Found Sound Nation, Bang on a Can's social engagement wing, is trying on a new hat. Curator! And this show is going to be a blast. People's Champs delivers a killer set, opened by their collaborations with high schoolers from FSN's partner school BCAM.

People's Champs & BCAM: Stories from My Brooklyn

Saturday, February 13, 8:00 PM
National Sawdust

$25 General Admission (Discount code, Buy One Get One free: STUDENT)

People's Champs & BCAM's performance is the culmination of a two-week music, production & songwriting workshop. In this special collaboration, students from Bedford Stuyvesant's BCAM High School will be led by experimental-dance-soul-funk collective People's Champs and trombonist & OneBeat exchange alum Alex Asher in the creation of new, original music. 

Ruminating on the theme "My Brooklyn -- Stories from My Brooklyn", People's Champs and BCAM will address topics of place, ownership, justice, change and community in Brooklyn.  The collaborative performance will be followed by a set of original music from People's Champs' debut LP “American Dreamers.” 

This is the first of a special series of events curated by Bang on a Can's Found Sound Nation, a collective of artists who design collaborative music creation projects with the goal of building healthy communities, including the OneBeat international music exchange. Our events challenge the traditional concert experience by presenting adventurous original works that amplify the voices of youth and underrepresented communities, and connect people across cultural and geographic divides. 

Featuring: Students from the Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School (BCAM) led by Brian Satz aka B-Satz (Bajah & Dry Eye Crew, Blitz the Ambassador)

People's Champs collaborators:
Alex Asher - Trombone
Starr Busby - Vocals
Seth Johnson - Guitar
Cole Kamen-Green - Trumpet
Dov Manksi - Keyboards
Jordan Scannella - Bass
Justin Goldner - Bass
Madhu Siddappa - Drums
David Frazier Jr. - Drums

 

The Dosti Music Project brings together a group of musicians from Pakistan, India, and the U.S. for a month-long residency and tour. An initiative of the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan, produced by Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation, Dosti invites four Pakistanis, four Indians, and two U.S. musicians from a wide variety of traditions, ranging from Sufi singing to beat-making to avant-guard jazz, to collaboratively write, record, and perform original music, re-invent traditional music, and develop initiatives that will make a positive impact on communities locally and internationally. Dosti, which means friendship in both Urdu and Hindi, seeks to transcend political and cultural barriers through cross-cultural musical collaboration.

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.

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!

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. 

The Jewish Museum and Bang on a Can Present
Unorthodox - The Mivos Quartet plays Steve Reich

On February 4, 2016 at the Jewish Museum, the acclaimed Mivos Quartet will perform  Steve Reich’s string quartets: the Holocaust-related masterpiece Different Trains, his intensely contrapuntal Triple Quartet, and the emotional and complex WTC 9/11.

This concert is tied to the Jewish Museum's current exhibition on view through March 27, 2016: Unorthodox. Inspired by the Jewish tradition of dialogue and debate, Unorthodox presents 200 works by 55 cross-generational contemporary artists from around the world whose practices mix forms and genres without concern for artistic conventions. United by a spirit of independence and individuality, the Unorthodox artists explore a range of themes including social and political values, religion, trauma, identity, and the human figure. 

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 Q2Music.org.

 

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.

We've never been able to do it alone. Bang on a Can is an extended family of composers, musicians and big-eared music listeners. And while it would be nice to think that it all runs on magic, in reality we need dollars for everything from commissions, to instrumental rental, to computers, to artist fees, to production costs and even sexy stuff like payroll taxes! That's right, act now and you can pay for Bang on a Can's payroll taxes!! Seriously though, we set our artistic goals high, and to make great art it takes great friends who support us generously.

This year's People's Commissions are going to four outstanding composers with four very different musical world-views. Their homes are in San Francisco, rural Quebec, New York City, Beijing. Their music ranges from subtle to challenging to rich and gorgeous. What they all have in common is that we think they're pretty darn cool. Really, really cool, and brimming with brilliance.

Gabriella Smith's something of a musical naturalist, drawing on the earth's sounds and energies to create swirling soundscapes. René Lussier is a virtuosic guitarist who creates utterly unique pieces via collage and musique concrète to trippy pastiche and improvisation. Caroline Shaw has emerged as a major force in new music, gaining praise from both the Pulitzer committee and Kanye West (a first?) while relentlessly touring the globe with her own phenomenal group Roomful of Teeth. And Zhang Shouwang has led a post-punk revolution in China with his group Carsick Cars, and now he's scratching his experimental itch with extended works for less familiar ensembles.

Help support these commissions and our Bang on a Can All-Stars. We have lots of great incentives to give, including our own Bang on a Can Coffee - Dark Full Roast!