Sound problems with fvwm

I’m running fvwm 2.5.30 on a Dell E6520 with ubuntu 12.04.

Until recently, sound was working fine. In the last few days I’ve lost sound in fvwm, although I still have sound in gnome.
Testing the sound in fvwm with

strace aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Noise.wav

I find
- most of the time, the command hangs at the bottom of the output fragment below

futex(0xfa2fb0, FUTEX_UNLOCK_PI_PRIVATE, 0) = 0 futex(0xfa2fe4, FUTEX_WAIT_REQUEUE_PI_PRIVATE, 5, NULL, 0xfa2fb0) = 0 futex(0xfa2fb0, FUTEX_UNLOCK_PI_PRIVATE, 0) = 0 futex(0xfa2fe0, FUTEX_WAKE_PRIVATE, 1) = 1 futex(0xfa2fe4, FUTEX_WAIT_REQUEUE_PI_PRIVATE, 7, NULL, 0xfa2fb0) = -1 EAGAIN (Resource temporarily unavailable) futex(0xfa2fe4, FUTEX_WAIT_PRIVATE, 7, NULL) = -1 EAGAIN (Resource temporarily unavailable) futex(0xfa2fb0, FUTEX_UNLOCK_PI_PRIVATE, 0) = 0 read(8, "<\4e\0a\375\342\374\200\376z\0e\1\340\1|\2u\2#\2\347\1\333\0\364\377C\1\16\4"..., 12000) = 12000 poll([{fd=3, events=POLLIN|POLLERR|POLLNVAL}], 1, -1

       - occasionally it will run to the end

The command never generates the usual noise. If it runs to the end, then it kills off sound at the console level and also in gnome, but if it hangs, then I can still get sound in gnome. Logging out and logging back in restores sound to gnome.

Any advice would be most appreciated! Thanks!