Photo by Chris Lee

photo by Hannah Devereux

Photo by Peter Serling

People's Commissioning Fund Concert - Feb 6 at Merkin Hall

We are delighted to welcome Rene Lussier, Caroline Shaw, Gabriella Smith, and Zhang Shouwang (of the Beijing band Carsick Cars) to our big family of People's Commissioning Fund composers!

The 2016 Peoples Commissioning Fund Concert is on February 6th at Merkin Hall and is part of the 2016 Ecstatic Music Festival!

The concert will also include Julia Wolfe’s “Reeling” from Field Recordings, and with Trinity Choir led by Julian Wachner from Wolfe’s 2015 Pulitzer-prize winning work Anthracite Fields, also nominated for a Grammy this year. 

John Schaefer of WNYC-FM will host the evening for future radio broadcasts on his program, “New Sounds Live;” the concert will be streamed live on Q2 Music and will be available for on-demand listening at


More about the 2016 PCF composers:

René Lussier’s new field recording for the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Nocturne, is inspired by an intimate observation. Lussier says, “In the last 30 years, I have often transcribed and transposed spoken language into music. I did the same with chickens, various tools, motors, etc. Everyday life sounds inspire me for new frame works, new directions. This time, the music is generated by my sweetheart sleeping. The rhythm and drama of her breathing, the melodies of her snoring.” Lussier, a native of Quebec, Canada, is a composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist is known to New York audiences for his years of collaboration in the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet.

2013 Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw’s new piece has an unexpected inspiration as well. Shaw says, “I’m working with Library of Congress recordings from the 1970s, of quilters from North Carolina and Virginia talking about quilting. I love the way they speak about design and craft, about technique and imagination.”

Gabriella Smith says “I get a lot of my inspiration from the forms, structures, and energies in the natural world, and I also like math, which can describe these forms, designs, and energies so elegantly”.  Smith comes from
the San Francisco Bay area and she is currently a 2015-16 ArtistYear Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music, dedicating a citizen-artist year of national service in the Philadelphia region. 

Zhang Shouwang, frontman for the popular Beijing rock band Carsick Cars, and the experimental group White, has been one of the driving forces behind China’s underground music scene for the last decade.  Incarnations of Shouwang’s “White Project” have ranged from the guitar sextet White Ensemble, a rock duo called White 2J, an electronic duo called White+, and more.  Collaborators include the likes of legendary New Yorkers Sonic Youth and German avant-noise pioneers Einstürzende Neubauten.

Anthracite Fields - West Coast and European premieres

On Sunday March 6, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles will present the West Coast premiere of Julia Wolfe's Pulitzer Prize winning Anthracite Fields! Performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars and the LA Master Chorale, with visual designs by Jeff Sugg. 

And on April 15 and 16, Anthracite Fields will have its European premiere in Malmo Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark, with the Danish National Vocal Ensemble.

OneBeat - applications due Feb 5!

Now in its fifth year, OneBeat is cultivating a groundbreaking international network of leading artistic, technological, and social innovators in music. An initiative of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, OneBeat employs collaborative original music as a potent new form of cultural diplomacy.

OneBeat brings musicians (ages 19-35) from around the world to the U.S. for one month each fall to collaboratively write, produce, and perform original music, and develop strategies for arts-based social engagement. OneBeat begins with an opening residency, when Fellows collaborate to create original material, record new musical ideas, and incubate their projects. OneBeat fellows then go on tour, performing for a wide array of American audiences, collaborating with local musicians, and leading workshops with youth. In a closing residency, each OneBeat musician sets out their plans for the future, developing projects in their home countries linked to a mutually-reinforcing network of music-driven social enterprises.

Applications are online now and due Feb 5. 

All-Stars tour dates Feb 18-29

Listen up Saratoga Springs, NY; Burlington, VT; Harford, CT; Holland, MI and Columbus, OH!!! The Bang on a Can All-Stars are coming at you in February!