Alarm Will Sound – Métadire – St. Louis, MO – June 9, 2023



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Friday, June 9th, 8:00 pm
The Sheldon Ballroom
St. Louis, MO


Excerpts from Métadire**†
Site-specific experience by Anaïs Maviel
Pre-show conceived by Anaïs Maviel and designed by Daniel Neumann

**world premiere
†written for Alarm Will Sound

Please join us for a post-concert conversation with Anaïs and Alan Pierson


(by the composer)

Welcome to a music experience in a seven folds spiral called Métadire. Tonight you’ll hear some of its first four movements. Alarm Will Sound’s Daniel Neumann & Anaïs Maviel collaborated on taking you by surprise with this pre-show/opening activation called Space. This moment is meant for you to orient and make yourself comfortable. You are invited to take your shoes off if that feels good, experience different points of view and listening, grab a blanket, a cushion, a chair… and settle down, whenever and wherever you wish. Hint from Daniel – the closer to the center of the room, the better the listening experience may be. Upright or horizontal, eyes open or closed, to your discretion!


I. Space (10’ if you arrived at 8PM)

II. Time (11’)

Featuring improvisations by Nate Wooley – trumpet, John Orfe – piano, Matt Smallcomb – drum set, Maya Stone – bassoon, Erin Lesser – flute & Anaïs Maviel – voice.

III. Gods Spell (4’)

who is who is who is who is


who is here singing a song

is it me, is it you, is it us

is it God

is it anything at all

is it even real?


how is how is how is how is


how is sound ringing through time

is it heard, is it felt, is it resonating elsewhere

is it emanating a universe

how is anything at all

even existing, my friends?

IV. Cosmos (19’ excerpt)

Featuring Alarm Will Sound strings, Kyra Sims & Matt Smallcomb playing Merche Blasco’s antenna-rackets.

A bit about the music:

Métadire offers a meditative experience on our existence and our perception of known and unknown alike. Performers and audience, as beginner metaphysicians, dive in a vortex where repetition is never the same.

Métadire is a made-up word from French “dire” – to say, and the prefix meta suggesting the surrounding of what is being said – the field. It refers to the vibratory amalgamate one can’t yet name, yet that is soon realized. The piece invites us to listen to all possibles, or seven folds of becoming.


Alarm Will Sound gratefully acknowledges our individual donors and the following foundations for their support: Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Amphion Foundation, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, BMI Foundation, Cheswatyr Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, New Music USA’s Organizational Development Fund in 2022-23, Mellon Foundation, and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

Additional Support provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Alarm Will Sound

Alarm Will Sound is a 20-member band committed to innovative performances and recordings of today’s music. They have established a reputation for performing demanding music with energetic skill. Their performances have been described as “equal parts exuberance, nonchalance, and virtuosity” by the Financial Times of London and as “a triumph of ensemble playing” by the San Francisco Chronicle. The New York Times says that Alarm Will Sound is “one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene.”

With classical skill and unlimited curiosity, Alarm Will Sound takes on music from a wide variety of styles. Its repertoire ranges from European to American works, from the arch-modernist to the pop-influenced. Alarm Will Sound has been associated since its inception with composers at the forefront of contemporary music, premiering pieces by John Adams, Steve Reich, David Lang, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Tyondai Braxton, Augusta Read Thomas, Derek Bermel, Meredith Monk, and Wolfgang Rihm, among others. The group itself includes many composer-performers, which allows for an unusual degree of insight into the creation and performance of new work.

Alarm Will Sound is the resident ensemble at the Mizzou International Composers Festival. Held each July at the University of Missouri in Columbia, the festival features eight world premieres by early-career composers. During the weeklong festival, these composers work closely with Alarm Will Sound and two established guest composers to perform and record their new work.

Alarm Will Sound may be heard on eighteen recordings, including including For George Lewis | Autoshchediasms, their most recent release featuring music of Tyshawn Sorey; Omnisphere, with jazz trio Medeski Martin & Wood; a collaboration with Peabody Award-winning podcast Meet the Composer titled Splitting Adams; and the premiere recording of Steve Reich’s Radio Rewrite. Their genre-bending, critically acclaimed Acoustica features live-performance arrangements of music by electronica guru Aphex Twin. This unique project taps the diverse talents within the group, from the many composers who made arrangements of the original tracks, to the experimental approaches developed by the performers.  

Alarm Will Sound collaborates with artists who work beyond the bounds of classical music. Alarm System, the Matt Marks Impact Fund, and Video Chat Variations, a YouTube series developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, are initiatives that have created cross-genre music with electronica artists Eartheater, Jlin, King Britt, and Rashad Becker; jazz composer-performer Dave Douglas; multimedia artists Mira Calix, Bakudi Scream, and Damon Davis; soundtrack composers Brian Reitzell and JG Thirlwell; producer Valgeir Sigurðsson, and singer-songwriter Alyssa Pyper. 

In 2016, Alarm Will Sound in a co-production with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, presented the world premiere of the staged version of Donnacha Dennehy’s The Hunger at the BAM Next Wave Festival and the Touhill Performing Arts Center. Featuring Iarla O’Lionárd (traditional Irish singer) and Katherine Manley (soprano) with direction by Tom Creed, The Hunger is punctuated by video commentary and profound early recordings of traditional Irish folk ballads mined from various archives including those of Alan Lomax.

In 2013-14, Alarm Will Sound served as artists-in-residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. During that season, the ensemble presented four large ensemble performances at the Met, including two site-specific productions staged in museum galleries (Twinned, a collaboration with Dance Heginbotham and I Was Here I Was I, a new theatrical work by Kate Soper and Nigel Maister), as well as several smaller events in collaboration with the Museum’s educational programs.  

In 2011, at Carnegie Hall, the group presented 1969, a multimedia event that uses music, images, text, and staging to tell the compelling story of great musicians—John Lennon, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Paul McCartney, Luciano Berio, Yoko Ono, and Leonard Bernstein—striving for a new music and a new world amidst the turmoil of the late 1960s. 1969’s unconventional approach combining music, history, and ideas has been critically praised by the New York Times (“…a swirling, heady meditation on the intersection of experimental and commercial spheres, and of social and aesthetic agendas.”)

Alarm Will Sound has been presented by Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, (le) Poisson Rouge, Miller Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Kitchen, the Bang on a Can Marathon, Disney Hall, Kimmel Center, Library of Congress, the Walker Arts Center, Cal Performances, Stanford Lively Arts, Duke Performances, and the Warhol Museum. International tours include the Beijing Modern Festival, Now Hear This (Korea), the Holland Festival, Sacrum Profanum, Moscow’s Art November, St. Petersburg’s Pro Arte Festival, and the Barbican.

The members of the ensemble have also demonstrated our commitment to the education of young performers and composers through residency performances and activities at Princeton University, the University of Michigan, University of Maryland, Shenandoah University, the Community Music School of Webster University, Cleveland State University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Missouri, Eastman School of Music, Dickinson College, Duke University, the Manhattan School of Music, Harvard University, New York University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

For more information and to join the mailing list, visit Alarm Will Sound’s website at

Alan Pierson

Alan Pierson has been praised as “a dynamic conductor and musical visionary” by the New York Times, “a young conductor of monstrous skill” by Newsday, “gifted and electrifying” by the Boston Globe, and “one of the most exciting figures in new music today” by Fanfare. In addition to his work as artistic director of Alarm Will Sound, he has served as Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and guest conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Steve Reich Ensemble, Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Silk Road Project, among other ensembles. He is co-director of the Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble, and has been a visiting faculty conductor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the Eastman School of Music, and at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity. Mr. Pierson has collaborated with major composers and performers, including Yo Yo Ma, Steve Reich, Dawn Upshaw, Osvaldo Golijov, John Adams, Augusta Read Thomas, David Lang, Michael Gordon, La Monte Young, and choreographers Christopher Wheeldon, Akram Khan and Elliot Feld.  Mr. Pierson received bachelor degrees in physics and music from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a doctorate in conducting from the Eastman School of Music. He has recorded for Nonesuch Records, Cantaloupe Music, Sony Classical, and Sweetspot DVD. 


Anaïs Maviel, voice
Erin Lesser, flutes
Michelle Farah, oboe
Bill Kalinkos, clarinet
Elisabeth Stimpert, clarinets
Maya Stone, bassoon
Kyra Sims, horn
Nate Wooley, trumpet
Michael Clayville, bass trombone
Chris P. Thompson, percussion
Matt Smallcomb, percussion
John Orfe, piano
Courtney Orlando, violin
Theo Ramsey, violin
Gillian Gallagher
, viola
Stefan Freund, cello
Marco Panascia, bass
Alan Pierson, conductor and Artistic Director

Gavin Chuck, Executive Director
Annie Toth, General Manager
Peter Ferry, Assistant Director of Artistic Planning
Jason Varvaro, Production Manager
Michael Clayville, Director of Marketing
Tracy Mendez, Development Manager
Bill Kalinkos, Librarian
Uday Singh, Program Coordinator

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