The Los Angeles Philharmonic (conducted by John Adams) and the Bang on a Can All-Stars join forces for the world premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Flower Power, inspired by a radical revolutionary moment – the late 1960’s – a time when experimental ideas and questions permeated all parts of the political, social, and artistic landscapes. This shift brought new spiritual and intellectual explorations, a breakdown of social norms, psychedelic visions, artistic explosion, and a greater and more open expression of love and peace. In Flower Power, Wolfe draws on the optimism and energy of this moment in history. With visuals by Jeff Sugg.
As part of the 10th season of the Ecstatic Music at Merkin Hall, Bang on a Can’s People’s Commissioning Fund is a radical partnership between artists and audiences to commission works from adventurous composers. Founded in 1997, long before crowd-funding became the norm through Kickstarter and the like, Bang on a Can’s PCF has pooled contributions of all sizes from hundreds of friends and fans and since its inception has commissioned over 50 works of music for New York’s electric Bang on a Can All-Stars.
The 2020 PCF composers:
As part of the RNCM’s Original Voices series The Bang on a Can All-Stars will perform Steve Reich’s 2×5 with students of the Royal Northern College of Music! Also on the program:
Julia Wolfe: Believing
Kate Moore: Ridgeway
Philip Glass: Closing
Steve Martland: Horses of Instruction
Bang on a Can and the Jewish Museum present Nicole Mitchell! Nicole Mitchell’s trio Matape, with Val Jeanty and Chad Taylor, creates ancient future soundscapes informed by the African diaspora through flute, Afro-Electronica, and percussion. This season’s Bang on a Can performances celebrate the unique power of artist’s voices, and Mitchell, emerging from Chicago’s innovative music scene in the late 90s, continues that theme.
(Photo by Kristi Sutton Elias)
John Adams: The Chairman Dances
Julia Wolfe: Flower Power (UK premiere)
Steve Martland: Horses of Instruction
Philip Glass: Symphony no. 3
Bang on a Can All-Stars and the BBC Concert Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey, conductor, present the UK premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Flower Power at the Southbank Centre!
Julia Wolfe: Believing
David Lang: sunray (Irish premiere)
Philip Glass: Closing (Irish premiere)
Steve Martland: Horses of Instruction (Irish premiere)
Bang on a Can All-Stars perform on the New Music Dublin festival!
Gerald Barry: Viola Concerto
Julia Wolfe: Flower Power
Bang on a Can All-Stars and the RTE Orchestra present the Irish premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Flower Power as part of the New Music Dublin series at the National Concert Hall!
Xavier Bonfill: Yes for No (premiere)
Matias Vestergård: …Through its Darkness (premiere)
Julia Wolfe: Flower Power (Scandinavian premiere)
Bang on a Can All-Stars and the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jessica Cottis, present the Scandinavian premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Flower Power on the 2020 Pulsar Festival.
Esben Nordborg Møller: Rags
Lasse D. Hansen: Dances of Remote Islands
Kirsten Milenko: Tapestries
Julia Wolfe: Believing
Kate Moore: Ridgeway
Philip Glass: Closing
Steve Martland: Horses of Instruction
The Bang on a Can All-Stars perform on the 2020 Pulsar Festival in Copenhagen Denmark.
Julia Wolfe: Reeling
Christian Marclay: Fade to Slide with film by Christian Marclay
David Lang: unused swan
Caroline Shaw: Really Craft When You
Michael Gordon: Gene Takes a Drink with film by Bill Morrison
Bryce Dessner: Letter 27 with film
Todd Reynolds: Seven Sundays
Gabriella Smith: Panitao
Jóhann Jóhannsson: Hz with film by Jóhann Jóhannsson
Anna Clyne: A Wonderful Day
The Bang on a Can All-Stars perform Field Recordings at the Walled City Music Festival in Derry UK!
Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars and Chorus Pro Musica, conducted by Jamie Kirsch.
Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble and Bang on a Can All-Stars perform MEMORY GAME at Big Ears 2020!
Meredith Monk and Bang on a Can have been on a rich and lively musical ride together for over 30 years and now have an evening-length series of songs called MEMORY GAME to share with the world. Join us at Big Ears Festival for a weekend full of world-class music, art, film, and more! Tickets on sale now.
The Bang on a Can All-Stars present a concert featuring music by Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe; minimalist masters Philip Glass and Steve Reich; jazz legend Ornette Coleman; and avant-rockstar Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth.
Bang on a Can All-Stars perform a high octane set as part of the Friends of Chamber Music series. Program TBA.
Bang on a Can brings our provocative, wide-ranging multi-media project Field Recordings to the Coolidge. Archival audio, found sound and video have inspired this interesting program of recent pieces by ten imaginative composers—with Julia Wolfe’s Mink Stole, a 1997 Library of Congress commission, as an opener. The concert is FREE, but you need a ticket
Bang on a Can announces the launch of LONG PLAY, a new, three-day destination music festival, presented for the first time from Friday, May 1 through Sunday, May 3, 2020. Featuring dozens of concerts, LONG PLAY also showcases a dense network of pioneering music venues in Brooklyn – with performances at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, Roulette, Public Records, ShapeShifter Lab, Littlefield, Brooklyn Music School, BAM Lepercq Space, outdoor events at The Plaza at 300 Ashland, and more. Festival passes and special early bird offers will be available starting on December 16, 2019
Cassie Wieland: Heart performed by Adam Holmes
Robert Honstein: Orison performed by Ashley Bathgate
Anna Clyne: Rapture performed by Eileen Mack
George Lewis: Voyage
Shelley Washington: Black Mary performed by Ken Thomson
Martin Bresnick: Ishi’s Song performed by Lisa Moore
Ken Thomson: Birds and Ambulances (world premiere) performed by Robert Black
Nathalie Joachim: Aware
David T. Little: Hellhound performed by Maya Beiser
Miya Masaoka: Music for Ichi-ten-kin (one string koto)
Vinko Globokar: Touche performed by Steven Schick
Philip Glass: “Knee Play 2” from Einstein on the Beach performed by Tim Fain
Mark Stewart: To Whom It May Concern: Thank You
Molly Joyce: Purity (world premiere) performed by David Cossin
Steve Reich: Vermont Counterpoint performed by Claire Chase
Dai Wei: Song for Shades of Crimson (world premiere) performed by Todd Reynolds
John Adams: China Gates performed by Vicky Chow
The Marathon features 26 LIVE performances from musicians’ homes in NYC and around the country. The concert begins with a performance by Meredith Monk at 3pm and concludes with a performance by Bang on a Can All-Star pianist Vicky Chow playing John Adams’ China Gates. Additional highlights include Steve Reich’s Vermont Counterpoint performed by flutist Claire Chase, performances by Vijay Iyer, Maya Beiser, Shara Nova, Nathalie Joachim, and many more.
Anthracite Fields, a Pulitzer Prize-winning oratorio for chorus and the Bang on a Can All-Stars by composer Julia Wolfe and with projections by Jeff Sugg, draws on oral histories, interviews, speeches, geographic descriptions, children’s rhymes, and coal advertisements to create a work that gives an intimate look at a particular slice of American life.
Rabbit Rabbit Radio is a band of omnivorously creative musicians committed to the endlessly mutable craft of song-writing. Formed by Carla Kihlstedt (voice/violin) and Matthias Bossi (drums, piano/keyboard, voice), they have augmented their ranks to include long-time collaborators Jeremy Flower (guitar/electronics) and Jon Evans (bass). Rendered on a motley assortment of instruments both old and new, Rabbit Rabbit Radio draw on their love of art, folk songs, industrial and improvised music and heart-wrenching balladry, to create songs that are raw and beautiful, sparse and rich, lighthearted and full of pathos. (Photo of Rabbit Rabbit Radio by Joe Navas). Member tickets available to members of the Bang on a Can email list.
Reschedule info coming soon
Helena Tulve: Without love atoms would stop spinning (world premiere) performed by Arlen Hlusko
Aeryn Santillan: disconnect. (world premiere) performed by Ken Thomson
Alvin Curran: Shofar Rags XXL
Ted Hearne: Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job (excerpt)
ŽibuoklėI Martinaitytė: Abyssal Zone (world premiere) performed by Robert Black
Nik Bärtsch: (Video Unavailable)
Paula Matthusen: of an implacable subtraction performed by Dana Jessen
Tomeka Reid: Lamenting G.F., A.A., B.T., T.M. (world premiere) performed by Vicky Chow
Susanna Hancock: Everything In Bloom (world premiere) performed by Nick Photinos
Ailie Robertson: The Bells are All Silent (world premiere) performed by Gregg August
Tim Brady: At Sergio’s Request (world premiere)
Judd Greenstein: In Teaching Others We Teach Ourselves performed by Nadia Sirota
Alex Weiser: Music from and all the days were purple performed by Eliza Bagg
Kendall Williams: Bass and Things (world premiere) performed by David Cossin
Carla Kihlstedt: New Work (world premiere)
Frederic Rzewski: Which Side Are You On? performed by Conrad Tao
Leila Adu: Black-Crowned Night-Heron (world premiere) performed by Mark Stewart
The Marathon will include 25 live performances with musicians connecting from around the USA, Canada, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Scotland, Italy, and Ireland, plus eleven world premieres of newly commissioned works!
The concert begins with a performance by Rhiannon Giddens at 3pm, live from Ireland, and concludes with a performance by Terry Riley. Additional highlights include performances by Roscoe Mitchell, Nico Muhly, Conrad Tao, Pamela Z, and many more. Guest composers and performers will join for conversations in between performances with Bang on a Can Co-Founders and Artistic Directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe.
[More info coming soon about how this program will be adapted due to the pandemic.]
Bang on a Can fellows and faculty and guest luminaries of experimental music converge to create an eclectic supermix of over 30 concerts in 3 days, taking over every space in and around MASS MoCA. In the words of the reviewer for the Boston Globe “nothing could have prepared me for the whirlwind…”
Friday, July 31, 8:30pm
Steve Reich: Electric Counterpoint performed by Taylor Levine
Todd Reynolds: Outerborough performed by Todd Reynolds
Gregg August: Trio for Violin, Piano and Bass (with acknowledgements to Yambú, Guaguanco and Abakua) performed by Gregg August, Vicky Chow, Todd Reynolds
Philip Glass: Piano Etudes (selections), performed by Vicky Chow
Zoë Keating: solo set
Saturday, August 1, 8:30pm
Robert Black: Possessed solo improvisation
Julia Wolfe: Compassion performed by Vicky Chow
Michael Gordon: Light Is Calling performed by Arlen Hlusko
Don Byron: solo set
Louis Andriessen: Workers Union performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars
Thurston Moore: Stroking Piece #1 performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars
Two evenings of innovative, unexpected, ear-expanding and LIVE music, Bang on a Can & Friends’ eclectic program features the Bang on a Can All-Stars with special guests Don Byron, Zoë Keating, Gregg August, Todd Reynolds and music by Louis Andriessen, Philip Glass, Michael Gordon, Thurston Moore, Steve Reich, and Julia Wolfe. It’s our first live music event since March — back to back nights of a fully loaded out-of-this-world sound.
Nicole Mitchell: A Much Deserved Ass Whooping (world premiere) performed by Ken Thomson
Dobrinka Tabakova: Simple Prayer for Complex Times (world premiere) performed by Vicky Chow
Missy Mazzoli: Vespers for Violin performed by Olivia de Prato
Teddy Abrams: Can’t Stop the Revolution (world premiere)
Fjóla Evans: Eggshell (world premiere) performed by Kendall Williams
Shara Nova: Hidden in Plain Sight (world premiere)
Brad Lubman: can you make a prayer (world premiere) performed by Lauren Radnofsky
Jacob Cooper: Expiation (edit) performed by Jodie Landau
Scott Wollschleger: Tiny Oblivion performed by Karl Larson
Rajna Swaminathan: Consilience (world premiere)
Nick Dunston: Fainting is Down, Whooshing Is Up (world premiere) performed by Robert Black
Phil Kline: the best words performed by Theo Bleckmann w/ Todd Reynolds & Dan Tepfer
Marcos Balter: …and also a fountain performed by Rebekah Heller
Annea Lockwood: RCSC performed by Sarah Cahill
Paola Prestini: From the Bones to the Fossils performed by Jeffrey Zeigler
Annika Socolofsky: Bolder (world premiere) performed by Arlen Hlusko
Samson Young: Super Dark Energy (world premiere) performed by David Cossin
György Ligeti: The Devil’s Staircase performed by Jeremy Denk
Bang on a Can’s 3rd online Marathon features 6 hours of nonconformist, noncommercial, boundary-smashing music. We kick off at 3pm with the singular and extraordinary Wu Man, one of the world’s foremost Pipa players and close off with György Ligeti’s diabolical etude The Devil’s Staircase, performed by piano superstar Jeremy Denk. Don’t miss a rare solo performance by jazz legend Oliver Lake, and 11 world premieres commissioned especially for the day! The Marathon will be hosted by Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe.
On Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 8pm ET, Bang on a Can presents a special one-hour live, online event featuring cellist Ashley Bathgate performing Michael Gordon’s House Music. Gordon composed House Music for Ashley, and it was written to be performed only in intimate spaces, such as a living room, for a small audience. Gordon explains his intentions behind the music: “House Music remembers the time when radio, stadium concerts and CDs did not yet exist. Music was something to enjoy in a homey atmosphere.”
Hans Werner Henze: S. Biagio 9 Agosto ore 1207 (1977)
Peter Velikonja: Uncle (1990)
First Fridays with Robert Black is a monthly series of virtual mini-concerts featuring brand-spanking new, recently new, and kind of new music for solo double bass. Streaming from my home studio in Hartford, Connecticut, the October 2, noon (EDT) program will include the dark, somber, brooding lyricism of Hans Werner Henze’s S. Biagio 9 Agosto Ore 1207 contrasted with the bright, mesmerizing, resonant patterns of Peter Velikonja’s Uncle. So, whether you’re having your morning coffee in Los Angeles, or lunch in New York, or that first glass of wine in Paris, or a late supper in Tashkent, tune in for some cool and compelling music.
George Crumb: A Little Midnight Music (selections) performed by Susan Grace
Annie Gosfield: Curveballs and Asteroids (world premiere) performed by Ken Thomson
Christina Wheeler: A Coda for the Totality of Blackness Trilogy (world premiere)
Alvin Singleton: Argoru II performed by Seth Parker Woods
Jeffrey Brooks: Santuario (world premiere) performed by Mark Stewart
Greg Saunier: John Paul George and Ringo Pry Open the Gates of Hell (world premiere) performed by David Cossin
Gemma Peacocke: Fear of Flying (world premiere) performed by Nathalie Joachim
David Longstreth: (video unavailable)
John Fitz Rogers: Come Closer performed by Michael Harley
William Parker: Hum Spirituals (world premiere)
Leaha Maria Villarreal: The Warmth of Other Suns performed by Andie Tanning
Tania León: Paisanos Semos! and Bailarín performed by Jiji
Christopher Cerrone: Liminal Highway (first 2 mvmts) performed by Tim Munro
Valgier Sigurdsson: Brevis (world premiere) performed by Vicky Chow
Nels Cline & Yuka C. Honda
Daniel Bernard Roumain: Why Did They Kill Sandra Bland? (world premiere) performed by Arlen Hlusko
Krists Auznieks: Arise (world premiere) performed by Robert Black
On October 18, from 3-9pm EDT Bang on a Can re-ignites with 6 hours of nonconformist, noncommercial, boundary-smashing music. We kick off at 3pm with a special birthday tribute to master composer George Crumb (91 years young!), and close off with a solo sonic adventure featuring guitarist-composer Bill Frisell. Don’t miss 9 world premieres commissioned especially for the day, a rare solo appearance by David Longstreth (of Dirty Projectors) plus music and performances by Hauschka, Nathalie Joachim, Tania León, William Parker, Nels Cline and Yuka C. Honda, Du Yun, and many more greats.
Celebrating their tenth year of collaboration, on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 8pm ET, Bang on a Can and The Noguchi Museum present excerpts from Duet Behavior 2020 by Meredith Monk and John Hollenbeck, a first-time performance of Monk’s music as it has never been experienced. Through a conversational approach, long-time friends and colleagues Monk and Hollenbeck will expand and improvise on pieces from across Monk’s 50+ year catalogue, combining her pioneering vocal magic with his inventive and masterful percussion to generate new arrangements of Monk’s iconic compositions.
The Noguchi Museum’s director Brett Littman will join Monk and Hollenbeck for a Q & A via Zoom after the performance.
Colin Bright: Flatlands (from Young Green Tree – Song of the Republic) (1993)
Kate Moore: The Hermit Thrush and the Astronaut (2012)
First Fridays with Robert Black continues on Friday November 6, 2020 with some trippy music from Australia. First up will be music from Young Green Tree – “Song of the Republic” by Colin Bright. This music, inspired by the 1887 Henry Lawson nationalist poem of the same title, is itself under the spell of the vast timelessness of the Outback. Kate Moore’s “The Hermit Thrush and the Astronaut” rounds out the show. Full of buzzing energy, it is inspired by “the infinitely varied birdsong of the hermit thrush and the stone engraving of an astronaut on the door of the Salamanca cathedral in Spain – it is something ancient, something modern, something timeless.”
Alexander Arkincheev, OneBeat Russia – Irkutsk, Russia
Amir El Saffar, OneBeat 2012 – NYC, USA
Dumama & Kechou feat. Hunterchee, OneBeat 2018 – Berlin, Germany | Cape Town, South Africa | NYC, USA
Jinda Kanjo, OneBeat Istanbul – Kobani, Syria
TIGAtrio, OneBeat 2015 – Ng Chor Guan, Jay Afrisando, Daniel de Mendoza – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Minneapolis, USA | Bogotá, Colombia
Kyungso Park, OneBeat 2012 – Seoul, South Korea
Dahlak Brathwaite, OneBeat 2014 – Sacramento, USA
Meng Xi, Jess Tsang, Amy Garapic, OneBeat 2019 – Beijing, China | NYC, USA
Shruti Bhave, OneBeat 2019 – Mumbai, India
LADAMA, OneBeat 2014 & 2015 – Lara Klaus, Daniela Serna, Mafer Bandola, Sara Lucas & Pat Swoboda – Recife, Brazil | Bogotá, Colombia | Barquisimeto, Venezuela | NYC, USA
Asantewa, OneBeat 2016 – Accra, Ghana
Samah Boulmona, OneBeat 2018 – Beirut, Lebanon
Anna RG, OneBeat 2016 – Queens, NY, USA
Peni Candra Rini, OneBeat 2014 – Jakarta, Indonesia
Mustelide, OneBeat 2017 – Minsk, Belarus
Aurora Nealand, OneBeat 2013 – New Orleans, USA
Johanna Amaya Conejo, OneBeat 2017 – Bogotá, Colombia
Biodun Kuti, OneBeat 2013 – Mark Stewart, OneBeat Collaborating Artist – Philadelphia, USA | North Adams, USA
Bang on a Can is excited to present the OneBeat Marathon – Live Online – on Sunday, November 15, 2020 from 12-4pm ET, curated by Found Sound Nation, its social engagement wing. Over four hours the OneBeat Marathon will feature live-streamed multimedia performances by musicians from 14 countries stretching over five continents to transport audiences to a paradigm-bending sonic universe.
David Lang: i feel pretty
Tyson Davis: Tableau No. V
2020’s final “First Fridays with Robert Black” will feature composers David Lang and Tyson Davis. The program opens with David Lang’s i feel pretty, a 9-minute, intense, relentless, in-your-face, distortion-heavy explosion. It’s a punk-hot tour-de-force. Tyson Davis’ miniature Tableau No. V follows with the more controlled heat of modernism’s angular rhythms, crunchy dissonances, and dark melodies. The temperature comes down even further with the swank and suave grooves of David Lang’s snow falls i, ii, iii – music which is both cool and ‘Cool.’