WTMD, the radio station associated with Towson University, held Embody, a curated session focused on showcasing the unique vocal talents of multiple acts last Tuesday. The session completely stripped away every instrument besides the performers’ voices. The event was hosted as well as curated by local beatboxer and Tuvan throat-singer Shodekeh.
Soprano Melissa Wimbish and beatboxer Wendel Patrick began the night. Their set featured Patrick laying down catchy rhythms which Wimbish crooned over. The moment of note during the performance was the final song, which featured Patrick rapping over vocalization from Wimbish.
Following those two was a collaboration between host Shodekeh and Baltimore City College teacher Edwin Perez. Perez studied voice in college and found a creative outlet through Baltimore’s own Creative Alliance (the non-profit organization which promotes collaboration with area artists).
Perez performed two songs, both Carribean folk tracks including a traditional Cuban song known as “El Manisero” (better known in English as The Peanut Vendor).
Prior to the performance Perez gave a bit of cultural background to the song which managed to illicit a few laughs (The song is more sexually explicit than most thought). With another performer joining the two on stage, the three effortlessly performed the song, each adding their own unique ability to the song.
Following this, Shodekeh delivered a ten minute demonstration of his Tuvan throat-singing-inspired beat-boxing. Halfway through, Embody’s DJ and frequent Shodekeh collaborator, Chuck the Mad Ox interrupted the performance before adding his own beat-boxing flair to the performance.
Following Shodekeh was vocalist Brooks Long and his R&B quartet. The performance that followed featured not only powerful vocals, but also a great amount of humor. The true highlight was during a song featuring the chorus, “There’s a right way and a wrong to love,” with each of the members of the group intercutting with their own funny stories of love.
Finally Dan Deacon finished the night off with an impromptu performance that got the crowd erupting in laughter. The most memorable moments occurred after Deacon rounded up everyone who had just performed for a round of “structured improvisation,” in which every performer attempted to replicate the pitch and sound of Deacon at the same time.
After the performers attempted it, Deacon encouraged audience participation as everyone took part.