Splitting Adams Alarm Will Sound & Alan Pierson
- John Adams (b.1970):
- 1On Chamber Symphony17:17
- 2Chamber Symphony: I. Mongrel Airs07:11
- 3Chamber Symphony: II. Aria with Walking Bass08:23
- 4Chamber Symphony: III. Roadrunner06:04
- 5On Son of Chamber Symphony15:46
- 6Son of Chamber Symphony: I. —08:00
- 7Son of Chamber Symphony: II. —07:12
- 8Son of Chamber Symphony: III. —06:31
Info for Splitting Adams
Alarm Will Sound's latest project delivers the freewheeling sense of adventure and experimentation that is the guiding principle of new music. Conceived and realized in partnership with Meet the Composer, Q2 Music's Peabody award-winning podcast, Splitting Adams is Alarm Will Sound's fiery tribute to American composer John Adams (celebrating his 70th birthday this year), and in particular to his works Chamber Symphony (1992) and Son of Chamber Symphony (2007). It's also the group's first "podcast album," and features commentary from MTC's host Nadia Sirota, Alarm Will Sound's artistic director Alan Pierson, Columbia University music historian Walter Frisch - and of course, John Adams himself.
In this format, the performance-plus-podcast conveys a rare sense of interaction for the listener; the music, rendered in all its lush detail by the ever-adept musicians in AWS, captures and connects the long trajectory between the two works, while the commentary shines a revealing light on the story behind two of Adams' most challenging symphonies.
For her part, Nadia Sirota offers a unique perspective; she's not just the host of Meet the Composer - she's also a member of Alarm Will Sound. "John Adams' Chamber Symphony is one of the pieces that contributed to our forming an ensemble in the first place," she explains. "Now, Son of Chamber Symphony, that was written expressly for Alarm Will Sound, after John heard us playing the Chamber Symphony. So not only do we love to play it, there's something of us kind of baked into the piece.“
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 London and 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.”
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. 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 is the resident ensemble at the Mizzou International Composers Festival. Held each July at the University of Missouri in Columbia, the festival features eight world premieres by emerging composers. During the weeklong festival, these composers work closely with Alarm Will Sound and two established guest composers to perform and record their new work.
Alarm Will Sound may be heard on nine recordings, including our most recent, Modernists, released by Cantaloupe in May 2016, 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 Hunger at the BAM Next Wave Festival and the Touhill Performing Arts Center. Featuring Iarla O’Lionárd (sean nos singer) and Katherine Manley (soprano) with direction by Tom Creed, The Hunger is punctuated by video commentary and profound early recordings of traditional Irish folk ballads mined from various archives including those of Alan Lomax. Alarm Will Sound’s performance was lauded for its “intonation and balance” (Musical America) and “vitality and confidence” (The Log Journal).
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.”)
In 2010, the group developed and performed the Dirty Projectors' The Getty Address in its new identity as a live performance piece at the 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 by Matt Marks, Alan Pierson, and Chris Thompson for 23 musicians of both bands.
Alarm Will Sound has been presented by Carnegie Hall, 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.
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.
Members of the ensemble began playing together while studying at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. With diverse experience in composition, improvisation, jazz and popular styles, early music, and world musics, they bring intelligence and a sense of adventure to all their performances.
This album contains no booklet.