Alarm Will Sound, Mary Kouyoumdjian receive major grant for “Paper Pianos”

Alarm Will Sound, the resident ensemble for the Mizzou International Composers Festival, and Mary Kouyoumdjian, one of the eight resident composers at last year’s MICF, have received a major grant from The MAP Fund to underwrite production next year of an evening-long version of her work “Paper Pianos.”

Kouyoumdjian (pictured), who lives in New York City, first composed a short version of “Paper Pianos” for Alarm Will Sound to perform at the 2016 MICF. She then used the recording from the festival as part of her successful proposal for a grant to fund the expanded version.

The full concert version of the work will “explore the refugee experience through the life of pianist Milad Yousufi, who was forced to flee Afghanistan to avoid persecution. Incorporating recorded dialogue from interviews with Mr. Yousufi, as well as photographic and animated images, ‘Paper Pianos’ will dramatize the emotional plight of displacement and resettlement experienced by refugees throughout the world.”

The MAP Fund grant of $38,346 includes $31,450 to support the production of “Paper Pianos” and $6,896 in general operating support for Alarm Will Sound.

Based in New York City, The MAP Fund was established in 1988 to support innovation and cross-cultural exploration in new works of live performance. MAP awards $1 million annually to up to 40 projects in the range of $10,000 – $45,000 per grant to artists and organizations across the US. Since 1989, the program has disbursed more than $27 million to fund more than 1000 projects in playwriting, choreography, music composition, and ensemble, site-specific, and community-based performance.

You can hear the recording of the MICF version of “Paper Pianos” in the embedded player below.