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Alarm Will Sound Cover The Beatles on New Album, ‘Modernists’

By Philip Trapp on Mar 24, 2016 06:31 PM EDT

Contemporary chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound will release their new album, Alarm Will Sound Presents Modernists, via Cantaloupe Music on April 29. The collection includes their notable interpretation of The Beatles' White Album sound collage, "Revolution 9."

Alarm Will Sound's 20-piece orchestra has been challenging classical music fans for years. Formed in 2001, the contemporary classical unit is perhaps best known for their 2005 release, Acoustica, an album's worth of electronica covers by pioneering IDM artist Aphex Twin. 

The group further delighted fans and stunned critics with their 2010 multimedia show 1969, presented at Carnegie Hall and featuring the aforementioned "Revolution 9" cover. Modernists will be the first time their Beatles rendition is available on a studio album, along with covers of composers Edgard Varèse, Wolfgang Rihm and Augusta Read Thomas.

The 1969 production received rave reviews from numerous publications, emphasizing the ensemble's diversity in sound and presentation. As reported by New York magazine, Alarm Will Sound's catalog exhibits a cultured and diversified take on works from varied genres

"They play pieces that the twentieth-century composer Conlon Nancarrow wrote for player piano because he trusted a machine to execute rhythms of any complexity without complaining. They have performed from memory Edgar Varèse's Intégrales, a calculated simulation of chaos. They have commandeered the lush sonic landscapes of Aphex Twin, the wizard of electronica, and recorded them on a sensational disc, aptly titled Acoustica."

In an interview with State, artistic director Alan Pierson discussed the group's fondness for creating contemporary classical versions of previously released songs, highlighting the orchestra's repertoire and addressing its function in their classical music environment:

"We've done an arrangement [of] Varèse's 'Poème Électronique', we did 'Revolution 9' by The Beatles, we did that project with the Dirty Projectors which in some ways was quiet similar to the Aphex Twin project. So, once we opened up that door it's just [become] part of the world we live in and it's something that we come back to now and again."

Listen to Alarm Will Sound's cover of "Revolution 9" in the below video, and check out their new album when it releases next month.

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TagsAlarm Will Sound, The Beatles, Revolution 9, Aphex Twin

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