On Saturday, March 16 (8 pm), Stanford Live presents the "joyous and raucous" ensemble known as Alarm Will Sound in the North American premiere of Steve Reich's Radio Rewrite, highlighting an all-Reich program.
Taking two songs by the band Radiohead as a reference point, Reich has "rewritten" them into an original work for the 20 members of Alarm Will Sound. Reich will join the group onstage at Bing Concert Hall for his first large-scale performance of Clapping Music, a piece usually performed by two people. The balance of the program offers an intriguing array of rare and familiar Reich works, including City Life; New York Counterpoint; a new version of Six Pianos for solo performer and backing tracks, titled Piano Counterpoint; and Four Genesis Settings from 'The Cave.'
Tickets are $60 - $12.50, available at http://live.stanford.edu.
Alarm Will Sound, called "one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American scene" by The New York Times, has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Reich. Says Alan Pierson, the Artistic Director of the group, "Our roots with Steve Reich go back to the very origins of Alarm Will Sound nearly 12 years ago. It was Steve who first told me that America needed its own answer to the great new music ensembles of Europe; it was our recording of his Tehillim and The Desert Music that first put us on the map; and it was in a concert of those works that Alarm Will Sound first appeared on the concert stage. So it's a moving homecoming for us to present the American premiere of a new work that Reich has written for us."
Radio Rewrite is a nineteen-minute work in five movements, referencing two songs by Radiohead: Everything in its Right Place and Jigsaw Falling into Place. Says Reich, "In September 2010 I was in Krakow for a festival of my music. One of the featured performers was Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead who had prepared all the backing tracks for my piece Electric Counterpoint, and then played electric guitar live against those tracks in concert. It was a great performance and we began talking. I found [Greenwood's] background as a violist and his present active role as a composer extremely interesting when added to his major role in such an important and innovative rock group... When I returned home I made it a point to go online and listen to their music and the two songs mentioned above stuck in my head.