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Don't Be Alarmed

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Derek Charke

Derek Charke

General Info

Year: 2011
Duration: c. 6:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Canadian Music Centre
Cost: Score and Parts (digital) - $36.99   |   Score Only (print) - $10.99; (digital) - $8.99

Instrumentation (Flex)

Any combination of woodwind, brass, percussion, piano, strings and/or voice; plus a stereo soundtrack played on a cd player, or a computer.


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Don’t Be Alarmed, as the title implies, uses alarm sounds. Don’t Be Alarmed was premiered and workshopped by students at the Kings County Academy in Kentville, Nova Scotia, under the direction of Paul Hutten. In the initial stage Paul’s students were asked to record sounds. They were simply told to find sounds that interested them. The result was a short sampler CD of sounds from their homes, and of particular interest, alarm sounds. Using this as a guide, I recorded similar sounds for the soundscape. This prompted me to record the alarms in my house: the house alarm, radio, oven-timer, also the car alarm, and a hand-cranked siren. The sound of a fire truck worked well. And a short clip of Paul's students in the play-ground is included. Synthesized sounds are added to lend rhythmic, and pitch content to the soundtrack. At the heart of the work performers are asked to experiment with cell phones and other alarm-like sounds.

The project is one that is being undertaken in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Nova Scotia Music Educators Association.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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