June 4 – First Fridays with Robert Black

This month, First Fridays with Robert Black takes a deep dive into the world of the double bass with bass music written by bass players. Transport yourself with the raga-inspired Poucha Dass by François Rabbath, meditate with the peaceful In Memorium from Rodrigo Mata, surf the sonic joy in Sonia Ray’s Ondas, headbang to the energy of Emil Tabakov’s Motivy, and let Xavier Dubois Foley’s Letting Go chill you out. Deep tones and good vibes. Remember, it’s all about the bass.

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 his home studio in Hartford, Connecticut, at noon (EST). 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.

This is a free concert! But please consider purchasing a ticket just the same. Doing so will help us to do more performances, pay more players, commission more composers, and share more music worldwide.

First Fridays with Robert Black

photo by Stephanie Berger

June 6 – Bang on a Can Live Online – Marathon of Song!

Sunday, June 6 from 1-5pm ET

The Bang on a Can Marathon of Song features 15 performances streamed from musicians’ homes around the country and across the world. For this Marathon, all performances will include some type of vocalization – singing, speaking, murmuring, or other use of the voice. The Marathon will be hosted by Bang on a Can’s artistic directors Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe who will speak to the artists after each performance.

“Humming, speaking, crooning, shouting, praying, tuneful, harmonized or noisy, we have spun songs since the beginning of our existence. These adventurous composers are redefining what it means to make song, and these powerful performers bring it to life with a myriad of colors and sensibilities.”

 Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe

More info and livestream

June 20 – Timber 10 year Anniversary concert

On June 20 from noon to midnight (EDT) Bang on a Can presents 12 hours of streaming performances of Michael Gordon’s Timber by ensembles from around the World. The show includes interviews with performers and collaborators, archival videos, remixes, and more!

The performers are:

Slagwerk Den Haag and Club Guy & Roni dance (Netherlands)Ensemble Tactus (France)Haushcka (Germany)In­sti­tut für Mu­sik Universität Kassel (Germany)SaNeNa (Turkey)MonoCollective (Italy)Ictus Ensemble (Belgium)Grupo de Percussão (Portugal) and Roberto Olivan dance (Spain)Ensemble Perceum (Uruguay)Versus8 (Mexico)Left Edge Percussion (USA)Steven Schick (USA)Nief Norf (USA)University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble (USA)Mantra Percussion (USA)

Timber was originally performed in sections in 2010 by Slagwerk Den Haag [SDH] for dance performances with the Dutch company Club Guy and Roni (who co-commissioned Timber with SDH and the American ensemble Mantra Percussion). The complete work was finally premiered in concert on June 16, 2011 at the Korzo Theatre in The Netherlands by Slagwerk Den Haag.

It has since been performed more than 150 times over the past decade by dozens of ensembles (and dance companies) from over 20 countries.

An hour-long tour de force for six percussionists, Timber is scored for six pieces of wood, known as simantras — instruments from the Eastern Orthodox liturgy. Using these simple instruments (cut to varying pitches from low to high) Gordon shapes the music in both polyrhythmic and dynamic waves of textures; often each players’ hands are in separate rhythmic ‘worlds’, each traversing a different dynamic contour from loud to soft to loud.

When amplified in a resonant space the “glorious overtones produced from this limited array has to be heard to be believed.” (TimeOut Chicago) What can be described as an aurora borealis of sound, the overtones from the instruments combine to create hidden melodies — an other-worldy mix of timbres and harmonies that float and shimmer above the ensemble. “It has a halo, an ethereal aura of sound.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

This marathon streaming event marks a new decade for the work.

More info and live stream

May 13 – Online Concert and Conversation with Steve Reich and Amy Sillman

BANG ON A CAN, BOMB MAGAZINE & THE JEWISH MUSEUM

PRESENT

A Live Virtual Concert and Conversation featuring Steve Reich and Amy Sillman

With performances by Bang on a Can All-Stars David Cossin and Mark Stewart 

PROGRAM
Steve Reich – Electric Counterpoint
Steve Reich – Piano/Video Phase (arr D. Cossin)

live.bangonacan.org

Among the most iconic and well known composers of his generation, Steve Reich’s music has had a broad influence that continues to inspire music makers across genres, from techno and electronica to rock and roll.  In the words of The Guardian, “There’s just a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history and Steve Reich in one of them.”

Reich will be joined in conversation with Brooklyn-based painter Amy Sillman, who had two triumphal shows in New York last year – a show of her own work at Barbara Gladstone Gallery and a show she curated for the reopening of the Museum of Modern Art. Coincidentally, she is also Steve Reich’s cousin.

For decades, members of the Bang on a Can All-Stars have been among the deftest interpreters of Reich’s music. Guitarist Mark Stewart, a longstanding member of Reich’s touring ensemble, will perform Electric Counterpoint, for solo electric guitar and 12 backing pre-recorded guitar tracks.

Percussionist David Cossin, also a veteran of Reich’s touring ensemble offers his unique treatment of Reich’s Piano Phase (redubbed Piano Phase/Video Phase), in which Cossin performs the two piano parts with percussion midi-triggers. Equal parts concert piece and live video-installation, Piano Phase/Video Phase represents a wholly novel interpretation of Reich’s work, allowing us to see the actual structure of the piece as it unfolds.

live.bangonacan.org

LOUD Weekend Returns! July 30-31 at MASS MoCA

We’re Back! For 2021 we’re planning two solid days of concert, outdoors and in, for the intrepid music fan ready to brave the new world of new music for new times. MASS MoCA is the place. The Bang on a Can All-Stars together in and separate, music from co-founders Gordon, Lang, Wolfe, lots more, and world premieres of new works from our Summer Composition Fellows – tomorrow’s bright stars of contemporary music. Be there! More info coming, and tickets on sale in June. Stay tuned…

First Friday with Robert Black – May 7

The May First Friday with Robert Black brings us Bass Beginnings – music from the mid-20th Century “Big Bang” moment that started the formation of an entirely new universe of music for the instrument – a universe that is continually expanding at an astronomical pace.  Hear the jazz-tinged music of Barney Childs, modern lyricism from George Perle, and William Sydeman’s vibrant color palette.  The Future was then.  The Future is now.

PROGRAM

 Barney Childs – Sonata for Bass Alone
George Perle – Monody II
William Sydeman – For Double Bass Alone

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 his home studio in Hartford, Connecticut, at noon (EST). 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.

This is a free concert! But please consider purchasing a ticket just the same. Doing so will help us to do more performances, pay more players, commission more composers, and share more music worldwide.

First Fridays with Robert Black

Please Support Terry Riley’s “Autodreamographical Tales”

Please Support the Album!

Terry Riley’s practice of writing down his dreams in a personal journal became the basic for Autodreamographical Tales – a wildly unique creation from one of America’s most iconic composers. Riley set some of these dreams to music and created a demo of the tales. The songs offer an uncommonly special connection with Terry, who narrates each tale himself. We heard the demos and proposed realizing Autodreamographical Tales with Terry and the Bang on a Can All-Stars.

To our great delight, he agreed!

Please support the album Autodreamographical Tales. We will send you an early copy of the record, and if you can swing $100 or more the record will be signed by Terry Riley himself!

Bang on a Can Marathon Live Online – April 18!

New Commissions! On April 18, Bang on a Can presents its 2nd entire marathon of PREMIERES! 15 brand new works by 15 pioneering composers. Tune in to hear 4 hours of nonconformist, noncommercial, mind-blowing music.  Andy Akiho! Carman Moore! Joan LaBarbara! Matana Roberts! Kelly Moran! Rudresh Mahanthappa! and so many many more.

This concert is FREE!  But please do consider purchasing a ticket. That helps us pay more players, commission more composers, and make more music.

More info and livestream

Film of Julia Wolfe’s Steel Hammer: Online through Aug 4!

Cal Performances at Home premieres a new film, Steel Hammer, based on the acclaimed oratorio by Julia Wolfe. Steel Hammer is a meditation on over 200 versions of the “John Henry” folk ballad. The various versions—based on hearsay, recollection, and tall tales—reveal both the evolution of the story, as well as the timeless tale of human versus machine.

The film is available on demand through August 4.

The Cal Performances site also includes Julia’s interview with Jeremy Geffen, a feature from Jonathan Leal in San Francisco Classical Voice, and of course program notes!

More info

OneBeat Marathon – May 2!

A Global Music Celebration curated and hosted by Found Sound Nation!

May 2, 12pm-4pm ET.

The OneBeat Virtual Marathon is back! OneBeat, a singular global music exchange led by our Found Sound Nation team, employs collaborative original music as a potent new form of cultural diplomacy. We are thrilled to present this second virtual event, showcasing creative musicians who come together to make music, not war. The OneBeat Marathon brings together disparate musical communities, offering virtuosic creators a space to share their work. These spectacular musicians join us from across the globe, from a wide range of musical traditions. They illuminate our world, open our ears, and break through the barriers that keep us apart. 

More info and livestream