Hailed by Rolling Stone as “a genre unto herself,” virtuosic guitarist and composer Kaki King returns to the road in January with a few of her finest and most interesting guitars. She’ll be playing material from her most recent album, Modern Yesterdays (Cantaloupe Music), as well as a selection of highlights from her 20-year career — and maybe even a brand new song or two!
Bang on a Can and MASS MoCA Present LOUD Weekend
Friday, July 30 & Saturday, July 31, 2021
An eclectic, fully loaded 2-day super-mix of minimal, experimental and electronic music
We’re back! We’re live! We’re LOUD WEEKEND! This year we welcome our friends the Kronos Quartet, the intrepid troubadours of experimental music who come bearing ear-bending world premieres by Terry Riley, Mary Kouyoumdjian and Sky Macklay. We pay tribute to Martin Bresnick, a shining light of American music celebrating his 75th birthday. We open the second LW as we did the first, with the overlooked, and now newly discovered minimalist giant Julius Eastman. We walk into the wondrous world of Dana Jessen and her switched-on bassoon featuring George Lewis’s ground-shaking “Seismologic.” We welcome the joyous jazz-infused music of singer/violinist Mazz Swift. We take an other-worldly trip into Gérard Grisey’s Vortex Temporum. Robert Honstein takes us on an exquisite sonic walking tour through the rooms of his childhood home. We are transported into the voices, songs and stories that run through Nathalie Joachim’s powerful Famn d’Ayiti. And so much more!
We pay special tribute to our friend and mentor, the late-great Louis Andriessen. And we are honored to present the world premiere of one of Frederic Rzewski’s last compositions, Amoramaro, which he wrote for the amazing pianist Lisa Moore.We spent the pandemic presenting 10 online solo marathons – commissioning composers, supporting musicians, doing what we could to keep the experimental music world alive.
Running throughout Loud Weekend are 19 of these Pandemic Solos, all receiving their first performances in front of a live audience, all commissioned by Bang on a Can. Plus – a highlight of every summer – world premieres by the newest freshest voices of the Composer Fellows!
– Michael Gordon, David Lang & Julia Wolfe
Bang on a Can LOUD Weekend at MASS MoCA hourly schedule (subject to change):
Friday, July 30, 2021: 4pm-11pm
The Orchestra of Original Instruments [Front Courtyard]
JULIUS EASTMAN, Femenine [Hunter Center]
LISA MOORE plays FREDERIC RZEWSKI’s Amoramaro (World Premiere) and more
Philip Glass Mad Rush | Don Byron Seven Etudes | Frederic Rzewski Amoramaro | Martin Bresnick Ishi’s Song, Bundists [Building 6 Event Space]
ARLEN HLUSKO plays “The Pandemic Solos”, commissioned by Bang on a Can
World premieres by Gabriel Kahane, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Leyla McCalla [Spencer Finch Gallery]
MARTIN BRESNICK 75TH BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE
Martin Bresnick Caprichos Enfaticos and Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano [Hunter Center]
Bang on a Can Summer Festival Faculty play “The Pandemic Solos”, commissioned by Bang on a Can
TODD REYNOLDS plays world premiere by Dai Wei and music by Paul De Jong
LAUREN RADNOFSKY plays world premiere by Brad Lubman
GREGG AUGUST plays world premiere by Ailie Robertson [Club B10]
BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS play music by Louis Andriessen, Philip Glass, and Meredith Monk
Meredith Monk Spaceship (arr. Michael Gordon) | Louis Andriessen Workers Union | Philip Glass Closing (arr. Michael Riesman) [Building 6 Event Space]
KRONOS QUARTET plays music by Jlin, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Tanya Tagaq, Stacy Garrop, Mary Kouyoumdjian*, Abel Meeropol, Antonio Haskell, Jacob Garchick (*world premiere) [Hunter Center]
GÉRARD GRISEY, Vortex Temporum [Building 6 Event Space]
BANDA DE LOS MUERTOS [The Chalet]
Saturday, July 31, 2021: 10:30am-11pm
“Listening Session” with DAVID HARRINGTON (Kronos Quartet) [Club B10]
ROBERT BLACK plays “The Pandemic Solos”, commissioned by Bang on a Can
World premieres by Žibuoklė Martinaitytė, Jakhongir Shukur, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir [Building 6 Events Space]
NEWEST VOICES WORLD PREMIERE COMPOSER CONCERT
Music by Nathan Bales, Erich Barganier, Christian Quiñones, Theo Baer, Melika Fitzhugh, Brian Krock, Lila Meretzky [Hunter Center]
DANA JESSEN plays Through a Fragile Traverse with video by Eli Stine; George Lewis, Seismologic [Club B10]
MICHAEL GORDON, Weather One | DAVID LANG, almost all the time [Building 6 Events Space]
STEVE REICH, Quartet | JULIA WOLFE, Dark Full Ride [Hunter Center]
ROBERT HONSTEIN, Soul House [Building 6 Events Space]
SHELLEY WASHINGTON, Uniforms, Silk, Big Talk [Club B10]
NATHALIE JOACHIM sings Fanm d’Ayiti [Hunter Center]
BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS play “The Pandemic Solos”, commissioned by Bang on a Can
World premieres by Anna Clyne, Nick Dunston, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Aeryn Santillan. [Club B10]
BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS play “The Pandemic Solos”, commissioned by Bang on a Can
World premieres by Leila Adu, Jeffrey Brooks, Sophie Cash, Florent Ghys, Trevor Weston. [Hunter Center]
15-minute POP UP TBA?
KRONOS QUARTET plays music by Nicole Lizee, Terry Riley*, Soo Yeon Lyuh, Bryce Dessner, Sky Macklay*, Michael Gordon (*world premiere) [Hunter Center]
MAZZ SWIFT [Club B10]
SOO-YEON LYUH plays music for the Haegum [The Chalet]
BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS play TERRY RILEY, Autodreamographical Tales [Hunter Center]
“I’ve rarely witnessed such a seamless melding of art and music.” – New York Magazine
“nothing could have prepared me for the whirlwind…” – The Boston Globe
On March 7 at 3PM EDT, Bang on a Can presents the video premiere of All-Star Vicky Chow’s performance of Michael Gordon’s Sonatra as a Watch Party. The program will include a Q&A about the work with Chow and Gordon, moderated by Ethan Iverson, also a pianist, composer, and critic best known for his work with the Bad Plus. Aside from Chow’s album release of the work (released February 23, 2018 on Cantaloupe Music – get it here!), this new video made by Denver-based director, writer, and cinematographer Souki Mehdaoui, is the only other recording of the piece.
“It’s by far the most challenging piece of music I’ve worked on,” says Vicky. “When I first looked at the score, I knew immediately that I’ll live with it for the rest of my life. Every few months, I slowly worked up each section, like chipping away at a slab of marble. I had to pace myself, push myself, and be sharp at every twist and turn, or else I’d trip and fall flat on my face.”
The Watch Party will include demonstrations of the work’s difficulty by way of brief excerpts performed by Chow in her home, alongside a display of the score.
In his original program notes for Sonatra, Michael Gordon writes that he conceived of the piece for solo piano as a sideways tribute to Frank Sinatra, but with the sonata form as an equal and opposite force that tugs at the music from within.
“I grew up playing, or mis-playing, the piano,” he notes. “When I started writing Sonatra, I decided that since I would probably only ever write one piano piece in my entire life, I wanted to use all the keys on the piano, and use them often. I constructed long chains or links of major and minor thirds that ceaselessly wind their way up and down the piano. Eventually they start cascading and intersperse with glissandos half the length of the keyboard, sounding to me like the performer has at least four hands.”
March 13 to May 9: "loved" will be on in the Cherry Esplanade. Composer Michael Gordon created the installation for BBG to honor those we've lost in the pandemic. Performed by percussionist David Cossin, the meditative composition for seven vibraphones plays hourly on Cherry Esplanade and runs 5 minutes, 28 seconds. It was originally presented in August and is being reprised to mark the one-year anniversary of New York City’s pandemic shutdown.
“Like the ringing of fractured bells, loved. marks the memory of those just recently lost. As we walk down the tree-lined path that will soon once again explode with blossoms, the music moves into the natural space in waves of resonating metals, silences, and an acceleration of harmony.” —Michael Gordon
Cantaloupe Music will be releasing "loved" digitally on all services on March 12, 2021.
in a dark blue night, a new song cycle by composer Alex Weiser based on the poetry of Morris Rosenfeld, Naftali Gross and Reuben Iceland, received its digital premiere at sunset in New York City, 4:43 p.m. on January 5. Commissioned by the ASCAP Foundation’s Charles Kingsford Fund, the performance features singer Annie Rosen and pianist Daniel Schlosberg, prerecorded from two remote locations and edited together by audio engineer Gleb Kanasevich.
“Heard together — in pandemic-enforced isolation, no less — the three pieces [from The Become Trilogy] offer an intoxicating introduction to Mr. Adams’s psychoacoustic geology of the spirit. Together with his illuminating memoir, they make fine travel companions in this year of going nowhere.”
Read more from the New York Times feature.
Celebrate the release of Kaki King's Cantaloupe debut Modern Yesterdays with a FREE streamed concert.
Join Georgia Tech Arts on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 8 p.m. EST as it streams the world premiere concert of Modern Yesterdays, the newest album from celebrated composer and guitarist Kaki King, recorded at the Ferst Center for the Arts.
Register now to receive more details as they are announced! https://gatech.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6F15S2P1R6Gx55j
Bang on a Can will present an ALL LIVE online Bang on a Can Marathon on Sunday, August 16, 2020 from 3pm-9pm ET. The Marathon will be streamed at marathon2020.bangonacan.org, featuring 24 LIVE performances from musicians' homes in NYC and around the country. We kick off at 3pm with the singular and extraordinary Wu Man, one of the world’s foremost Pipa players and close off with György Ligeti’s diabolical etude ‘The Devil’s Staircase’, performed by piano superstar Jeremy Denk. Don’t miss a rare solo performance by jazz legend Oliver Lake, 11 world premieres commissioned especially for the day, as well as music and performances by Leyla McCalla, Kaki King, Annea Lockwood, Craig Taborn, Missy Mazzoli, Tyondai Braxton and many more greats.
Performance schedule (Set times are approximate)
Nicole Mitchell New Work (world premiere) performed by Ken Thomson
Dobrinka Tabakova Simple Prayer for Complex Times (world premiere) performed by Vicky Chow
Missy Mazzoli Vespers for Violin (solo) performed by Olivia De Prato
Teddy Abrams New Work (world premiere) performed by himself
Fjóla Evans New Work (world premiere) performed by Kendall Williams
Jeffrey Brooks Santuario (world premiere) performed by Mark Stewart
Shara Nova New Work (world premiere) performed by herself
Brad Lubman New Work (world premiere) performed by Lauren Radnofsky
Jacob Cooper Expiation (edit) performed by Jodie Landau
Scott Wollschleger Tiny Oblivion performed by Karl Larson
Rajna Swaminathan New Work (world premiere) performed by herself
Nick Dunston Fainting Is Down, Whooshing is Up (world premiere) performed by Robert Black
Phil Kline The Best Words performed by Theo Bleckmann with Dan Tepfer/Todd Reynolds
Marcos Balter ...and also a fountain performed by Rebekah Heller
Annea Lockwood RCSC performed by Sarah Cahill
Paola Prestini From the Bones to the Fossils performed by Jeffrey Zeigler
Annika Socolofsky Bolder (world premiere) performed by Arlen Hlusko
Samson Young Super Dark Energy (world premiere) performed by David Cossin
György Ligeti The Devil's Staircase performed by Jeremy Denk
In fraught times like these, everyone needs to step up for what's right. We extend our deepest condolences to George Floyd’s family, friends, and the larger Minneapolis community, and we stand in solidarity with our black colleagues, fellow musicians, and loved ones across the country and around the world.
Please join us in donating to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and let's work together to actualize racial justice and positive change for the future.
Bang on a Can will present an ALL LIVE online Bang on a Can Marathon on Sunday, May 3, 2020 from 3pm-9pm ET. The Marathon will be streamed at marathon2020.bangonacan.org, featuring 26 LIVE performances from musicians' homes in NYC and around the country. The concert begins with a performance by Meredith Monk at 3pm and concludes with a performance by Bang on a Can All-Star pianist Vicky Chow playing John Adams’ China Gates. Additional highlights include Steve Reich’s Vermont Counterpoint performed by flutist Claire Chase, performances by Vijay Iyer, Maya Beiser, Shara Nova, Nathalie Joachim, and many more. The 6-hour live Marathon will be hosted by Bang on a Can Co-Founders andArtistic Directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe.
Set times are approximate
Cassie Wieland’s Heart performed by Adam Holmes
Robert Honstein’s Orison performed by Ashley Bathgate
Anna Clyne’s Rapture performed by Eileen Mack
George Lewis’ Voyager
Shara Nova – New Work (world premiere)
Shelley Washington’s Black Mary performed by Ken Thomson
Martin Bresnick’s Ishi’s Song performed by Lisa Moore
Ken Thomson – New Work (world premiere) performed by Robert Black
David T. Little’s Hellhound performed by Maya Beiser
Miya Masaoka’s music for ichi-ten-kin, or one string koto
Vinko Globokar’s Toucher performed by Steven Schick
Philip Glass’ “Knee Play 2” from Einstein on the Beach performed by Tim Fain
Mark Stewart’s To Whom it May Concern: Thank You
Molly Joyce – New Work (world premiere) performed by David Cossin
Steve Reich’s Vermont Counterpoint performed by Claire Chase
Dai Wei’s Songs for Shades of Crimson (world premiere) performed by Todd Reynolds
John Adams’ China Gates performed by Vicky Chow
With concert halls and opera houses closed around the world as part of bans on large gatherings aimed at curbing the coronavirus outbreak, what are homebound classical critics to do? Listen to favorite recordings of the music they were scheduled to hear live, of course! Enjoy.
for an exclusive New York Times preview of Meredith Monk's “Double Fiesta,” from her forthcoming album MEMORY GAME with the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
The Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee, has announced its expanded 2020 lineup, which will include a headlining set from punk godmother Patti Smith and her band, who will play and participate in the literary program.
The three-day fest (March 26-29) focused on the avant garde, the unexpected and the surprising will pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of the invention of the Theremin, with Rob Schwimmer, a master of the eerie instrument leading a trio featuring pianist Uri Caine and violinist Mark Feldman in a 20th anniversary celebration of their album Theremin Noir.
Meredith Monk will perform her evening-length song series MEMORY GAME with her Vocal Ensemble and the Bang on a Can All-Stars to close out the weekend. Stay tuned for more details!
There was a time, within living memory for many of us, when composers, critics, and listeners could have knock-down, drag-out fights (or the somewhat more genteel, but still vehement, classical-music equivalent) about which of the many contemporary “isms” was the true musical language of our time...
“This piece is all about space,” says composer John Luther Adams. “Space has become, perhaps, the fundamentally compositional element in my music — so much so that with Become Desert, I didn't begin sketching notes. I didn't think about harmonies, or tempos, or line, or anything specific until I had the floor plan. Until I knew, not only what are the instruments, but where are the instruments. In this case, we have five instrumental choirs, five distinctly separate ensembles. Become Ocean had three. That seemed to work pretty well, but I wanted to hear a fuller space, both [in] surround and vertically.”
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY: The 2019 Bard SummerScape festival takes a contemporary look at Hollywood’s Golden Age in Acquanetta, a visual and musical tour-de-force inspired by the eponymous B-movie star with a mysterious past.
Combining theater, opera, and film in a haunting meditation on identity, transformation, stereotypes, and typecasting from composer and Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon and his longtime collaborator, librettist Deborah Artman, Acquanetta originally premiered at the PROTOTYPE Festival, where it was a New York Times and New York magazine “Critics’ Pick” and one of the New York Classical Review’s “Top Ten Performances of 2018.”
To celebrate the official July 19 release of the Acquanetta recording on Cantaloupe Music, Bard will host a pre-release party on Friday, July 12.
Acquanetta is produced by Beth Morrison Projects, with scenic design by Lucille Lortel Award-nominee Amy Rubin and video design by Joshua Higgason.