March 8, 2010
In mid-February, Alarm Will Sound performed with the Brooklyn-based band Dirty Projectors at Lincoln Center. The show received a nice review in the New York Times, which praised the music's movement "from one reverie to the next, pensive but restless, the way its characters roam the landscape."
Over the last weekend of February, the two bands took the shifting "reverie" to Los Angeles's Walt Disney Concert for a follow-up performance of the Projectors' "The Getty Address." And again, the press coverage was favorable. Variety was present, providing a Variety-like bare-bones summary of the concert without too much analysis. Spin, however, took their coverage a little deeper:
On Saturday night in Los Angeles, Dirty Projectors threw one of the greatest and strangest shows of the year from within the airship-shaped chamber of the Walt Disney Concert Hall...Then came Dirty Projectors, backed by New York's left-field chamber ensemble Alarm Will Sound.
While cloaked DP sirens Amber Coffman, Hayley Dekle, and Angel Deradoorian piped and cooed an impossible-sounding array of notes, the members of Alarm worked their own magic, some blowing into bottles, one tearing at a roll of duct tape, and all displaying a mastery of the more traditional tools of their trade - woodwinds, brass, piano, strings and percussion.
With so many moving parts, the possibility of failure lurked around every corner - an East Coast storm delayed the New Yorkers' arrival until the night before the gig, effectively quashing the possibility of a full rehearsal - and yet, Longstreth and Alarm conductor Alan Pierson led their troops to an unequivocal victory marked by countless standing ovations.
LA Weekly posted quite a few pictures. Here were some of the highlights (all photos by Timothy Norris):
Dirty Projectors perform in the foreground. Alarm Will Sound plays behind them.
AWS's Alan Pierson conducts while the musicians go about their business.
Alan Pierson acknowledges the crowd and the performers.
For more reviews and photographs, head over to: Los Angeles Times, Urb, and Stereogum.
For more on Alarm Will Sound's work in breaking the boundary between classical and popular music, check out Acoustica, their album which uses voices, strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion to perform the electronic music of Aphex Twin. The album, like all releases on Cantaloupe, is available at the Bang on a Can Store.