Alarm Will Sound Features World-Class Composers And Innovative Works In Its 2019-20 St. Louis Season
Alarm Will Sound, "one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene" (The New York Times), returns for its eighth St. Louis Season. The four concerts spread out from November to May include multiple world premieres and see the ensemble not only return to the stage of The Sheldon but also visit two spaces for the first time: The 560 Music Center at Washington University, and The Grandel. Details on the performances are available at alarmwillsound.com/events.
The season begins at the 560 Music Center on November 9th with a concert that highlights Alarm Will Sound's mission to erase boundaries of musical genre. The evening features world premieres of music by MacArthur grant recipient Tyshawn Sorey and electronic music artist Aphex Twin, as well as a piece by Colombian-American composer José Martinez. Sorey's music has been noted for its ability to "shapeshift" (The New Yorker) and to defy categorization by bringing together elements of jazz, new classical music, improvisation, minimalism, and beyond into compelling unified works. Alarm Will Sound's history with the music of Aphex Twin goes back to Acoustica, their 2009 album featuring arrangements of his music. For the tenth anniversary of the album, Alarm Will Sound musician Stefan Freund has created a new arrangement of the 2018 Aphex Twin track "T69 Collapse." The evening will also include Danza Tòrridas by José Martinez with whom Alarm Will Sound first collaborated at the Mizzou International Composers Festival held in Columbia, MO.
On December 18th, Alarm Will Sound visits The Grandel for the first time to present Living Through the Winter, the music and story of Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen. The event will happen in the form of a "live podcast" featuring music intertwined with stories. Together they tell the tale of the award-winning composer's transformation during his mysterious decade-long hiatus from composing. The performance will feature Abrahamsen's Wald and Schnee.
Alarm Will Sound returns to the 560 Music Center on February 1st with world premieres of music by Alyssa Pyper and Lucrecia Dalt. Alyssa Pyper joins Alarm Will Sound as singer and violinist for the world premiere of her new work, Descansos. Descansos are roadside memorials that mark where a loved one has died. Pyper's work reflects on the composer's own life experience growing up as a gay woman in a Mormon family, and trying to mark and move on from those spots in life where loss and trauma have occurred. Alyssa is one of the first recipients of support from Alarm Will Sound's Matt Marks Impact Fund, the goal of which is to support new work that may not otherwise receive funding because of systemic barriers to unconventional work or under-represented artists.
Lucrecia Dalt is an electronic musician who began her career as a civil engineer in Columbia but moved to Spain and then Germany to pursue her interest in avant-garde sound. Dalt collaborates with Alarm Will Sound via Alarm System, a program to interface with musicians who create compelling work in non-classical ways such as through improvisation, electronics, or oral transmission.
The season ends on May 15th at the Sheldon Concert Hall with a world premiere of music co-created by Allison Loggins-Hull and Toshi Reagon, recipients of support from the Matt Marks Impact Fund. About the new work, Love Always, Loggins-Hull says, "When my son was 4, he had a teacher who brought up Michael Brown's story during class and throughout the day my son exclaimed that he was afraid of the police. It taught me that despite my son's very young age and innocence, we were going to have to have these conversations with him sooner than we had hoped." Ms. Loggins-Hull discovered she could communicate more clearly with her son through letters, following in the tradition of other African-Americans who have done the same. These texts will serve as the foundation for Love Always.
Alarm Will Sound is "one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene" (The New York Times). A 20-member band committed to innovative performances and recordings of today's music, they have established a reputation for performing demanding music with energetic virtuosity.
With classical skill and unlimited curiosity, Alarm Will Sound takes on music from a wide variety of styles. "Stylistically omnivorous and physically versatile" (The Log Journal), their repertoire ranges from European to American works, from the arch-modernist to the pop-influenced. Since its inception, Alarm Will Sound has been associated with composers at the forefront of contemporary music. The group itself includes many composer-performers, which allows for an unusual degree of insight into the creation and performance of new work.
A recent collaboration with jazz trio Medeski, Martin and Wood was featured on the 2019 Winter Jazzfest. In 2013-14, Alarm Will Sound served as artists-in-residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, premiering works by composers Tyondai Braxton and Kate Soper, choreographer John Heginbotham, and writer/director Nigel Maister. Alarm Will Sound is the resident ensemble at the Mizzou International Composers Festival which features eight world premieres by early-career composers.
Alarm Will Sound may be heard on sixteen recordings, including its most recent, The Hunger featuring music of Donnacha Dennehy, and the premiere of Steve Reich's Radio Rewrite. Acoustica, their genre-bending, critically-acclaimed album, features live-performance arrangements of music by electronica guru Aphex Twin. For more information, visit Alarm Will Sound's website at www.alarmwillsound.com