Enter the world of the gods, spirits, and shamans of ancient Chinese myths and poetry in this evening-length work co-composed by Lao Luo and Bang on a Can Co-Artistic Directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe.
Your guide is the extraordinary Chinese vocalist Gong Linna, whose dynamic voice travels across vast terrains of sonic colors. Her adventurous artistic range that embraces Chinese folk, pop, and avant-garde art music has drawn comparisons to Björk. Singing in both Mandarin and English, she joins the Bang on a Can All-Stars for a thrilling cross-cultural voyage through dramatic musical landscapes, from groove-driven melodies and lyrical meditations to punk back beats and stratospheric vocalizations.
The All-Stars are heading to Toronto for a concert on May 27 at the Royal Conservatory of Music! They will perform a specially devised program “Bang on a Canada" that features selections from Field Recordings, most of which will be Canadian premieres. Works by Canadian composers Richard Reed Parry and René Lussier will be anchored by a world premiere from John Oswald, commissioned by The Royal Conservatory/Koerner Hall.
Eliot Britton: Cuneiform and Glide (1st movement) -Vicky Chow, solo piano
Julia Wolfe: Reeling
Michael Gordon: Gene Takes a Drink with film by Bill Morrison
Christian Marclay: Fade to Slide with film by Christian Marclay
David Lang: unused swan
John Oswald: new work
Allison Cameron: 3rds, 4ths & 5ths
Richard Reed Parry: The Brief and Neverending Blur
Caroline Shaw: Really Craft When You
René Lussier: Nocturne
Steve Reich: The Cave of Machpelah
Anna Clyne: A Wonderful Day
BANG ON A CAN: Robert Rauschenberg – Among Friends
Throughout Robert Rauschenberg’s six-decade career, he moved freely between the worlds of visual art and avant-garde music. Beginning in the early 1950s, Rauschenberg worked closely with the composers and performers associated with the New York School, including such pioneering experimental figures as Earle Brown, John Cage, Morton Feldman, David Tudor, and Christian Wolff. This rich dialogue shaped Rauschenberg’s approach to art making as well as that of his musical collaborators. In conjunction with the exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends, David Lang and Bang on a Can present a pair of concerts featuring commentary exploring these artistic exchanges and their legacy for contemporary music.
Tuesday, May 23: Part I
With featured performers the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Performance features longtime Rauschenberg collaborator Christian Wolff in conversation with David Lang).
Morton Feldman: Ixion
Bryce Dessner: Letter 27 with film featuring Charles Olsen
Christian Marclay: Fade to Slide with film by Christian Marclay
Anna Clyne: A Wonderful Day
Christian Wolff: Suite (I) for prepared piano
Christian Wolff: Exercises 29 and 30
Wednesday, May 24: Part II
Part II celebrates Rauschenberg’s collaborations with John Cage and David Tudor through immersive works by both composers, reimagined for today by David Lang, Jody Elff, and Todd Reynolds. Featured works are John Cage’s 4'33" (1952) performed by Todd Reynolds; John Cage’s Atlas Eclipticalis (1961) performed by The New School’s Ensemble 4'33" and directed by Todd Reynolds; and After David Tudor (Homage to Fluorescent Sound) (2017) performed by Jody Elff and David Langs
The Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) is a musical utopia for innovative musicians in the beautiful Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts. The cornerstone of the residency are the public performances which run from July 19- Aug 5. The performances include daily recitals by faculty and fellows of the residency in the MASS MoCA galleries (free with museum admission), additional free performances in the community, and a festival finale blow-out concert - a 6 hour performance in the Hunter Center on Aug 5 with special guest composer Louis Andriessen!
Here's the current schedule, more details to be added soon! All recitals in the gallery are free with gallery admission.
July 20-21, July 24-28, and 31-Aug 4 the festival fellows present recitals at 1:30 all over the galleries!
Weds July 19, 4:30pm - Mark Stewart performs the music of Pauline Oliveros & all folks present(!) on the wonderful musical instruments of Gunnar Schonbeck. The Return of the 9 foot Banjo!! Come and join in. No experience required.
Thurs July 20, 4:30pm - Ashley Bathgate performs new works for solo cello by Martin Bresnick, Emily Cooley, Pamela Madsen, Jascha Narveson, Alex Weiser, and the world premiere of It Is Not A City by Randall Woolf, with the poetry of Tongo Eisen-Martin.
Fri July 21, 4:30pm - The keyboard duo of Ray/Kallay (Vicki Ray and Aron Kallay) will play two works for microtonal keyboards by Dylan Mattingly and Rand Steiger. Also - Vicki will play three short works for solo piano: spring and greene by David Lang, On Debrosses Steet by Michael Gordon and East Broadway by Julia Wolfe.
Fri July 21, 10pm - The Bang-MoCA MASSive Latin Big Band! Led by Gregg August, Joe Gonzalez, and Ben Lapidus, the Bang on a Can fellows perform for free at the American Legion bar. Bring your dancing shoes.
Sat July 22, 4:30pm - Karl Larson plays Robert Honstein's Grand Tour for Solo Piano
Saturday, July 22, 11:30am KIDS CAN TOO! Our annual perforance for kids. tickets
Saturday, July 29, 4:30pm - A tribute to Pauline Oliveros
Saturday, July 29, 8pm - Bang on a Can All-Stars ROAD TRIP
Bang on a Can co-artistic directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe have collaborated to create Road Trip, an evening-length work for the Bang on a Can All-Stars, directed by Michael Counts with rock show lighting and projections designed by CandyStations. The piece is about journeys and people who make them. Physical journeys, geographical journeys, emotional journeys, spiritual journeys. There is a road, but it is no simple highway. tickets
Sunday, July 30, 4:30pm - Mark Stewart and festival fellows perform on the spectacularly original instruments of Gunnar Schoenbeck, an new exhibit at MASS MoCA, curated by Mark!
Monday, July 31, 4:30pm WORLD PREMIERE COMPOSER CONCERT Over 40 young composers and performers from around the world debut NINE NEW WORKS written especially for the festival.
Tuesday, Aug 1, 4:30pm - Music from Central Asia - Musicians from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan perform on traditional instruments from their countries, including the chopo choor, rubab, and dombra.
Wednesday, Aug 2, 4:30pm - Festival fellows perform the sextet version of Philip Glass' monumental Symphony #3, and the minimalist classic Music for Similar Motion
Wednesday, Aug 2, 7pm CONCERT AT THE LAKE Our annual blow-out avant-variety show!! Bring a blanket! WINDSOR LAKE, NORTH ADAMS | FREE
Thursday, Aug 3, 4:30pm - Festival fellows perform works by a pioneer of electronic and interactive music, George Lewis.
Thursday, Aug 3, 7:30pm - A special concert with this year's guest composer, Dutch master Louis Andriessen.
Aug 3, 4 - 10pm AFTER HOURS AT THE CHALET Spontaneous music with the fellows in our summer beer garden, which careens wildly from bluegrass to jazz to salsa to avant-ballads.
Friday, Aug 4, 4:30pm - Festival fellows perform music by downtown New York's alt-vocal maverick Meredith Monk.
Saturday, Aug 5, 4–10pm BANG ON A CAN MARATHON
More musical "happening" than concert, the Bang on a Can Marathon closes out the Festival in suitably audacious style. The eclectic program includes works from our 2017 guest artist Louis Andriessen, as well as Steve Reich, Jeffrey Brooks, Michael Gordon, Judd Greenstein, David Lang, Vanessa Lann, Mary Jane Leach, Gyorgi Ligeti, Nicole Lizee, Dmitri Tymoczko, Lois V Vierk, and Julia Wolfe. Share the experience with hundreds of adventurous listeners, dozens of brilliant performers, great food and drink and of course, big bold art EVERYwhere. tickets
More information on the summer festival on the
The New York Times' Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim wrote this lovely article, and the photo reveals how joy and friendship permeate all things Bang:
Pianist and Bang on a Can All Stars member Vicky Chow performs Tristan Perich’s Surface Image for solo piano. This monumental performance-installation with 40-channel 1-bit electronics echoes the shimmering quality of Paris’ 19th century arcades and is presented in conjunction with The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin and his renowned essay "Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction."
Presented as part of Westminster’s Transforming Space project, the All-Stars and the Westminster Choir perform Julia Wolfe's Pulitzer prize winning oratorio Anthracite Fields, in the monumental space of the Roebling Wireworks in Trenton, NJ. Staging for this performance by Doug Varone!
Pre-Performance Talk for both April 21 and 22 shows at 7:15 p.m - Julia Wolfe, conductor Joe Miller and historian and preservationist Clifford Zink will present a talk about Anthracite Fields, the significance of the performance site and the Transforming Space project before each performance. Coal from the Anthracite mines played a vital role in Trenton's industrial success, which inspired the slogan "Trenton Makes, the World Takes."