Asphalt Orchestra at 2015 Bang on a Can Marathon
Asphalt Orchestra at 2015 Bang on a Can Marathon download original

Stephanie Berger

Asphalt Orchestra – May 22 in Bryant Park

Julia Wolfe caps her Carnegie Hall residency with a one-of-a-kind event in Manhattan’s Bryant Park: Asphalt Orchestra. Also featuring guest artists Pan In Motion, the program includes world premieres by first-time Carnegie Hall–commissioned composers Leila Adu, Jeffrey Brooks, and Kendall K. Williams, further highlighting Wolfe’s longtime reputation as a champion of innovative new works. They will also perform a new arrangement by Tomeka Reid and Ken Thomson‘s arrangement of Once in a Lifetime by the Talking Heads! Catch the beginning of the performance at the side of the park near the New York Public Library, or join the performers along the way as they march toward the main lawn!

This program is part of the Carnegie Hall Citywide free concert series.

More info

April 13: Julia Wolfe’s Cruel Sister at Carnegie Hall

Julia Wolfe: Cruel Sister

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

7:30 PM Zankel Hall

Julia Wolfe tells a harrowing story of sibling rivalry and murder in Cruel Sister. Based on an Old English ballad, Wolfe uses biting string attacks, unsettling drones, and otherworldly strumming and plucking to create an eerie and darkly menacing soundscape. When Cruel Sister was performed at David Lang’s 2014 collected stories series in Zankel Hall, the audience was mesmerized. Experience this haunting work and hear one of music’s most compelling musical storytellers.

Performers

Ensemble Signal
Brad Lubman, Music Director and Conductor
Tessa Lark, Violin

Program

MICHAEL GORDON Weather One
JULIA WOLFE With a blue dress on
JULIA WOLFE Cruel Sister

More info and tickets

March 3: Julia Wolfe’s Steel Hammer at Carnegie Hall

Julia Wolfe – in residence at Carnegie Hall this season!

Steel Hammer – March 3

Steel Hammer is a meditation on over 200 versions of the John Henry 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. Many of the facts are unclear, but regardless of the details, John Henry, wielding a steel hammer, faced the onslaught of the industrial age as his super-human strength is challenged in a contest to out-dig an engine. The Bang on a Can All-Stars add a slew of instruments to their usual line up – mountain dulcimer, wooden bones, banjo, harmonicas, and body percussion, as well as a dynamic trio of three female voices to tell the tale. Featuring singers Molly Netter, Rebecca Hargrove, and Sonya Headlam.

March 4: First Fridays with Robert Black

Digital delay, flanger, pitch shifter, distortion, chorusing, reverb, and more – meet the electronic genies in the bottle of effects processing.  For the March 4 First Fridays with Robert Black, these electronic muses and their digital inspiration team up with Robert’s double bass to create Instant Compositions.  Meet Robert in the Zone and discover what’s going to happen as it is happening.

Program:

Robert Black – Instant Compositions (today)

 

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.

more info and livestream

First Fridays with Robert Black – Feb 4

February 4, 2022 at 12 noon ET

PROGRAM: “Multi-Bass”

Angélica Negrón – La Isla Mágica
Julia Wolfe – Stronghold 

This month’s First Friday augments the solo double bass with pre-recorded tracks.  Angélica Negrón’s La Isla Magica washes over us with a bright and bubbly electronic accompaniment of joyous optimism.  Julia Wolfe’s Stronghold takes us into the dark and brooding world of a double bass orchestra with 7 pre-recorded Robert Blacks (and one live) in a mind-bending bass trip.  Come for the party, stay for the journey!

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.

more info and live stream

Applications for the 2022 Media Workshop at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival are online now!

Bang on a Can Media Workshop at MASS MoCA

An exploration of contemporary music criticism and journalism

July 23 – 31, 2022

More info and online application

Applications deadline extended to April 8!

“One of the most meaningful and impactful experiences of my writing career thus far.”  – Maggie Molloy, workshop participant

Bang on a Can, our special guest faculty John Schaefer and Terrance McKnight, and 6 writers in the early stages of their careers will gather at MASS MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA) to explore the role of criticism and journalism in today’s dynamic contemporary music scene.

The aim of the workshop is to help writers generate a vocabulary, syntax, and context that is most useful for readers/ listeners and to make modern music and criticism more accessible, welcoming, and exciting to all audiences.

The workshop will take place during the final week of the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA (July 23-Aug 1, 2022) — a residency and festival for composers and performers (13 faculty, 30 performers, and 9 composers) and will include daily meetings with faculty and daily writing assignments. Additionally, participants will be “embedded” in the festival activities, attending rehearsals, workshops, and performances, enabling more insights into the process of bringing music to the stage.

More info and online application

Peoples Commissioning Fund Concert – January 20 – attend the concert in person, or stream it online

Featuring an expanded line-up of the Bang on a Can All-Stars!

We’re thrilled to be able to tell you about this Thursday’s PCF concert at Merkin Hall, and even more excited to say you can join us in person OR experience the show online via live.bangonacan.org! Either way you’re in for a treat…fresh music, phenomenal band, beamed to your home wherever you are in the world. This performance is part of the Kaufman Center’s Ecstatic Music Festival and is co-presented by New Sounds Live with host John Schaefer.

It’s such an incredible lineup. We’re presenting an unprecedented, expanded All-Stars featuring three outstanding additional players in Allison Loggins-Hull on flute, Jen Baker on trombone and David Byrd-Marrow on horn. We’re premiering new commissions from Tomeka Reid, Ken Thomson, Fred Frith, Nick Dunston, Soo Yeon Lyuh, Aeryn Santillan, Jeffrey Brooks and Trevor Weston.

We want you to come if you can, if you feel safe. Merkin’s protocols are strong – you must be vaxxed and masked and we’ll be sure to make space between individuals or small groups wishing to sit together.  You can purchase tickets in advance or wait to see how things play out…and if you want a live update just send a note to Tim Thomas asking about ticket availability or safety concerns.  For those who come, we can guarantee some great music and socially-distanced companionship. And the joy that comes with experiencing music for the very first time – together.

Please stay safe and don’t hesitate to reach out to us about anything at all.

P.S. – a big shout-out to commissioners on next week’s show, including Jane & Richard Stewart, Charles Reade, Robert D. Bielecki, Lisa Bauso & Joe Rojas, Richard Ferrante, Robert & Pamela Howell, Arlene & Larry Dunn and the Antonia and Vladimer Kulaev Cultural Heritage Fund.

Program

  • Fred Frith: Which It Is *
  • Tomeka Reid: UNTETHERED*
  • Jeffrey Brooks: Santuario II**
  • Nick Dunston: Fainting is Down, Whooshing is Up**
  • Ken Thomson: Performative*
  • Soo Yeon Lyuh: See You on the Other Side** (with Soo Yeon on haegum)
  • Aeryn Santillan: disconnect.**
  • Trevor Weston: Rainbows and Butterflies**

*world premiere

**world premiere arrangement

The world premiere arrangements were originally commissioned and premiered as solo works during the Bang on a Can Online Marathons in 2020-2021, and have been newly arranged for this nine-piece ensemble.

More info and tickets for the in-person show

Live Stream

First Fridays with Robert Black – Dec 3

First Fridays with Robert Black

December 3, 2021 at 12 noon ET

PROGRAM – “Strange Places”
Michael Gordon – Paint It Black (1988/91)
John Luther Adams – Three High Places (2017)

​From the gritty attitude and harsh sonic ​energy of ​the ​punk ​​underworld to a trippy inner-mind meditation exploring the crisp​,​ borealis purity of the Alaskan wilderness, First Fridays with Robert Black takes us on a sonic journey to strange and beautiful places. ​ ​Compositions by ​Michael Gordon and John Luther Adams​ pilot our aural explorations.

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.

More info and livestream

All-Stars perform “In C” live with Sasha Waltz & Guests – Dec 10-12 in Berlin and livestream on Dec 12

Bang on a Can All-Stars and Sasha Waltz & Guests
In C: Live

Live in-person performances: Dec 10-12 at radialsystem in Berlin
Live Stream: Sunday, December 12, 2021 at 12pm ET at live.bangonacan.org

On December 10-12, 2021 at radialsystem Berlin, the Bang on a Can All-Stars will give their first performances abroad since the pandemic. Celebrated German dance company Sasha Waltz & Guests present their latest work, In C, for the first time in-person, with live music, performed by our All-Stars. This In C is a brand new dynamic dance work based on Terry Riley’s revolutionary and open composition by the same name. Sasha Waltz and her dancers developed choreographic material that mirrors the variable structure of the original score and therefore always leaves room for new variants.

Sasha Waltz explains her vision for the project:

“The score of In C consists of fifty-three musical phrases and reads like stage directions for musicians. The thought of translating these detailed instructions into dance through a choreographic exploration of the music appealed to me. The result is an experimental system of fifty-three movement phrases for a structured improvisation with clear rules and laws. The length of the piece remains variable, as does the number of musicians and dancers.”

More info for the live performances in Berlin, Dec 10-12

More info for the livestream on Dec 12.

Video trailer