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Splitting Adams fuses a podcast with an album


“Splitting

Alarm Will Sound has teamed up with New York Public Radio's Peabody Award-winning podcast Meet the Composer to create a new kind of album.

Splitting Adams fuses the powerful music of John Adams with the power of podcasts to dig deep and get personal. It does not separate stories about the music from the music itself. Instead, we’re having an on-the-album conversation with you about the music of John Adams while we play the music of John Adams. We’ve made—actually, we’ve composed the conversation to immerse us in Chamber Symphony and Son of Chamber Symphony. Through recorded interviews with the composer, performers, and a historian, we tell the story of the creation of these two seminal works, and of the struggle required to perform them. Then we perform them.

The trajectory from Chamber Symphony to Son of Chamber Symphony is perfect for this kind of total-immersion illumination. We hear John Adams rethinking his approach to composition, and we hear him reflecting on the journey he has made. Along the way, he pulls unexpected inspirations together and pulls Alarm Will Sound into his story. It’s a story just right for the podcast-plus-album we’ve created here.

Splitting Adams is conceived and realized by Nadia Sirota, Alex Overington, and Alan Pierson, the creative forces behind Meet the Composer and Alarm Will Sound.

Alarm System in St. Louis and NYC


Alarm Will Sound brings artists from a variety of musical backgrounds together to create new work through Alarm System. The “reliably exhilarating” (New York Times) ensemble will perform a concert that includes music by Icelandic producer/composer/engineer Valgeir Sigurðsson who has worked with artists such as Björk, Brian Eno, Feist, and Sigur Ròs; excerpts from the soundtrack to the television show Hannibal by musician and composer Brian Reitzell; Common Fate by American composer/musician Tyondai Braxton; two works by British composer and sound artist Matt Rogers (Game Show Outpatient); and Aphex Twin’s minipops 67 arranged by Chris Thompson. Alarm Will Sound has a established a reputation for going to extremes to bring to life powerful, engaging sound worlds. For this performance they will employ a host of extended techniques and a battery of additional instruments to create music that is at times hypnotic, playful, unnerving, or exuberant but always compelling.

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Featured Recording

David Biedenbender’s Schism

This is our world premiere performance at the Mizzou International Composers Festival in 2011.

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Member Spotlight

Stefan Freund

Stefan Freund

Stefan lives in Columbia, Missouri where he keeps busy as a professor of composition and music theory at the University of Missouri and as the music director of the Columbia Civic Orchestra. As a kid, he was composing even before he started playing the cello; now he does both with Alarm Will Sound. The group features his compositions quite often and Stefan loves writing for the ensemble because he can tailor the music to each person in the group.

Stefan went to Eastman for a MM and DMA in composition. He remembers meeting Alan on the 2nd floor promenade at Eastman and getting recruited to play with Ossia. Alarm Will Sound grew out of the Ossia ensemble and Stefan has been with the group ever since. His favorite Alarm Will Sound concert experience was at the University of South Carolina. He describes it as a wild concert with people lined up at the doors and standing ovations. Who knew classical music could be as exciting as a rock concert?

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