Bang on a Can Media Workshop at MASS MoCA

July 22-29, 2018

An exploration of contemporary music criticism
and journalism 

This summer, we are launching a workshop for music critics and journalists! Bang on a Can, our special guest faculty, John Schaefer (of WNYC's New Sounds), Will Robin (writer and musicologist), and 4 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. Our aim 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 -- a residency and festival for composers and performers (13 faculty, 30 performers, and 9 composers) and will include daily meetings with John Schaefer and daily writing assignments. Additionally, participants will be "embedded" in one of the festival ensembles to follow a piece from rehearsal to performance, enabling more insights into the process of bringing music to the stage. The participants will be invited to write a final piece (feature) about their experience to be published on the New Sounds website

Or 2018 workshop participants are:

Lasse D. Hansen is a Copenhagen-based composer and writer, which latest performances includes the theatrical fantasy Face the Music at the 2018 MATA Festival in New York. As a music journalist he is notoriously interested in the mysterious process of doing creative work, a subject that was most recent explored in an interview with Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, published by the Danish music magazine Seismograf.

Maggie Molloy is a Seattle-based music journalist and radio host. She is the director of Second Inversion: a 24/7 radio channel, web publication, and community resource dedicated to new and experimental music. Maggie studied piano and journalism at Seattle University and experimental composition at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique in Paris.

Sarah Lindmark is a Leo Freedman Fellow at the University of California, Irvine, where she is currently working on her Master's degree in Musicology. Her research interests include the music of Alban Berg and the Second Viennese School, popular music and feminist theory, and current advances in the form of the music video.

Stan Tymorek has worked as a copywriter, creative director, freelance writer and editor of poetry anthologies. He and his wife, Jan, have three children and live in Madison, Wisconsin.

Participants in the workshop will:

  • meet with luminaries of the contemporary music field: Bang on a Can's artistic directors, our performance faculty, and our 2018 guest composer Steve Reich.
  • witness the process of building new works from composition, to rehearsal, to performance.
  • have access to "primary source material" i.e. the performers and composers.
  • learn tools for a successful interview.
  • be a part of a community of peers at a similar career stage.

If you are interested in our 2019 workshop or have any questions, please write to the festival manager, Philippa Thompson at philippa [at] bangonacan [dot] org

Information about our 2019 program will be posted in March.

"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture."  - comedian Martin Mull