Alarm Will Sound: Love Always & Cradle
- The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
“One of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene” (The New York Times), Alarm Will Sound is a 20-member band that has established a reputation for performing demanding music with energetic virtuosity. This matinee performance features the world premiere of Love Always, commissioned by The Clarice, along with Alyssa Piper’s Cradle.
Love Always, a song cycle co-created by Allison Loggins-Hull and Toshi Reagon, is rooted in long-standing African American traditions of elders writing letters to their children, and of storytelling through music, conversation and listening. Inspired by James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time” and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me,” Allison writes letters to her own son, which serve as the text in this piece and as a call for understanding to allow her son to navigate through this world. Toshi’s offering to this song cycle tells three of her stories: Toshi Seeger (her Godmother), Toshi Georgiana Widoff Woodson (her Goddaughter and Toshi herself.
Alyssa Pyper initially created Cradle as a solo work for violin, loop pedal and voice as part of a symbolic journey into the trauma of growing up queer, classically trained and Mormon. In equal part, the composition of the piece emerged through the composer’s dissonance with not only fundamentalist religion, but a pedagogy of classical violin dispersed through the frame of a perfectionist religious culture. Through a close mentorship, members of Alarm Will Sound co-created with Pyper a version of Cradle that allows for members of an ensemble to tap into its arc and participate in its call.