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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.

Mizzou International Composers Festival


Alarm Will Sound returns to Columbia, MO for the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival. The Festival is known as a premier showcase for new works by top young composers, and will take place this year from Monday, July 24 through Saturday, July 29. Alarm Will Sound will present two performances.

For the first concert, AWS will present music from the 2017 MICF’s distinguished guest composers, Georg Friedrich Haas and Dan Visconti, as well as works by Robert Sirota, Don Freund, and Caleb Burhans.

The grand finale of the week will showcase the world premieres of eight new works written by the festival’s resident composers and performed by Alarm Will Sound at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, July 29 at the Missouri Theatre.

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Subscribe to the Alarm Will Sound newsletter and be the first to hear about new music from composers like Steve Reich, Nico Muhly, and John Adams. Receive links to performances by Alarm Will Sound and hear about upcoming concerts coming to locations near you!

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

Courtney Orlando

Courtney Orlando

She would have played the cello if she’d had a choice, but her parents loved the violin and put one in her hands before she knew the difference. Courtney grew up in Kutztown, PA and wanted to be a veterinarian. But music took over early in high school and Courtney decided to go to Temple University. Sometimes music school isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be, though, and for Courtney, she says she became “un-enamored (is that a word?)” playing the same music over and over while trying to perfect excerpts for orchestral auditions. She tried music theory and pedagogy while at Eastman for her masters degree but went back to the violin for a DMA after getting swept up by the Ossia new-music crowd—maybe being a musician didn’t mean having to play in orchestra after all.

Courtney now lives in Brooklyn and freelances in the city while teaching ear-training for half of every week at Peabody in Baltimore. She never got away from her veterinarian dreams and volunteers at the SPCA walking and taking care of dogs.

Be alarmist

Read articles by our members, get behind-the-scenes reports about our projects, and share your thoughts at Alarmists, our blog.