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Alarm Will Sound

New York, NY            

Alarm Will Sound was founded in 2001 by composers and performers who met as students at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. ASCAP recognized their contributions to new music with a 2006 Concert Music Award for “the virtuosity, passion and commitment with which they perform and champion the repertory for the 21st century.” 

The versatility of Alarm Will Sound allows it to take on music from a wide variety of styles. Its repertoire ranges from European to American works, from the arch-modernist to the pop-influenced. The group fosters close relationships with contemporary composers and has commissioned and premiered pieces by Steve Reich, David Lang, Anthony Gatto, Cenk Ergün, Aaron Jay Kernis, Michael Gordon, Augusta Read Thomas, Stefan Freund, Wolfgang Rihm, Payton MacDonald, John Orfe, Gavin Chuck, Dennis DeSantis and Caleb Burhans.

As the resident ensemble of the Mizzou International Composers Festival in Columbia, Missouri, we premiere and record the works of eight emerging composers each summer. Our Alarm System initiative has expanded the new music repertoire by inviting artists from various backgrounds, such as King Britt, Alexandra Drewchin, Mira Calix, Brian Reitzell, Matt Rogers, Medeski, Martin and Wood, to make music with Alarm Will Sound.

Alarm Will Sound may be heard on ten recordings, including our most recent, Splitting Adams, released by Cantaloupe in April 2017, and the premiere recording of Steve Reich’s Radio Rewrite. Our genre-bending, critically acclaimed Acoustica features live-performance arrangements of music by electronica guru Aphex Twin. 

In 2016, Alarm Will Sound in a co-production with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, presented the world premiere of the staged version of Donnacha Dennehy’s The Hunger at the BAM Next Wave Festival and the Touhill Performing Arts Center. 

In 2013-14, Alarm Will Sound served as artists-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, presenting four large ensemble performances at the Met, including two site-specific productions staged in museum galleries, as well as several smaller events in collaboration with the Museum’s educational programs.  

In 2011, at Carnegie Hall, the group presented 1969, a multimedia event that uses music, images, text, and staging to tell the compelling story of great musicians—John Lennon, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luciano Berio, and Leonard Bernstein—striving for a new music and a new world amidst the turmoil of the late 1960s. 

In 2010, the group developed and performed the Dirty Projectors’ The Getty Address in its new identity as a live performance piece at Lincoln Center, Disney Hall and the Barbican. Music that Dirty Projectors front-man David Longstreth created on a computer by meticulous and complicated sampling, looping and layering is translated and arranged for 23 musicians of both bands.

Alarm Will Sound has been presented by Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center, (le) Poisson Rouge, Miller Theatre, the Kitchen, the Bang on a Can Marathon, Disney Hall, Kimmel Center, Library of Congress, the Walker Arts Center, Cal Performances, Stanford Lively Arts, Duke Performances, and the Warhol Museum. International tours include the Holland Festival, Sacrum Profanum, Moscow’s Art November, St. Petersburg’s Pro Arte Festival, and the Barbican.

“Try” – Andrew Norman

Composer Andrew Norman’s “Try” performed by Alarm Will Sound at the July 2015
Mizzou International Composers Festival

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“Revolution 9” by The Beatles, arranged by Matt Marks

From Alarm Will Sound’s multimedia performance, “1969” – a live performance of The Beatles “Revolution 9” arranged by AWS ensemble member, Matt Marks

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Alarm Will Sound/Dance Heginbotham: “Twinned”

In this site-specific performance created for The Charles Engelhard Court, Alarm Will Sound and Dance Heginbotham pair movement with the music of Tyondai Braxton, Aphex Twin, Edgard Varèse, and Raymond Scott. Performed in February 2014.

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