A sketch of a grand piano with a person curled up underneath it.

Paper Pianos

Alarm Will Sound
Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 3PM

“I come from refugee parents forced to immigrate to the US as a consequence of the Lebanese Civil War. And my parents come from refugee parents. …One’s relationship to ‘home’ has played a large role in my music.”
—Mary Kouyoumdjian (composer)

Paper Pianos​ is a full-length theatrical work co-directed by Armenian-American composer Mary Kouyoumdjian and South African-American director Nigel Maister. The work combines the testimonies of four refugees and resettlement workers with intricate hand-drawn animations of Syrian visual artist Kevork Mourad to vividly depict the dramatic emotional landscape of displacement and resettlement experienced by refugees throughout the world.

Performed live by the 18-piece contemporary ensemble Alarm Will Sound, Paper Pianos invites EMPAC audiences to contemplate the dislocation, longing, and optimism of refugees.

Main Image: Paper Pianos. Image: Kevork Mourad.


Paper Pianos

Dates + Tickets

Paper Pianos
Alarm Will Sound
Saturday 25
3:00 PM
February 2023
$20 / $15 / RPI Students: in advance $6, same day FREE

COVID-19 Policy⁣

Campus community: RPI protocols apply. ID check required.⁣
Off-campus audience: Proof of Vaccination or masking with N-95 mask required. ⁣

When events require everyone to wear a mask in the venue, masks will be available on entry.⁣

Presented By

EMPAC Spring 2023

Press Mention

Times Union



Paper Pianos World Premiere / Mary Kouyoumdjian + Alarm Will Sound is supported by New Music USA, made possible by annual program support and/or endowment gifts from Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Helen F. Whitaker Fund, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc., Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Howard Gilman Foundation, Anonymous.