When Alarm Will Sound's managing director Gavin Chuck spoke to us back in April he said, "We've got a mission to make St. Louis our second home." In keeping true to those words, Alarm Will Sound returns to town this weekend for two hallmark performances -- tonight at the Sheldon Concert Hall and Sunday night at the Public Media Commons.
Alarm Will Sound is a twenty-piece chamber ensemble specializing in contemporary classical music. From the works of Steve Reich to Aphex Twin and even the Dirty Projectors, the massive group has written and performed a staggering number of arrangements. It's' even taken on the great challenge of replicating electronic songs with acoustic instruments -- in a live concert setting, no less.
The first concert commemorates the city's 250th birthday and does so with a wide array of artists across several genres. The St. Louis Ragtimers, Billy Peek and iLLphonics are just a few acts that will join Alarm Will Sound tonight to perform in many spaces throughout the Sheldon.
Alarm Will Sound is set to collaborate with local jazz and blues singers Kim Massie and Denise Thimes. Their performance takes place at 8 p.m. in the main concert hall and will feature new works by composers Stefan Freund and Peter Martin. Freund's piece was specifically commissioned for this show, inspired by St. Louis' musical history.
Sunday's concert takes place outside the newly christened Public Media Commons, a beautiful space sandwiched between the Nine Network and St. Louis Public Radio in Grand Center. Check out our slideshow for pictures from its opening.
On this night, Alarm Will Sound will present the world premiere of "Ten Thousand Birds," composed by Pulitzer Prize winner John Luther Adams. As its name suggests, the music is inspired by the songs of Missouri birds. With the support of a grant from New Music USA, the piece was penned with special consideration for the chamber group and its specific instrumentation. Local musicians Eric Hall and Nathan Cook open the concert with two short performances. Cook is set to debut an all-new piece with live assistance from five members of Alarm Will Sound.
With continued support from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, Alarm Will Sound has indeed made St. Louis its second home: Following this weekend's double header, the group is set to perform here in December, January and May.
Alarm Will Sound
Friday, October 17 w/ Willie Akins and Eric Slaughter, St. Louis Ragtimers, Gray Hunt and Dade Farrar, Webster University Chamber Singers, Kim Massie, Denise Thimes, Peter Martin, Billy Peek, iLLphonics Sheldon Concert Hall 6:30 p.m. | $30
Sunday, October 19 w/ Eric Hall, Nathan Cook Public Media Commons 3653 Olive Street 6:30 p.m. | Free
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