Originally recorded in 1973, Green Desert did not see the light of day until it was remixed and released as part of the In the Beginning box set in 1986, then as its own album later the same year. It is difficult to ascertain how radical this release is from the original recording, but as it stands, it is a logical step between the rawer-produced Atem to the ambient/sequencer-driven style of Phaedra. A key element of this is attributable to Edgar Froese's guitar playing on the title track, an unhurried solo that lasts only about five minutes in the nearly 20-minute piece, yet is easily the most memorable part of the entire song. None of the three shorter songs are as dynamic as the first, each containing a keyboard melody played over synthesized noises and the rhythms of drums, sequencers, or a series of chords.
Alarm Will Sound's recording of Steve Reich's monumental orchestral/choral works The Desert Music and Tehillim, released on the Cantaloupe label in 2002, greatly benefits from the group's close connections with the composer: the ensemble's conductor, Alan Pierson, and several of the performers studied at the Eastman School with Brad Lubman, a conductor frequently enlisted by Reich. Also, Pierson's arrangements, which reconcile the chamber and orchestral versions that exist for both works, were prepared in close consultation with the composer; thus, this may well be the definitive recording of these pieces. Brilliantly sonorous in their climaxes – the burst of light near the end of Desert Music, the "Alleluias" that close Tehillim – the players also articulate Reich's intricate canonic textures with nimble precision. Voices and strings are always an Achilles heel within Reich's percussive textures (leading him to eliminate part doublings in favor of giving each line to a lone, amplified performer), but here the singers and strings maintain an impressive rhythmic vitality.