Poème électronique (Edgard Varèse)

Alarm Will Sound, Alan Pierson, cond.

Created for Alarm Will Sound in 2006-2007 and Premiered at Miller Theater on January 20, 2007. Recorded on the album Modernists by Alarm Will Sound on Cantaloupe Records and bandcamp.com. 


My idea to make this arrangement was inspired by the first Alarm Will Sound concert I ever saw. It was the music of Benedict Mason and took place at Miller Theater at Columbia University in April, 2004. This was a tour de force of active, spatial, multi-duty musical performance. I envisioned Varèse’s Poème électronique performed in this same way, and I brought the idea to Alarm Will Sound after the success of the Acoustica project, for which I also did an arrangement. My original version has general choreographic instructions, and spatial placement instructions, with Miller Theater (and other venues like Oberlin’s Finney Chapel) in mind. While it has not yet been performed in its original, spatial format, it has received numerous performances here and abroad and has become a mainstay of AWS’s “American Masters” program, which features Varèse and others.

Fl, Ob, Cl, Bn, Hn, Tpt, Tbn, 3 Perc, Pno, 2 Vln/Voc, Vla/Accord, Vc, Cb; most members also play percussion effects and/or vocalize