Jon Patrick Walker Stars In Alarm Will Sound's Production '1969'
UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA) presents the West Coast premiere of contemporary music ensemble Alarm Will Sound's multimedia musical event 1969, about a fabled meeting between avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen and iconoclastic Beatle John Lennon, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27 at Royce Hall. Tickets for $29-$59 are now available online at cap.ucla.edu, via Ticketmaster, by phone 310-825-2101 and at the UCLA Central Ticket Office.
1969 is both a concert and a work of theater. Conducted by Alan Pierson, the 20-member band will be joined by three actors: Jon Patrick Walker as John Lennon, who will play King George in the upcoming national tour of Hamilton; Robert Stanton as Karlheinz Stockhausen and David Chandler as Italian composer Luciano Berio.
"The more I learned about the year 1969, the more the Stockhausen-Beatles meeting seemed to resonate with the ideas and spirit of the time," said Pierson, artistic director of Alarm Will Sound. "To tell its story, I imagined a unique multimedia piece that would juxtapose the artists' own words with fragments of music, images, and film from the period."
Nearly 50 years ago on Feb. 9, 1969, the Beatles and composer Karlheinz Stockhausen arranged to meet in New York City to plan a joint concert. No such performance would ever take place. But its tantalizing promise is the departure point for Alarm Will Sound's 1969. Told through their own words, music, and images, 1969 is the story of great musicians - John Lennon, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Paul McCartney, Luciano Berio, Yoko Ono, and Leonard Bernstein - striving for a new music and a new world amidst the social and political ferment of the late 1960s.
As archival video and photographs are projected around the stage, the members of the ensemble play their instruments, sing and voice the words of the composers and others in their circle, woven together to tell the story of how these artists galvanized one another and responded through their music to the momentous events of the day: the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention, the election of Richard Nixon. All of the artists suffered critically for their efforts, and yet, in the end, they would transform music and transcend their time.
"When I tell you that 1969, an evening of music, video and theater based on the prospect that John Lennon and iconoclastic German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen planned to stage a concert together, was fantastic, I mean it in all senses of the word," raved Kevin Berger of the Los Angeles Times. "They exploded musical genres, made history come alive and demonstrated that art - original, vivid, reckless - can lift the grim clouds of current events, if only for two hours."
Alarm Will Sound is committed to innovative performances and recordings of today's music. The versatility of the group allows it to take on music from a wide variety of styles ranging from the arch-modernist to the pop-influenced.
Funds provided by the Henry Mancini Tribute Fund.
CAP UCLA's upcoming Contemporary Classical programs include Kronos Quartet, Rinde Eckert and Vân-Ánh Võ: My Lai (March 9, Royce Hall), and Eighth Blackbird featuring Will Oldham (Bonnie "Prince" Billy) (April 21, The Theatre at Ace Hotel).
CALENDAR EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE:CAP UCLA presentsAlarm Will Sound1969
Saturday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m.Royce Hall, UCLA
Program: One of the most original ensembles on the American music scene today, Alarm Will Sound's 1969 is a multimedia production that traces the compelling story of an exceptional group of musicians who were striving to forge new forms of art amidst the turmoil of the late 1960s. Described by The New York Times as "the soundtrack to a collaboration that never was," 1969 is based on a fabled meeting between avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen and Beatle John Lennon. The wildly imaginative fantasy intertwines the music of the Beatles, Stockhausen, Leonard Bernstein, Yoko Ono and Italian composer Luciano Berio with dialogue based on interviews, letters and journals by Igor Stravinsky, Broadway producer Harold Prince, activist Daniel Berrigan, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and others, against a backdrop of photographs that vividly reflect the sound and fury of the artistic and social upheavals of that era.
Single tickets: $29-$59Online: cap.ucla.edu
UCLA Central Ticket Office: 310-825-2101, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Royce Hall box office: open 90 minutes prior to the event start time.