Three performances 24th - 27th February in NYC!!

COME TO THE FRONT is His Name is Alive's Warn Defever and Anti-Social Music joining forces for a three-day residency in New York City.

Performances include chamber ensemble piece that begins peacefully but catches fire quickly, a film of the mythical "Wolfman of Detroit" and ending with a noisy electric kalimba installation at Brooklyn's Soundfix, as well as Monkeytown and The Living Theatre in Manhattan.

Make sure you're standing in the front when punk-chamber music group ASM and HNIA provide everything from earth-toned electronic music to mountains of handmade electric kalimbas. COME TO THE FRONT is a performance-based piece and a three-day celebration of electricity, wolfmen, chamber music, and magical vibrations!!!

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"COME TO THE FRONT" is three part performance/event-oriented piece that celebrates memories of growing up around the perimeter of Detroit, compares poverty-sticken urban American cities to war-torn third world countries, and concludes by finding hope for a peaceful world in creating simplistic music from handmade instruments.

It was originally conceived as a series of photos that would match scenes of extreme decay and destruction in downtown detroit with strangely similar looking photographs taken in Mexico, India, Nepal, Iraq, and the Netherlands.


As children we learned that my father could be easily awoken during his frequent afternoon naps required by his night time shift work. The familiar sound of his bedroom door opening and his angry heavy steps coming down the stairs would leave us paralyzed with fear. Still half asleep and blood half filled with alcohol, my father would randomly lash out at the earliest target located regardless of which child had been the actual source of the offending noise. We learned to do everything quietly.

Playing the piano in a quiet and meditative style became a means of survival.

Watching television with the sound off for years may have contributed to my lack of interest in television and film.

We dreaded the summer time, when a loud chirping bird would bring him crashing down the stairs and one of us would be drunkenly and mistakenly attacked for "all that singing and dancing". Normal children would associate the sound of the ice cream truck playing "Pop Goes the Weasel" with great joy and feelings of excitement, but we immediately recognized it as a threat to our physical well-being. "Please don't drive down our street anymore," I pleaded, "you really don't understand." I do, however, understand now that it was unreasonable to expect the ice cream man to grasp that although his noisy musical calling card was eagerly anticipated by most other children, it was a source of terror and would result me or one of my brothers being misidentified and violently assaulted.

Eventually my father's drinking, restless sleeping, and high temper would lead to my siblings and I creating a dangerous multi-tiered game called DONT WAKE THE DRAGON, which included one variation where one brother would strike a drum, or slam a door at the precise moment his sibling was quietly walking past his fathers door, effectively putting him very much in harms way.


"After Devil's Night" is a new work written expressly for ASM and this piece explores the musical / political landscape of the city of Detroit and how its drifted along seemingly without goals and purpose for over thirty years. New music in this bleak urban wasteland from the late 1960's until now has inexplicably grown alongside extreme political ideologies from avant-jazz groups like Griot Galaxy or the Tribe record label to techno pioneers like Underground Resistance.

Just as water overcomes obstacles in its path by flowing around them, these revolutionary political theories and musical performances are practiced unconsciously as spontaneous expressions without desire or real purpose. Popular online dictionary WIKIPEDIA defines "urban decay" by primarily citing Detroit as an example.


Inspired by the work of African artists Francis Bebey and Kinshasa's Konono No.1, as well as American composers Phil Cohran, Mary Lou Williams, Don Cherry and Terry Riley, this piece is written for ASM to perform on homemade electric kalimbas.

Sometimes referred to as a thumb piano (or mbira, likembe, or sanza), the basic design concept for this instrument has been around for thousands of years.

An installation and exhibition of homemade electric kalimbas will be held at the conclusion of COME TO THE FRONT and all are invited to participate.


1. The population of Detroit declines on average by 10,000 people each year.

2. Warn Defever, founded musical group HIS NAME IS ALIVE in 1990 and describes their musical evolution as follows "Its a little hard to explain."

3. If population trends continue, Detroit will no longer qualify as an urban area by the year 2015.

4. COME TO THE FRONT is not a "staged" event, it is participatory and requires very few materials.

5. Average yearly US Army fatalities in Iraq since 2003 very closely mirrors the average yearly number of murders in Detroit since the 1970's.

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Anti-Social Music + His Name is Alive
Sun 24 February 8 pm
The Living Theatre
21 Clinton St. New York, New York 10002
(212) 792-8050
Tickets: 10 (7 Students/Seniors)

Program includes works by Peter Hess, Andrea La Rose, Pat Muchmore, John Wriggle, Charles Waters, Daniel Littleton, and the world premiere of Warn Defever's THE SILVER PIANO for electric thumb piano orchestra performed by Anti-Social Music. Part of the Vision/RUCMA Series.


Mon 25 February 7.30 and 10 pm
58 N 3rd St (btw Wythe & Kent) Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Subway: L Train (Bedford stop)
Tickets: 5

Program includes "Music for ASM" by Dalek, and "After Devils Night" by His Name is Alive. Also includes world premiere of films by Scrapworm and Warn Defever commissioned for Music for ASM and After Devils Night respectively.

Live performance by Anti-Social Music. To see an excerpt of the video by Scrapworm for "Music for ASM", visit . If you plan on coming, we recommend reservations. Also, Monkeytown has awesome food.


Wed 27 February 7 pm
SoundFix Records
110 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn NY 11211
(718) 388-8090

Thumb Piano Installation by Warn. Visitors will hear and effect real time manipulated electric thumb piano sounds in a one night only interactive installation. Bring your own bells!


None of this is possible without the amazing talents of John Altieri, William Brittelle, Hubert Chen, Paul Chuffo, Jean Cook, Warn Defever, David Durst, Peter Hess, Bradley Kemp, Andrea La Rose, Daniel Littleton, James Moore, Pat Muchmore, Tunde Oyewole, Jessica Pavone, Evan Rapport, Tim Ruedeman, Kamala Sankaram, Philippa Thompson, Charles Waters, Matt Welch, and John Wriggle.

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This residency is made possible by support from the great folks at Meet The Composer's MetLife Creative Connections program, Meet the Composer/JPMorganChase Fund for Small Ensembles, NYSCA, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Come to the front poster

Past Performances: