Pentatonix, since arriving on the music scene in 2011, have taken the art of a capella, or instrument-free singing to a whole new level of excellence in both sound and harmony. They are coming down under again this Spring, helping to refresh and nurture our spirit as part of their World Tour.
Their You Tube Channel has amassed way more than 1.57 billion views and some 16,932,256 million subscribers, numbers great artists and other musicians can only dream of achieving. Their version of Shallow has already enjoyed 1,562,124 views during the first few days.
Any composer, both past and present, needs a creative interpreter of his compositions. A performance artist, or artists such as Pentatonix, who have the ability to so successfully express the intellectual ideas and philosophies, as well as produce the sounds and images, which are at the essence of his works, will always be in demand. Their glorious voices are honed as you would tune a finely tuned instrument.
Celebrating the sweet sounds of success are Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi and Kirstin Maldonado, who originally bonded as choir-mates in high school, later recruiting bass Avi Kaplan and beatboxer Kevin Olusola to form the unique group.
Pentatonix the word not only co-incidentally contains letters of the names of the group but also represents the pentatonic scale in musical theory, with the c changed to an x for stylistic purposes.
While the scale has five tones to an octave, with intervals corresponding to the five black keys of a piano octave, their own arrangements are defined by their own style, with the number five (penta) remaining significant.
The five members of Pentatonix brilliantly and with ease move between various genres in music today from electronica, to reggae and dubstep, favouring tight vocal harmonies and deep and steady vocal basslines.
They embrace a diverse range of vocal percussion and beatboxing, which more than often blows your mind, especially with their new version of the 60’s hit, the Sounds of Silence.
It is spine tingling, causing goose bumps all over as it reaches great heights of pathos and lyricism, which when combined with logic of harmony and tone is delivered with passionate conviction.
Music is at the essence of who we are both socially and culturally. The sound of music is essential to our human spirit, the creation of a strong sense of place and, an important aspect of community life.
If ever a discipline integrated the unconscious and emotional aspects of the mind with the intellectual and physical movement it would be music as performed by Pentatonix.
Its choice is so deeply personal, not only as a powerful form of communication vital to our inner well-being, but also as its sounds impart a rhythmic pulse to daily life; the art of fine living.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2019