Alarm Will Sound is a 20-member contemporary music ensemble that has been hailed as one of the most original ensembles on the American music scene today. Their piece, 1969, is a multimedia event that traces the compelling story of an exceptional group of musicians who were striving to forge new forms of art amidst the turmoil of the late 1960s. Described by The New York Times as “the soundtrack to a collaboration that never was,” 1969 is based on a supposed meeting between the avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen and Beatle John Lennon that was ultimately prevented because of a blizzard.
Though the story has been repeatedly denied by Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, it provides the basis for a wildly imaginative fantasy that intertwines the music of the Beatles, Stockhausen, Leonard Bernstein, Yoko Ono and Italian composer Luciano Berio, with dialogue based on interviews, letters and journals by Igor Stravinsky, Broadway producer Harold Prince, activist Daniel Berrigan, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, rock critic Lester Bangs, and others, against a backdrop of photographs taken that same year. The result is a remarkable kaleidoscope that vividly reflects the sound and fury of the artistic and social upheavals of that era.
Photo by Wojciech Waudzel
Funds provided by the Henry Mancini Tribute Fund.