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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

Ken Ueno’s (X)igágái

This is an excerpt of our world premiere performance.

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Member Spotlight

Michael Harley

Michael Harley

Mike grew up thinking he would be a doctor—his dad, grandpa, and uncles were all involved in biology. He didn’t start taking regular bassoon lessons until he was a sophomore in college, but he quickly realized he was more into music than science. Mike never imagined being in a group like Alarm Will Sound, but he says it’s his most enjoyable playing outlet.

Mike recently earned his DMA from the Eastman School of Music. He currently lives in South Carolina with his wife, Jennifer. It’s rare for musician couples to find jobs in the same city, let alone the same university, but Mike and Jennifer got lucky. They are teaching at the University of South Carolina and just started a flute/bassoon/piano trio along with Steven Aldredge. Mike stays busy with his two girls who seem to admire mom and dad’s musical talent. Ella has taken up the violin and Lucia likes the cello. Maybe a family band in the future?

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