Bang on a Can goes to Big Ears!

The Big Ears Festival is an international cultural gathering, and a dynamic, interactive experience that explores connections between musicians and artists, crossing all musical genres while interfacing with film, performance, and the visual arts.

Not many festivals have line ups quite like this.

The All-Stars will present 3 performances:

-Field Recordings (3/23 at 12n) 

-Anthracite Fields (3/24 at 3:30p)

-The music of Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe to celebrate 30 years of Bang on a Can. (Michael, David, and Julia are the 2018 composers in residence at Big Ears as well!) (3/25 at 7p)


@ NYU Skirball Center
Sunday, May 13, 2018, 12-10pm
10 hours of FREE Live Music!

Bang on a Can returns to downtown Manhattan with its annual incomparable super-mix of boundary-busting music from around the corner and around the world! The 2018 Bang on a Can Marathon will feature 10 hours of rare performances by some of the most innovative musicians of our time side-by-side with some of today’s most pioneering young artists.

Music By:
Jeffrey Brooks, Tom Chiu, Fjola Evans, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Nicole Lizee, Dylan Mattingly, Jessie Montgomery, Brendon Randall-Myers, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Gabriella Smith, Galina Ustvolskaya, Alex Weiser, Julia Wolfe

Performances by:
Terry Riley, Bang on a Can All-Stars with special guests Eric Berryman, Todd Reynolds, and Gyan Riley, Contemporaneous, David Friend, Ethel, Flux Quartet, Maya Beiser and Kate Valk, Mazz Swift and Therese Workman, NYU Contemporary Ensemble/Jonathan Haas, Robert Osborne, So Percussion, Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields) and Sam Davol, Val Jeanty and Ravish Momin, Vicky Chow, Xenia Rubinos, and MORE!

Highlights on the 2018 Bang on a Can Marathon include:

  • The electric Bang on a Can All-Stars and the legendary and inspirational composer Terry Riley performing Autodreamographical Tales, an intimate and whimsical set of “dream narratives” featuring settings of stories and dreams narrated by Riley and orchestrated specifically for the All-Stars, also featuring special guest guitarist Gyan Riley
  • Soviet-era Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya’s Symphony No. 2 – a glacial and maniacal monument to her deep spiritual faith – performed by NYU Contemporary Ensemble, directed by Jonathan Haas with pianist David Friend and vocalist Robert Osborne
  • Ever inventive songsmith Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields performing a set with longtime collaborator Sam Davol on cello
  • The soulful and ecstatic Xenia Rubinos performing a rare duo set with Marco Buccelli
  • The endlessly-creative New York native violinist Mazz Swift combining forces with Brooklyn-based song-maker Therese Workman (Oh My Goodness)
  • Composer Michael Gordon’s impossible solo piano work Sonatra, performed by Bang on a Can All-Star pianist Vicky Chow
  • The all new Turning Jewels Into Water, a duo featuring Haitian-born composer, percussionist and turntablist Val Jeanty with composer-drummer Ravish Momin
  • New York’s pioneering string quartet ETHEL performing music of Julia Wolfe, Jessie Montgomery, and more
  • Composer David Lang’s the day, an emotional chronicle of remembered moments performed by the breathtaking cellist Maya Beiser and actor Kate Valk, recently released on Cantaloupe Music
  • A triple-threat New York premiere set of commissioned works by Minneapolis composer Jeffrey Brooks performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars and Contemporaneous
  • Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together, the explosive and still poignant setting of letters by Sam Melville, an Attica State prisoner during the time of the famous riots there, performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars and actor Eric Berryman
  • Canadian composer and “musical scientist” Nicole Lizee’s White Label Experiment honoring avant-garde pioneer John Cage, performed by New York’s unparalleled drumming masters So Percussion.
  • Composer Alex Weiser’s wonderfully imaginative musical settings of Yiddish poems
  • Contemporaneous, directed by David Bloom performing a special excerpt of Act I of Dylan Mattingly’s visceral (6-hour) opera Stranger Love and Fjola Evans’ shimmering and ambient Eroding
  • NYC veteran Flux Quartet in the New York premiere of Tom Chiu’s sonic perfect storm Retrocon
  • Bang on a Can All-Stars in the New York premiere of composer Brendon Randall-Myers’ intricate Changes, Stops, and Swells and Gabriella Smith’s Brazilian-rainforest odyssey Panitao

NY Times preview

NYU Skirball Center

"Two versions of Michael Gordon's meticulously designed piano composition—one equal-tempered and one just intonation—played by Vicky Chow showcase the pair's crazed and brilliant obsession with rhythm."Pitchfork

Iva Bittová is known foremost as a violinist-vocalist whose distinct music blends styles from many global music cultures – eastern European folk, western classical, Indian, Middle Eastern, and American rock ‘n roll.

In a solo appearance sure to feature her many powers, Bittová’s performance reflects the central themes of cultural exchange and influence present in the exhibition Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress from the Collection of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

The Bang on a Can All-Stars reunite with the Choir of Trinity Wall St, conducted by Julian Wachner, for this performance of Julia Wolfe's Anthracite Fields in Washington DC!

This event is part of the Kennedy Center's annual new celebration DIRECT CURRENT--an immersive showcase for cutting-edge contemporary arts and culture with a focus on interdisciplinary creations.

projections for Anthracite Fields by Jeff Sugg.

For a 20% discount use this link or promo code: 286423

Student tickets ($10) use this link or promo code: 288526

Composed by David Lang, "the day" was commissioned in 2016 by cellist Maya Beiser as a “prequel” to world to come (2003), which Lang also wrote for Beiser in response to the tragic events of 9/11. Both pieces are meditations on life, but from very different perspectives.

“'the day' looks at ways we review our lives,” Lang explains, “exploring remembered moments as a chronicle of a life.” Lang sourced the text from the internet by searching for the phrase “I remember the day that I...,” and then cut and compiled lyrics based on his findings. The spoken word accompaniment by actor Kate Valk lends an emotional charge to Beiser’s poignant cello lines, which gradually build in multi-tracked layers to emulate a small string ensemble.

Listen to and buy the album

The Annual Bang on a Can People's Commissioning Fund Concert on the Ecstatic Music Festival features world premieres by George Lewis and Angélica Negrón, plus a new look at “historic” PCF-commissioned pieces by Pamela Z, Annea Lockwood, Lukas Ligeti and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore.

This concert will be a New Sounds Live co-presentation hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer & streamed live on Q2 Music.

Bang on a Can’s People’s Commissioning Fund (PCF) is a radical partnership between artists and audiences to commission works from adventurous composers.

February 15, 2018 at Merkin Hall!

In Michael Gordon's opera Acquanetta, the spirit of 1940s horror movies is turned inside out in a bravura, one-act deconstruction of the genre that explores how vision relates to identity. Characters include the mad scientist Doctor, the insistent Ape, the reluctant Brainy Woman, the visionary Director and the beautiful Acquanetta, aka Mildred Davenport, an actress who disguised her identity. Acquanetta examines the ways the movie camera manipulates how we see and are seen. In soaring, sometimes comic and always indelible songs that capture the heightened drama of horror films, these vivid characters reveal their inner longings and emotional shadows in what is ultimately a haunting meditation on the meaning of identity, transformation, stereotypes and typecasting, set in the heyday of Hollywood gloss.

Jan 9-14 on the PROTOTYPE festival