Tyshawn Sorey and Alarm Will Sound create group composition—from a distance

Posted on: November 3, 2020

Tyshawn Sorey conducts members of the ensemble Alarm Will Sound in the new Autoschediasms. Photo by Four/Ten Media

“Last month, I did something I used to do often before the pandemic: I watched a rehearsal,” writes Seth Colter Walls in Friday’s (10/30) New York Times. “Sixteen instrumentalists from the contemporary music ensemble Alarm Will Sound were scattered across several states and four makeshift home offices and professional studios, working with Tyshawn Sorey on his ‘Autoschediasms.’… ‘Autoschediasms’ … refers to Sorey’s idiosyncratic process of spontaneous, interdependent group composition…. The music he and Alarm Will Sound achieved with its jury-rigged patchwork of tech tools was alternately raucous and peaceable…. The performance sidelines the group’s regular conductor, Alan Pierson. But along with the executive director, Gavin Chuck, Mr. Pierson is the one who helped spearhead the group’s technical operation for a time of quarantine…. It’s not that Mr. Sorey is against a more typical assignment of roles or division of labor. Two major orchestras are preparing works of his for livestreamed premieres in November—a violin concerto in Detroit and a cello concerto in Seattle—and … Alarm Will Sound has also been working on a socially distanced studio recording of a fully notated Sorey score, ‘For George Lewis.’ ”