Vocal Trio Blends Rhythmic Complexities, Mimics Electronic Timbres

United StatesUnited States (Various Composers): Juice Vocal Ensemble (Sarah Dacey, Anna Snow, and Kerry Andrew), SubCulture, New York City. 12.11.2013 (DS)

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Juice Vocal Ensemble


Kerry Andrew: “Lullaby for the Witching Hour”
Morag Galloway: “Dream of You”
Mica Levi: “Never Adore”
Anna Meredith: “Heal You”
Trad. (arr. by Jim Moray): “The Unquiet Grave”
Gabriel Prokofiev: “Dreaming at the Supermarket Checkout”
Anna Snow: “The Seven Star Girls”
Trad. (arr. by Sarah Dacey): “Cruel Mother”
Simon ‘Shlomo’ Khan: “You, on the River”
James Lindsay: “Sanbiki no kashikoi saru”
Guns ‘n’ Roses (arr. by Kerry Andrew): “Sweet Child of Mine”
Erasure (arr. by Sarah Dacey): “A Little Respect”
Mariah Carey (arr. by Anna Snow): “Always by my baby”
Toby Twining: “Ferrara Redux”
Peter Moran: “Five Juice Songs”
Kerry Andrew: “Ojo”
Lester Flatt (arr. by Juice): “Roll in my sweet”


Who says you can’t mix pop, folk, experimental, and classical? The Juice Vocal Ensemble certainly doesn’t. These three women (two sopranos and one alto) not only sing the parts well but have captured a style that is endearing in its deeply dedicated but light-hearted approach. Visiting New York from their native England, they performed an extended set at one of New York’s newest cross-genre musical spaces, Subculture, in the heart of Greenwich Village on Bleecker Street.

Many themes were covered in the evening—from love songs to lullabies, from mythical stories to supermarkets. An unusual vocal combination (given the limited repertoire for three female voices a cappella), they commission most of their works and live up to the challenge of interpreting what results. One of the newest works they performed, “You, on the River,” was written for them in recent months by well-known British break-beat artist, Simon ‘Shlomo’ Khan. Juice Vocal revealed the naturally stereophonic possibilities in their voices, blending rhythmic complexities and mimicking electronic timbres, turning their collective voices into a sort of pantomime DJ set.

The value in such a group is not only the obvious entertainment appeal to those of us in the audience but to the music world as a whole. Their very existence richly expands repertoire, where it might otherwise be lacking. And when they can throw in the popular and familiar, they do it with a splash, like arranging their own magnetic versions of classic MTV favorites like Guns ‘n’ Roses “Sweet Child of Mine” and (one of my personal Brit-pop favorites) Erasure’s “A Little Respect.”

Daniele Sahr

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