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a/rhythmia

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    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

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    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

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    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

on July 23, 2009 - 1:30pm
Release Date: 
Tuesday, September 15, 2009 (All day)
Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

467708

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
Artist Name: 
Alarm Will Sound
genre: 
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
UPC: 
075597993301BUN
Price: 
14.00
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597993295
Price: 
10.00
Label: 
MP3
Description: 

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

DescriptionExcerpt: 

The New York Times has called Alarm Will Sound "one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American scene." On its Nonesuch debut, the group performs works that challenge in playful ways conventional notions of rhythm and pulse. The Guardian gives the album a perfect five stars for its "exuberant mix" of pieces, "dazzlingly well played, and a startlingly good beginning to their association with Nonesuch."

ProductionCredits: 

MUSICIANS
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

PRODUCTION CREDITS
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