ShoutHouse! A new musical group that simply! demands! exclamation points! Their main mission seems to be to answer the age-old question, “Does classical music get along with other genres… namely hip-hop?” After a cohesive and often startlingly beautiful set at the Bowery Poetry Club on Sunday afternoon, the answer is: absolutely. Or rather, a pastiche of classical, hip-hop and jazz improvisation could work! And if there’s a group of musicians who have the creativity, ambition, and moxie to explore that potential, ShoutHouse is that group.
Led by the casually charismatic Will Healy, who emceed Sunday’s event with ease, ShoutHouse is a logistical monstrosity. Its 15+ members – almost a full orchestra and various collaborators – performed several pieces of Healy’s music, featuring poetry from Mario Ariza and rap lyrics by Ade Ra. The above excerpt from “Kites, Planes, and Other Flying Things” includes vocals by actress-singer Julia Anrather.
In a culture where pop singers’ tongues dominate even our most mainstream news cycles, it’s refreshing to hear a sound determined to be both distinct and innovative. ShoutHouse’s music defies classification, and therefore sends the listener down an aural rabbit hole, at once gorgeous and tensely dramatic. It would be difficult to find another group like them.