Monday, April 02, 2007

Five Things about Alarm Will Sound

I heard the "farewell" concert at Dickinson College of the ensemble in residence, Alarm Will Sound (AWS) Saturday night at Rubendall Hall.
1. The evening was stellar, from precise and moving performances to educational activities where the students were playing alongside the performers (in a new work nonetheless!) to a killer reception afterwards.
2. Michael Gordon has a far better sense of rhythm than I do. So does Benedict Mason. In fact, AWS does in general! Some great funky stuff - catch them when they come to your town - and buy their cds.
3. The premieres the whole evening were superb, and the program itself was so well crafted. I enjoyed "Plays Well With Others" by Robert Pound - who led his work with panache and sparkle.
4. John Orfe's Chamber Symphony was particularly good, and his knowledge of his colleagues shows in the writing (he's the pianist in AWS). Of course, his company and friendship with Ezra Ladermann and John Adams doesn't hurt I'm sure. The work has a Mahlerian feel with 21st century good taste - that is to say, it is a serious and virtuosic work which I long to hear again.
5. The encore was from their Aphex Twin cd, conceived at Rubendall Hall a few years ago. It was delightful, but I would have also had them encore even more - I almost shouted "Da Capo!" at the end of Animals and the Origins of Dance. (The musicians all leave the stage, where pre-recorded sounds are heard along with off stage playing! pictured left.)

I'm looking forward to hearing AWS again live and on future cds!
[You can hear and see interviews with Robert Pound and John Orfe here.]
BTW, my friends joined me: Zach, Bob and Sue - we had great seats!
I also had the great pleasure to finally meet Mel and Matt:
Read Melissa's blog here. Turns out she knew a player from high school and I knew the cellist who was subbing previously...small world!

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