Archive for July 8th, 2014

Composers Festival Spotlight: Alarm Will Sound

Alarm Will Sound

It’s been a busy year for Alarm Will Sound since the last Mizzou International Composers Festival.

For starters, the MICF’s resident ensemble (pictured) recently completed a year-long residency at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, performing there four times during the 2013-14 presenting season.

The concerts at the Met included “Permanent Collection,” revisiting key works written for the sinfonietta throughout musical history, in October; an all-Steve Reich program in November; a collaboration with Dance Heginbotham in February; and “I Was Here I Was I,” a music and theater piece composed by Kate Soper with a libretto by Nigel Maister, in June.

AWS over the past year also presented their second season of performances in St. Louis, playing three different programs at the Sheldon Concert Hall and making their debut at the top rock venue The Pageant with music from Aphex Twin, Steve Reich and Tyondai Braxton.

As part of their effort to get more involved in St. Louis, members of Alarm Will Sound conducted an ongoing series of workshops with students at the Community Music School of Webster University, culminating with selected students from CMS joining AWS on stage to perform in season’s final concert at The Sheldon. The program’s eventual goal, according to AWS managing director Gavin Chuck, is to form a student ensemble  – sort of an “Alarm Will Sound Jr,” if you will – to give CMS students continuing opportunities to learn and perform music by living composers.

And as if all that weren’t enough, AWS also managed to travel to Europe twice, to perform last September at the Sacrum Profanum Festival in Krakow, Poland, and in November to play at the Cresc Biennale in Frankfurt, Germany.

Other 2014 performances included a concert at NYC’s Carnegie Hall in June, featuring works by Donnacha Dennehy, Kate Moore, Kaki King, and Richard Ayres; and Alarm Will Sound’s Chicago debut over the Independence Day weekend in a concert at Millennium Park.

Last but certainly not least, AWS managed to make it to Columbia for the first time during the academic year, playing February 7 in a free concert at the Missouri Theatre.

Looking ahead, this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival once again will feature two performances by Alarm Will Sound at the Missouri Theatre.  On Thursday, July 24, they’ll present a program including music from 2014 guest composer Nico Muhly, John Adams’ “Scratchband,” and more.

Then for the Festival’s grand finale on Saturday, July 26, AWS will will perform eight world premieres of works written especially for them by this year’s eight resident composers. Tickets for both concerts are on sale now.

For the latest from Alarm Will Sound, you can follow them on Twitter and/or “Like” them on Facebook.

You also can hear some of the music Alarm Will Sound has premiered at past Mizzou International Composers Festivals via SoundCloud. Audio files from 2010 are here; the tracks from 2011 are here; and 2012’s files are here.

Twinned: Alarm Will Sound/Dance Heginbotham
Recorded February 20, 2014 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alarm Will Sound at the Community Music School of Webster University

Ives “Ragtime Dance No. 4”
Recorded October 11, 2013 during the “Permanent Collection” performance at the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Audio of the complete “Permanent Collection” concert