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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

Matt Marks’s A Song for Wade (This is Not That Song)

Matt Marks, our horn player, mixes 1950s doo-wop with with 1970s pop ballad and comes up with a 21st-century art song about teenage sexuality, the internet, and suburbia. Lyrics by Royce Vavrek.

Matt wrote a blog entry about how he composed this piece.

Soundcloud logoVisit our Soundcloud for more recordings.

Member Spotlight

Gavin Chuck

Gavin Chuck

A native of Jamaica, Gavin grew up in a very musical culture and was exposed to a variety of music from a young age. Gavin sang in the boys’ choir and pursued classical piano, but was also surrounded with reggae and Jamaican folk music on a daily basis.

It wasn’t until he came to the US for a two-year stint at an international school in New Mexico that Gavin fully realized his affinity for music. He originally intended to pursue a career in computer science, but an assignment to write a piece of music sparked his interest and eventually led him to pursue multiple degrees in music theory and composition.

Gavin puts most of his creative energy these days into his work as Managing Director of Alarm Will Sound fueled by his passion to create a cultural space for contemporary music and living composers. But he also makes time for an occasional Scrabble game—only the real deal, though, none of these knock-offs like Words With Friends! He makes a tough competitor having memorized all the 2-letter words.

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