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June 2014

Alarm Will Sound Performs "I Was Here I Was" at the Metropolitan Museum

by Steve PisanoKate Soper (left) as Amelia Edwards at the Temple of DendurKate Soper (left) as Amelia Edwards at the Temple of Dendur (photo by Steven Pisano)

Last Friday, Alarm Will Sound performed a new music-theater piece, I Was Here I Was, with music by Kate Soper and a libretto by Nigel Maister. Soper's work was about the Temple of Dendur, the 2000-year-old Egyptian temple that was famously rescued from a watery oblivion in the 1960s when Egypt built the Aswan Dam. So, it was appropriate that the piece was performed in the Sackler Wing of the museum, right at the steps of the temple itself, which was moved to the museum in the late 1970s. It was almost as if the temple was listening.

The work covered different periods in the temple's past, from the time it was built in 15 BC to the present day. Notably, it included a lyrical section drawn from the travels of the nineteenth-century British traveler, Amelia Edwards, whose writing about her trip to Egypt inspired Maister's libretto.

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Preview: Ear Heart Music Presents Tan Dun's "Ghost Opera" at Roulette

Tonight at Roulette, the Ear Heart Music series closes out its season with a rare performance of Tan Dun‘s Ghost Opera, performed by the Momenta Quartet and pipa master Zhou Yi. Inspired by "the magic of Chinese peasant shamans," Ghost Opera combines elements of the western classical tradition with Chinese shadow puppet theater, visual art, folk music, and shamanistic ritual. Given Dun's flair for the dramatic, this should be quite a spectacle.

To open the evening, composer, guitarist (and scionGyan Riley pairs with Bang on A Can All-Star percussionist David Cossin for a set of structured improvisations based on motives from Ghost Opera. Show starts at 8; tickets available at the box office or online.

Preview: Meet the Composer Podcast Kickoff 6/24 at The Greene Space

From left to right: John Luther Adams, Andrew Norman (top), Donnacha Dennehy (bottom), Caroline Shaw and Marcos Balter

Hosted by Nadia Sirota, Q2 Music's new podcast Meet the Composer is described as being "equal parts interview, expert commentary and compelling sound design." Tomorrow night, WQXR officially kicks off Meet the Composer with an event at The Greene Space that includes appearances from all five season 1 composers, including Pulitzer Prize winners John Luther Adams and Caroline Shaw, as well as Andrew Norman, Marcos Balter, and Donnacha Dennehy. The event will also feature performances by flutist and ICE artistic director Claire Chase, Hotel Elefant, the Attacca String Quartet, cellist Hannah Collins, and Bang on a Can All-Stars Vicky Chow, Ashley Bathgate and Todd Reynolds.

The event starts tomorrow night at 7pm, and will be followed by the broadcast of the first episode featuring John Luther Adams. Tickets are still available from the box office or online.