Tonight, go, come: 1969 | Music

Tonight, go, come: 1969

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Tonight marks the world premiere of 1969, the new piece from modern classical ensemble Alarm Will Sound. After sitting in on the piece's rehearsals for the past four days, I've realized I undersold the piece dramatically in our print preview. While Alarm Will Sound is a dexterous, dynamic ensemble that can play most anything you put in front of it, this show offers much more than that. It shouldn't be missed: A multimedia exploration of the cultural turmoil and creative triumphs between 1968 and 1971, 1969 pushes the boundaries of Alarm Will Sounds's two-dozen-plus musicians, directors and assistants until they—by any other standard—should break. By imagining the dialogue between John Lennon and Karlheinz Stockhausen (they were phone buddies, and Lennon once sent Stockhausen a Christmas card), 1969 links their thoughts on the creation of electronic music and music's place in the political world through The Beatles' "Revolution 9," Stockhausen's Hymnen, Berio's Sinfonia and Bernstein's Mass. It's a fascinating, dense and ambitious work, and it's so exciting and new that, right now, I'm watching Stockhausen's actor debate whether he should be saying potentiator or potentiometer. See it tonight at 8 p.m. at Duke's Reynolds Industries Theater for $5-38.

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