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News & Reviews
- Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Alarm Will Sound Performs New Works by Steve Reich, Donnacha Dennehy; Dennehy Named Fort Worth Symphony Composer-in-Residence
Alarm Will Sound will perform a program of new works, featuring Steve Reich's Radio Rewrite and scenes from Donnacha Dennehy's The Hunger, at Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis on Wednesday. The group gave the US premiere of Radio Rewrite at Stanford University last Saturday and gives the NY premiere of The Hunger at Carnegie Hall on April 6. Dennehy has been named composer-in-residence for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra next season, which will include performances of his That the Night Come. Crash Ensemble and Dawn Upshaw will perform the piece at The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall this May.
- Monday, January 30, 2012
Carnegie Hall has announced its 2012–13 season, and featured among the performers taking the esteemed hall's stages are a number of artists familiar to readers of the Nonesuch Journal, including Kronos Quartet, Richard Goode, Dawn Upshaw, and Alarm Will Sound, as well as world and New York premiere performances of works by Steve Reich, Timothy Andres, and Donnacha Dennehy. In addition, John Adams will lead a Professional Training Workshop for emerging talents through Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute.
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
Design by ilovedust