Alarm Will Sound has selected Rohan Chander and Caroline Louise Miller as recipients of support from the Matt Marks Impact Fund. The fund offers seed money and collaborative workshops to develop and premiere exciting, ambitious projects with Alarm Will Sound that have potential to make significant cultural and social impact.
Rohan’s work often questions our understanding of social systems, identity, and intrapersonal relations through a post-digital lens. His new theatrical piece for Alarm Will Sound, My Prayers Are Made of Silicon, will investigate the ways technology and religion are correlated, how ritualism unchecked can foster hierarchy, how value systems alter with awareness and skepticism, and the dangers that come with the artificiality of simulation. Performers and audience will interact through proximity-sensitive, infrared-sensitive, and smartphone devices that trigger various sounds and lighting throughout the performance space. The performance itself will become a kind of absurd ritual, as familiar as it is deeply unsettling. In addition to composing, Rohan is active as a keyboard player in NYC-based hip-hop/jazz collective Tabemono and frequently performs Hindustani music with vocalist and electronic musician Theo Woodward. He also is the artistic director of the Pulsing & Shaking festival, a month long new music series based at NYU, where he is currently finishing a degree in composition.
Caroline creates hyper-layered, intertextual works that broadly intersect with affect theory, biology and zoology, labor politics and desire, tactility, and glitch. Her new work for Alarm Will Sound is based on a condition all humans share: the push and pull of movement and stasis throughout our lives, whether physical, mental, or emotional. Taking train travel and infrastructure as a microcosm for this universal condition, Here-There weaves together film, mini-music videos, micro-interviews, sampled sounds, and a live acoustic score, unfolding interplays between everyday and epic, industrial and scenic, serenity and anxiety, connection and loneliness, noise and silence. Caroline’s creative work has taken place at a diverse array of festivals and venues worldwide, including a residency aboard a Scripps Institution of Oceanography research vessel, a concert series at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and an ongoing curation project on science-fiction themes. She holds a PhD in composition from UC San Diego, and is currently based in California.
Alarm Will Sound will begin working with the recipients in the upcoming months and premiere their works in the 2020-21 season.
Rohan and Caroline were selected from thirty applicants by a panel consisting of members of the ensemble and composer Marcos Balter. Gavin Chuck, Alarm Will Sound’s Executive Director, notes that the applicant pool reflected the Fund’s mission: “We were impressed by how many proposals promise to evolve the way classical musicians make music and to expand the diversity of people we make music with.” 57% of applicants identified as women or non-binary, and 43% as belonging to an under-represented ethnicity.
Alan Pierson, Alarm Will Sound’s Artistic Director, says, “We’re excited to develop these projects with these two exciting artists, both of which explore new territories of musical and performance experiences.”