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a/rhythmia cover art

Track Listing

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1"Jitterbug mécanique" from Animals and the Origins of Dance (Benedict Mason)1:35
2Yo Shakespeare (Michael Gordon)11:16
3"Camouflage des Agréments" from Animals and the Origins of Dance (Benedict Mason)1:33
4"Movimento preciso e meccanico" from Chamber Concerto (György Ligeti)3:51
5Dessert Search for Techno Baklava (Mochipet, arr. Stefan Freund)3:00
6Le Ray Au Soleyl (Johannes Ciconia, arr. Gavin Chuck)2:47
7"Highland Balls and Village Halls" from Animals and the Origins of Dance (Benedict Mason)1:32
8Player Piano Study 6 (Conlon Nancarrow, arr. Yvar Mikhashoff)3:42
9Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum (Harrison Birtwistle)9:01
10"Dégringolade des Pingouins" from Animals and the Origins of Dance (Benedict Mason)1:37
11"Agnus Dei II" from Missa L'homme armé super voces musicales (Josquin des Prez, arr. Payton MacDonald)1:48
12Cfern (Autechre, arr. Dennis DeSantis)5:45
13"Disgraceful Bossanova with Lemurs" from Animals and the Origins of Dance (Benedict Mason)1:33
14Player Piano Study 3A (Conlon Nancarrow, arr. Derek Bermel)5:36

News & Reviews

  • Steve Reich's "Radio Rewrite" Receives NY Premiere in All-Reich Alarm Will Sound Concert at Metropolitan Museum

    Steve Reich's new ensemble work, Radio Rewrite, which draws inspiration from songs by Radiohead, will receive its New York premiere in a concert by Alarm Will Sound at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday. The all-Reich program also features City Life, New York Counterpoint, and new takes on Six Pianos, Four Genesis Settings from The Cave, and Clapping Music, with the composer joining in. The performance will stream live on Q2Music.

  • Alarm Will Sound Begins Metropolitan Museum of Art Residency in NYC and Second St. Louis Season

    Alarm Will Sound begins two important components of its 2013–14 concert season this week: its second "St. Louis season" and its season-long residency at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The latter comprises four concerts, starting this Friday and including the New York premiere of Steve Reich's new piece, Radio Rewrite, on an all-Reich program November 16.

About this Album

Nonesuch releases a/rhythmia, the new album from Alarm Will Sound—the 20-member group described by the New York Times as “one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene”—on September 15.

For a/rhythmia, this new-music band—led by Artistic Director Alan Pierson—performs 14 pieces from composers spanning six centuries, all of which explore the concept of “arrhythmia”: “want of rhythm or regularity, specifically of the pulse.” The resulting work, on the ensemble’s fifth record and its first complete album on Nonesuch, upends order and expectation, often taking ideas akin to minimalism and refracting them through a fun-house mirror.

Central to the disc is the player piano work by Conlon Nancarrow, who has intrigued composers like György Ligeti (also represented on a/rhythmia) and John Adams. Although Nancarrow’s studies were originally thought to be playable only by machines, Alarm Will Sound (along with other intrepid musicians) has, as Pierson writes in his program notes, “set about proving that (at least some of) his studies are actually playable by people.” Pierson calls the final track of a/rhythmia, Nancarrow’s Player Piano Study 3A (his first player piano composition), “the most rhythmically challenging music we’ve ever performed.”

Also on the album are short pieces from English composer-filmmaker Benedict Mason’s Animals and the Origins of Dance and longer works by such artists as Michael Gordon, electronic-music duo Autechre, and the 15th-century composer Josquin des Prez.

After Alarm Will Sound performed the a/rhythmia program in a Carnegie Hall concert last year, the New York Times said that the group “shows an admirable commitment and a spirit of adventure.” New York magazine, in its Year in Culture survey, cited the concert as one of the Top Ten Classical Events of 2008


Alarm Will Sound:
Jessica Johnson, flute, piccolo, pan pipes
Kelli Kathman, flute, piccolo, pan pipes
Jacqueline Leclair, oboe, English horn
Bill Kalinkos, clarinet, saxophone, celesta
Elisabeth Stimpert, clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone
Alex Hamlin, saxophone
Ken Thomson, saxophone
Michael Harley, bassoon, piano
Matt Marks, horn, keyboard
Kate Sheeran, horn
Jason Price, trumpet
Michael Clayville, trombone
Payton MacDonald, percussion
Christopher Thompson, percussion
John Orfe, piano, keyboard
Caleb Burhans, violin, electric guitar, electric bass, voice
Courtney Orlando, violin, voice
John Pickford Richards, viola, accordion
Stefan Freund, cello
Miles Brown, bass, electric bass
Alan Pierson, artistic director, conductor, keyboard
Gavin Chuck, managing director

Produced by Gavin Chuck
Engineers: David Kerzner and Dan Bora
Recorded at William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ, and Looking Glass Studios, New York City
Mixed by Dan Bora

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