Alarm Will Sound
Alarm Will Sound is a 20-member band committed to innovative performances and recordings of today’s music. They have established a reputation for performing demanding music with energetic skill. Their performances have been described as “equal parts exuberance, nonchalance, and virtuosity” by the Financial Times of Londonand as “a triumph of ensemble playing” by the San Francisco Chronicle. The New York Times says that Alarm Will Sound is “one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene.”
With classical skill and unlimited curiosity, Alarm Will Sound takes on music from a wide variety of styles. Its repertoire ranges from European to American works, from the arch-modernist to the pop-influenced. Alarm Will Sound has been associated since its inception with composers at the forefront of contemporary music, premiering pieces by John Adams, Steve Reich, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Aaron Jay Kernis, Augusta Read Thomas, Derek Bermel, Benedict Mason, and Wolfgang Rihm, among others. The group itself includes many composer-performers, which allows for an unusual degree of insight into the creation and performance of new work.
Alarm Will Sound may be heard on thirteen recordings, including their most recent, Omnisphere, with jazz trio Medeski, Martin & Wood; a collaboration with Peabody Award-winning podcast Meet the Composer titled Splitting Adams; 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. This unique project taps the diverse talents within the group, from the many composers who made arrangements of the original tracks, to the experimental approaches developed by the performers.
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 Hungerat the BAM Next Wave Festival and the Touhill Performing Arts Center. Featuring Iarla O’Lionárd (traditional Irish singer) and Katherine Manley (soprano) with direction by Tom Creed, The Hungeris punctuated by video commentary and profound early recordings of traditional Irish folk ballads mined from various archives including those of Alan Lomax.
In 2013-14, Alarm Will Sound served as artists-in-residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. During that season, the ensemble presented four large ensemble performances at the Met, including two site-specific productions staged in museum galleries (Twinned, a collaboration with Dance Heginbotham and I Was Here I Was I, a new theatrical work by Kate Soper and Nigel Maister), 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, Paul McCartney, Luciano Berio, Yoko Ono, and Leonard Bernstein—striving for a new music and a new world amidst the turmoil of the late 1960s. 1969’s unconventional approach combining music, history, and ideas has been critically praised by the New York Times (“...a swirling, heady meditation on the intersection of experimental and commercial spheres, and of social and aesthetic agendas.”)
Alarm Will Sound has been presented by Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, (le) Poisson Rouge, Miller Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, 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.
The members of the ensemble have also demonstrated our commitment to the education of young performers and composers through residency performances and activities at the Community Music School of Webster University, Cleveland State University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Missouri, Eastman School of Music, Dickinson College, Duke University, the Manhattan School of Music, Harvard University, New York University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
For more information and to join the mailing list, visit Alarm Will Sound’s website at www.alarmwillsound.com
Past Resident Ensembles
1. derived from the Ancient Greek word χημεία (khēmeia) meaning "cast together"
2. a contemporary concert music ensemble based in the United States
Khemia Ensemble is a contemporary chamber ensemble focused on championing the works of living composers through vivid, multimedia performances. We foster collaborations among the arts by working closely with designers, visual artists, and writers as well as incorporating poetic, visual, and interactive elements in our performances. The members of Khemia Ensemble have come together across four countries from around the world: Argentina, Brazil, China, and the United States to form an ensemble that seeks to diversify and share the music of living composers.
The ensemble has been featured in venues and festivals such as National Sawdust, Strange Beautiful Music in Detroit, the third annual New Music Gathering, Latin IS America at Michigan State University and the Biennial New Music Festival at the National University of Cordoba. Khemia has held residencies at University of Michigan, Tufts University, Michigan State University, the National University of Bogota and the National University of Cordoba as well as two consecutive years at Avaloch Farms.
“Khemia Lights” is a permanent installation for the ensemble and was created in a collaboration between Khemia member/composer, Bret Bohman, and the Cincinnati-based sound and visual production company Intermedio. The lights use audio-visual technology that responds live to the rhythm and intensity of the music we are performing, creating an exciting multi-sensory experience for the audience. Khemia used this technology to performed a series of interactive concerts throughout Cincinnati, Ann Arbor and Detroit venues.
For more information, visit Khemia Ensemble's website at https://www.khemiaensemble.com