a​/​rhythmia

by Alarm Will Sound

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about

For "a/rhythmia," Alarm Will Sound performs 14 pieces from composers spanning six centuries, all of which explore the concept of “arrhythmia”: “want of rhythm or regularity, specifically of the pulse.” The resulting work, on the ensemble’s fifth record and its first complete album on Nonesuch, upends order and expectation, often taking ideas akin to minimalism and refracting them through a fun-house mirror.

Central to the disc is the player piano work by Conlon Nancarrow, who has intrigued composers like György Ligeti (also represented on a/rhythmia) and John Adams. Although Nancarrow’s studies were originally thought to be playable only by machines, Alarm Will Sound (along with other intrepid musicians) has, as Pierson writes in his program notes, “set about proving that (at least some of) his studies are actually playable by people.” Pierson calls the final track of a/rhythmia, Nancarrow’s Player Piano Study 3A (his first player piano composition), “the most rhythmically challenging music we’ve ever performed.”

Also on the album are short pieces from English composer-filmmaker Benedict Mason’s Animals and the Origins of Dance and longer works by such artists as Michael Gordon, electronic-music duo Autechre, and the 15th-century composer Josquin des Prez.

credits

released February 26, 2016

MUSICIANS
Alarm Will Sound:
Jessica Johnson, flute, piccolo, pan pipes
Kelli Kathman, flute, piccolo, pan pipes
Jacqueline Leclair, oboe, English horn
Bill Kalinkos, clarinet, saxophone, celesta
Elisabeth Stimpert, clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone
Alex Hamlin, saxophone
Ken Thomson, saxophone
Michael Harley, bassoon, piano
Matt Marks, horn, keyboard
Kate Sheeran, horn
Jason Price, trumpet
Michael Clayville, trombone
Payton MacDonald, percussion
Christopher Thompson, percussion
John Orfe, piano, keyboard
Caleb Burhans, violin, electric guitar, electric bass, voice
Courtney Orlando, violin, voice
John Pickford Richards, viola, accordion
Stefan Freund, cello
Miles Brown, bass, electric bass
Alan Pierson, artistic director, conductor, keyboard
Gavin Chuck, managing director

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by Gavin Chuck
Engineers: David Kerzner and Dan Bora
Recorded at William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ, and Looking Glass Studios, New York City
Mixed by Dan Bora

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