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Tyshawn Sorey & Alarm Will Sound, 'For George Lewis'

In our perpetually addled world of split-second attention spans, spending 53 minutes with a glacially-paced, prismatic piece of orchestral music might seem impossible. But then again, it might be the perfect antidote. Composer Tyshawn Sorey's symphonic salute to one of his mentors, For George Lewis, evolves gradually in tranquil, multi-textured waves of sound. Bells toll in the piano as winds and strings stretch their notes to breathtaking lengths, while chromatic chords twinkle like stars in the firmament. In its quiet, near-motionless repose, the piece also pays tribute to Morton Feldman, another Sorey touchstone. Here, the composer forces the patient musicians of Alarm Will Sound to live in the moment through extreme concentration. For the listener, it's easier: Sorey says just let the music wash over you and deal with it however you wish.

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Tom Huizenga is a producer for NPR Music. He contributes a wide range of stories about classical music to NPR's news programs and is the classical music reviewer for All Things Considered. He appears regularly on NPR Music podcasts and founded NPR's classical music blog Deceptive Cadence in 2010.