Alarm Will Sound: A Contemporary Classical Music Performance Essay

Submitted By VivianQian93
Words: 409
Pages: 2

Alarm Will Sound, a 20-member band, performed a free concert on Friday, February 7 at Missouri Theatre. The two-hour concert featured seven contemporary classical works. It showed how the band used traditional acoustic instruments to realize music originally created by tape machines and electronic manipulation. The seven pieces include Beatles’ “Revolution 9,” Edgard Varèse’s “Poème électronique,” Nancarrow’s “Study 2A,” “Study 3A,” “Big Spinoff,” “Will Sound,” and “Zoetrope.”
The most impressive part of the concert was the new form Alarm Will Sound explored to interact men and machines. The music was so different that at the beginning, I couldn’t follow and didn’t even know how to appreciate it. Almost each piece was complex and drew on various techniques and sounds to define contemporary classical music. As sounds of flute, vibraphone, bass, drums and piano mixed with human’s voices, the music kept the audience and the ensemble on their toes. Just as its name suggested, the rhythms and sounds were alarming, fresh, discombobulating, playful and exciting. Boisterous throughout, after a brief return to the opening melodic material, almost every piece ended with a sudden, just as the audience was about to catch their breath, expecting more.
The essence of the performance was dismantling an original piece’s purity, but leaving its energy intact. The opening tone of almost every piece gave audience an outburst of unstoppable energy. Every musician is carefully paying attention to everything that surrounds them. They smiled, laughed and felt so intoxicated while performing music. Their energy and