Independent
‘Powerful, human and exhilarating’ – WOMAD
‘Singer Juliet Russell, accompanied by four cellists, gave a brilliantly haunting performance’ – The Stage
‘Accessible to all voices regardless of language or ability – beautiful’ – The Big Green Festival
‘Moving and powerful’ – Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 4
‘Sung with forceful and tender passion’ – The Times