Recording Recommendations: Translating the Live Experience

But beyond the divide between a more raw and a more produced sound, there’s questions of the effect that recorded a cappella can have on the listener. You see, in live performance, you get hit with the fullest sound of the music, but more than that you can see how the group chooses to stage the performance—from facial expressions, to choreography, to attire. Not only that, but you can also feed off of both the unspoken energy and the outwardly stated response of your fellow audience members.

ACB Interview: Phoenix

To say that Phoenix, a new all-female a cappella in Boston, has lofty ideals might be understatement. In explaining the group’s name to me, founding member AJ Marino explained, “We chose the name Phoenix for the mythical bird by the same name, because we don't want to reinvent female a cappella. We see ourselves as being born from the "ashes" of the all-female a cappella world that came before us, and hope to build on the strengths that we see there. Musically, we hope to be able to break the stereotypes of what all-female a cappella can do, and be defined not as ‘good for an all-female group,’ but just plain good.”

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella: SingStrong

For the uninitiated, it can be difficult to understand why people love a cappella. Heck, even for those of us who do actively enjoy it, it can be difficult to put into words why we enjoy this art form so. While we’ll never have a truly comprehensive list of everything cool about a cappella, 200 Reasons to Love A Cappella is our best attempt at assembling a list of what makes it great.

Reason #84: SingStrong

The Competitor’s Edge: Medleys

There are plenty of reasons for groups to embrace medleys. The act of picking out songs and fitting them together—from arrangement, to learning transitions, to staging—is a lot of fun. Moreover, it gives a group the opportunity to diversify. Want fo “Some Nights” to offer up the epic climax of your set, but also want to avoid offering up the 278th version of that song that the judges are heard? Progress from “We Are Young” to “Carry On” to “Some Nights” and you’ve told a fresher story, besides showing off up to three different soloists and proving your ability to pull off at least one minute of a ballad—it’s a very efficient way to get creative and demonstrate your range while keeping an eye on those precious, limited, minutes you have to perform.

Movie Review: Stages

This summer, Dan Purcell and the guys from Ithacappella unveiled Stages, a short film based on the a cappella group’s music. Mark Farnum and Josh Toomey share writing credits with Purcell; Farnum and Green Street Productions are credited as producers.
We live in an age when a cappella groups are consistently evolving their presentation. Whether its seamless competition sets that weave songs together continuously, albums with pristine production, or professional grade music videos, the bar has risen for groups aiming to make waves on the national scene. Remarkably enough, in a time when it may seem as though everything has been done, Stages reveals new layers of potential for what a cappella music can do and be.

Tuesday Tubin': Say Something

Each Tuesday, The A Cappella Blog presents a link to a scholastic a cappella performance, or related material, that we recommend to you.

We welcome clip suggestions from anyone who would like to submit them.

This week, we present Oakland University Gold Vibrations performing A Great Big World’s “Say Something.”