Bang on a Can Marathon Moves to Brooklyn Museum

Thursday, February 9, 2017
Meredith Monk and Theo Bleckmann, at the Bang on a Can Marathon in 2014.

Meredith Monk and Theo Bleckmann, at the Bang on a Can Marathon in 2014.

Credit Jake Naughton for The New York Times

The Bang on a Can Marathon will celebrate its 30th anniversary in a new home across the East River. After many years in downtown Manhattan, the annual eight-hour celebration of contemporary classical music will take place at the Brooklyn Museum on Saturday, May 6.

The concert will be a part of the museum’s yearlong project “A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism,” and will include works by Meredith Monk, Julia Wolfe and Joan La Barbara. Ms. Wolfe, a co-founder of Bang on a Can and a Pulitzer Prize winner, will present her piece “Steel Hammer,” a folk ballad about John Henry and other railroad tales.

The Young People’s Chorus of New York City will perform Ms. La Barbara’s “A Murmuration for Chibok,” and two marathon mainstays, the Crossfire Steel Orchestra and the Asphalt Orchestra, will play sets. Amir ElSaffar will bring his Two Rivers Ensemble, playing a blend of Iraqi music and contemporary jazz.

While previous marathons have been free, this performance will require admission to the museum (although admission is free after 5 p.m. on its Target First Saturdays program).

The first marathon was organized by Ms. Wolfe, Michael Gordon and David Lang in 1987 in a SoHo art gallery; it has since been an annual fixture of downtown genre-crossing experimentalism. More information is at

reblogged from The New York Times

Michael Gordon's TIMBER, Remixed by 12 A-List Artists

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Michael Gordon - Timber Remix

Listen to Fennesz's remix of Michael Gordon/Mantra Percussion, and preorder the album of 12 A-list electronic producers.

(from Pitchfork)

Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier, Hauschka, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and others also contribute to Timber Remixed, performed by Mantra Percussion

Back in 2011, Bang on a Can’s Michael Gordon released a five-part composition called Timber. Gordon plans to release a remix album of a new recording of the piece, performed by percussion ensemble Mantra Percussion, called Timber Remixed, on October 28 via Cantaloupe Music. It features remixes from Squarepusher, Oneohtrix Point Never, Fennesz, Tim Hecker, Hauschka, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and more. The announcement is accompanied by the Fennesz remix. Stream it below. Timber Remixed will be released on a limited edition vinyl containing six of the remixes, along with a two CD package that includes all 12 remixes, with a bonus disc featuring Mantra Percussion’s live performance of the original composition.

Timber Remixed:

Disc 1:

01 Jóhann Jóhannsson 
02 Sam Pluta 
03 Tim Hecker 
04 Fennesz 
05 Oneohtrix Point Never 
06 Greg Saunier 
07 HPRIZM/High Priest of APC 
08 Ian Williams 
09 Squarepusher 
10 Ikue Mori 
11 Mira Calix 
12 Hauschka

Disc 2:

01 Mantra Percussion – Timber (live @ The Winter Garden, Bang on a Can Marathon)

Bang on a Can Summer Festival @ MASS MoCA Kicks Off

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Karl Larson performs in the Tall Gallery at the 2014 Bang on a Can Summer Festival at MASS MoCA

The Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, the annual musical utopia for innovative musicians in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, is officially underway in for its 14th year.


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Bang on a Can All-Stars on tour in Europe!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Bang on a Can All-Stars live

Saturday, April 16, 2016 - 4:00pm Black Diamond, Queens Hall Søren Kierkegaards Plads 1, Copenhagen, Denmark

Bang on a Can All-Stars and the Danish National Vocal Ensemble, conducted by Ralf Chaczewsky perform Julia Wolfe's Anthracite Fields at the Queens Hall at Black Diamond, the brand new extension of the Danish National Library.

More info and tickets

Sunday, April 17, 2016 - 7:30pm Barbican Centre London, United Kingdom

Bang on a Can All-Stars perform Field Recordings at the Barbican Centre, London:

Julia Wolfe, Reeling
Bryce Dessner, Letter 27
Dan Deacon, Sago An Ya Rev
Daniel Wohl, Holographic
Christian Marclay, Fade to Slide
Steve Reich, The Cave of Machpelah (excerpt from The Cave
Todd Reynolds, Seven Sundays
Ben Frost, Negative Ghostrider
Jóhan Jóhannsson, Hz
Alvin Lucier, Firewood
Richard Reed Parry, The Brief and Neverending Blur
Paula Matthusen, the ontology of an echo
Anna Clyne,  Wonderful Day 

More info and tickets

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 8:30pm De Doelen Rotterdam, Netherlands

Bang on a Can All-Stars will perform Julia Wolfe's Steel Hammer with Trio Mediaeval.

More info and tickets

Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 8:15pm Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, Netherlands

Bang on a Can All-Stars and Trio Mediaeval perform Julia Wolfe's Steel Hammer.

More info and tickets

Saturday, April 23, 2016 - 3:00pm - 10:30pm De Doelen Rotterdam, Netherlands

Bang on a Can brings its signature event, the Bang on a Can Marathon, to Rotterdam. With guests Ensemble Klang.

More info and tickets

The program:

PART 1: 3-4PM
David Lang, Sunray
Julia Wolfe, Believing
Michael Gordon, For Madeline
Steve Martland, Horses of Instruction
  - performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars
PART 2: 5-6PM   
Brian Eno, Music for Airports (arr Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Evan Ziporyn)
   - performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars and Codarts
PART 3: 6-7PM
Red Sofa Tafelmuziek: dinner with musicians and public 
PART 4: 7-7:30PM
Red Sofa Pre-Concert Talk with the Bang on a Can All-Stars & Others
PART 5: 8-10:30PM   
Oscar Bettison, ppop
Jan-Bas Bollen  Fuse
   - performed by Ensemble Klang

Louis Andriessen, Life (with films by Marijke Van Warmerdam)
Martyn Padding Fix/us
   - performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars

Peter Adriaansz  Nu descendant un escalier
Tom Johnson  Narayana’s Cows
   - performed by Ensemble Klang

Christian Marclay, Fade to Slide with film (from Field Recordings
Anna Clyne, A Wonderful Day (from Field Recordings)
   - performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars

Pete Harden, forgiven (world premiere)
   - performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars & Ensemble Klang

Sō Percussion & Glenn Kotche: Drumkit Quartets @ Zankel Hall, 2/12

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Glenn Kotche

Glenn Kotche's Drumkit Quartets is out February 26.

Glenn Kotche’s Drumkit Quartets explores the timbral, textural, melodic, and rhythmic possibilities of the drumkit through a series of pieces that were all written in different cities while Kotche was touring extensively with his rock band, Wilco. The quartets are paired with Kotche’s Migrations, which plays in the softest range of the instruments, with the players using fingers, bows, and even hair combs to coax the sounds out. In the second half of the program, Steve Mackey’s Before It Is Time features vocalist Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond with the percussion group, in a piece inspired by the poetry of Isaac Maliya. The evening culminates with a Timeline, a sort of companion piece to Before It Is Time, composed by Sō Percussion and Shara Worden together.

 Tickets On Sale Now

So Percussion performs "It Is Time" by Steven Mackey

Year-End Hit Lists

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Grammy Nomination for Best Contemporary Classical Composition
for Julia Wolfe's Anthracite Fields

NPR Music's Favorite Songs Of 2015
featuring the Bang on a Can All-Stars' "An Open Cage," composed by Florent Ghys

NYT Classical Reviews (Jan 4)
featuring Ilimaq (John Luther Adams & Glenn Kotche)

Rhapsody's Best of 2015: Top 10 Classical Discoveries
featuring Ilimaq and Anthracite Fields

Washington Post's Year in Classical Music (Anne Midgette)
featuring David Lang's the difficulty of crossing a field

John Schaefer's Top 10 for 2015 (WNYC/New Sounds)
featuring Ilimaq

John Diliberto's Top 25 of 2015 (Echoes)
featuring Contact's Discreet Music

Seth Colter Walls (Pitchfork) - Top 50 from 2015 (all genres)
featuring Ilimaq at #33

Stay tuned for more as we gear up to celebrate Cantaloupe's 15th anniversary this year!

Available now: ILIMAQ

Friday, October 30, 2015

When John Luther Adams first conceived of the percussion-driven roots of Ilimaq in the mid-1990s, he was still uncertain of what direction the music wanted to take, and whether it could sustain itself as a sound installation or as a fully developed performance piece. Glenn Kotche, who happened to be a fan of JLA's work, and reached out to him when Wilco was on tour in Alaska in 2008, turned out to be the collaborator Adams was looking for. A drummer himself, JLA began to envision a piece of music that would demand physical endurance, mental stamina and in turn, almost a "trance state" from the performer. And as he writes in the liner notes for Ilimaq: "All these years later, in Glenn Kotche, I've found the drummer I always imagined I could be."

Ilimaq merges ambient soundscapes, based on electro-acoustic and environmental sounds that were recorded and edited by Adams in Alaska, with the powerhouse drumming of Kotche, who recorded his parts at Wilco's loft studio in Chicago. Split into five sections but meant to be a continuous listening experience, the 48-minute piece conjures up multi-hued references to the work of Brian Eno, Luc Ferrari and even Can and Cream, all in the course of a dream-like "spirit journey" that lives up to the original Iñupiaq (Alaska Inuit) meaning of the word.

You can get the double-disc package now (in stereo and 5.1 surround sound) at the Bang on a Can store.

John Luther Adams & Glenn Kotche: ILIMAQ

Julia Wolfe on NPR's All Things Considered

Monday, September 28, 2015

Back in April, Julia Wolfe received a call at her loft space in New York, and ignored it. The the 57-year-old composer was in the middle of a meeting with her colleagues from Bang on a Can, the new music collective she co-founded in the late 1980s, and anyway she didn't recognize the number. Moments later, the phone rang again; this time, it was Bang on a Can's director on the line. Wolfe picked up.

"And he said, 'Do you know what's going on out there? You just won the Pulitzer!'" Wolfe explains. "The whole office was screaming. It was a very, very sweet moment. We all put so much energy into making that piece happen."

Listen here

Pulitzer Prize-winning Anthracite Fields out today on Apple Music

Friday, September 18, 2015
Anthracite Fields

Julia Wolfe's Pulitzer Prize-winning Anthracite Fields: out today on Apple Music.

Julia Wolfe's Pulitzer Prize-winning oratorio for chorus and instruments, Anthracite Fields, is now streaming exclusively on Apple Music for one week. The pre-release album is also available exclusively on iTunes. Cantaloupe Music will release the CD package worldwide on September 25.

Wolfe wrote the piece after doing extensive research about the coal-mining industry in an area very near where she grew up in Pennsylvania. Her text draws on oral histories, interviews with miners and their families, speeches, geographic descriptions, children's rhymes and coal advertisements. The recording features the Bang on a Can All-Stars and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, under the direction of Julian Wachner.

Hear Anthracite Fields on Apple Music and iTunes now.

Julia Wolfe: Anthracite Fields (Bang on a Can All-Stars & The Choir of Trinity Wall Street)

NYTimes looks ahead to Anthracite Fields [Fall Classical Listing]

Friday, September 11, 2015

Clockwise from top left: Yannick Nézet-Séguin leading the Philadelphia Orchestra; Will Liverman, Rachel Sterrenberg and Lawrence Brownlee in “Yardbird”; Eva-Maria Westbroek in “Francesca da Rimini”; and the Twelfth Night Festival at Trinity Church.CreditClockwise from top left: Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times ; Dominic M. Mercier; Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera; and Leah Reddy

New York Times' classical music critic Zachary Woolfe's listing for most anticipated recordings and performances includes Julia Wolfe's upcoming Anthracite Fields as one of the not-to-be-missed happenings in town. Read the listing below and check out the rest of the list, including a John Luther Adams program by JACK Quartet, Esa-Pekka Salonen's residency with the NY Philharmonic, and more:

‘ANTHRACITE FIELDS’ Julia Wolfe’s oratorio, an indictment of the exploitation of Pennsylvania coal miners, won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize and is now being released on record, featuring the Bang on a Can All-Stars and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, conducted by Julian Wachner. Sept. 25. Cantaloupe Music.

full listing

Apple Ad Features Bang on a Can All-Stars

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Bang on a Can All-Stars, shot on iPhone 6

This timelapse film of an avian formation by Herbet S. of Utrecht is backed by the cascading arpeggios of the Bang on a Can All-Stars

The Bang on a Can All-Stars can be heard soundtracking Apple's latest commercial for the "Shot on iPhone 6" campaign. Gene Takes a Drink, a composition of Michael Gordon's penning from their newest album Field Recordings, backs a short video by the semi-anonymous "Herbert S." depicting a timelapse of a chattering of starlings flying in abstract formation. The beautifully orchestrated cascading arpeggios were paired with the film to highlighting the latest iPhone's high-res  variable framrate video camera. We think the two were paired well! See for yourself. 

Shot on iPhone 6 by Herbert S.

[livestream] Bang on a Can All-Stars @ The Greene Space 5/13

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Bang on a Can All-Stars, by Pett

Bang on a Can All-Stars

Tune in to WQXR to livestream the Field Recordings release concert

On WednesdayMay 13 at 7 pm, trailblazing new-music ensemble Bang on a Can All-Stars unveil their newest album, "Field Recordings." Be the first to hear the upcoming release with a live videocast and performance of the complete album from The Greene Space at WQXR.

Hear recent works by Steve Reich, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Anna Clyne, Todd Reynolds, Bang on a Can co-founders David Lang, Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon, and genre-hopping provocateurs Tyondai Braxton (formerly of Battles), Nick Zammuto (The Books), Mira Calix and Bryce Dessner (The National). With Field Recordings, one hundred years of sound and imagery unfold to reveal a contemporary collective consciousness channeled through the virtuosity and force of the Bang on a Can All-Stars.

Field Recordings asks composers to go into the field of recorded sound itself – to find something old or record something new, and to respond with their own music, in dialogue with what they found. What they have created is a bridge through time, sensation, and sound – a thrilling ride from New York to Hollywood to Las Vegas, from John Cage to French Canadian folk singing, from beauty treatments to tape loops, vinyl records, and more. With Field Recordings, one hundred years of sound and imagery unfold to reveal a contemporary collective consciousness channeled through the virtuosity and force of the electric Bang on a Can All-Stars.

Hosted by Q2 Music's Helga Davis, the evening includes on-stage conversation with performers and composers, including David Lang, Anna Clyne, Florent Ghys, Michael Gordon, Todd Reynolds and 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music winner Julia Wolfe.

Bang on a Can All-Stars: Gene Takes A Drink (Michael Gordon)

Bang on a Can All-Stars: meeting you seemed easy (Mira Calix)

Video: Monica Germino performs 'Industry'

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Monica Germino performs Michael Gordon's Industry

Monica Germino performs Michael Gordon's Industry

In her fiery performance of composer Michael Gordon's "tour-de-force of slowly rising intensity" [The Daily Telegraph], violinist Monica Germino revels in pushing the signal-processed limits of her instrument in collaboration with sound designer Frank van der Weij. Filmed and edited by video artist Marcel Wierckx, Industry captures a bold, futuristic and ultimately high-voltage vision of one of the most compelling works in new classical music. At the composer’s request, Germino and van der Weij sought to create the definitive violin version of Gordon's work — a challenge that ultimately resulted in adapting the instrument solely for this piece of music. Germino performs on a modified, amplified, extreme scordatura acoustic violin, together with a battery of effects.

See the Video

The Bang on a Can All-Stars perform live on May 13.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Field Recordings will be available everywhere on May 12. Preorder your copy now!

On May 13, the trailblazing Bang on a Can All-Stars celebrate the world premiere release of their latest album, a 12-track CD and DVD package of Field Recordings, with a live performance of the complete program at The Greene Space at WQXR in downtown NYC. The concert begins at 7pm and will stream live via Q2 Music online. The Greene Space is an intimate concert venue, so tickets ($20) are limited.

Field Recordings features commissioned works by Tyondai Braxton, Mira Calix, Anna Clyne, Bryce Dessner, Florent Ghys, Michael Gordon, Jóhann Jóhannsson, David Lang, Christian Marclay, Steve Reich, Todd Reynolds, Julia Wolfe and Nick Zammuto. The bonus DVD features five collage-style, archival and “found footage” videos that have accompanied recent live performances by the All-Stars.

Hosted by Q2 Music's Helga Davis, the evening includes on-stage conversations with the performers and composers.

Julia Wolfe Wins 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Music

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Julia Wolfe, by Peter Serling

Julia Wolfe is the 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner for music.

Bang on a Can co-founder and co-artistic director Julia Wolfe's Anthracite Fields, an oratorio for chorus and instruments, has been awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music! Wolfe drew on oral histories, interviews, speeches, geographic descriptions, children’s rhymes, and coal advertisements to create a work that gives an intimate look at a particular slice of American life.

"[Anthracite Fields] captures not only the sadness of hard lives lost…but also of the sweetness and passion of a way of daily life now also lost. The music compels without overstatement. This is a major, profound work.."
— Mark Swed, LA Times

Read NPR interview with Wolfe

Read NY Times article about her award

Cited by the Pulitzer committee as "a powerful oratorio for chorus and sextet evoking Pennsylvania coal-mining life around the turn of the 20th Century," the work premiered at the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia last April followed by a performance at the NY PHIL BIENNIAL in May. It was met with rave reviews. The New York Times wrote, “In Ms. Wolfe’s polished and stylistically assured cantata, the overall coherence of the musical material helped her expressions of outrage to burn cleanly and brightly.” The Philadelphia Inquirer praised the piece for creating “an alternate universe.”

Anthracite Fields will be released on Cantaloupe Music this September, in a recording that features the Bang on a Can All-Stars and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street with Julian Wachner conducting.

Click here to contribute to the making of this album!

"My aim with Anthracite Fields is to honor the people who persevered and endured in the Pennsylvania Anthracite coal region during a time when the industry fueled the nation, and to reveal a bit about who we are as American workers." – Julia Wolfe

Named after the technical term for the purest form of coal, anthracite, Anthracite Fields was written after Wolfe did extensive research about the coal mining industry in an area very near where she grew up in Pennsylvania. She writes, "In some ways the piece is a return to my small town Pennsylvania roots. In looking north – the left turn onto route 309, the road-rarely-taken – I delved into a local history.”


Anthracite Fields was commissioned through Meet the Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA program, which is made possible by generous support from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Helen F. Whitaker Fund. Additional support was made possible through the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia Alan Harler New Ventures Fund; The Presser Foundation; The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage; the National Endowment for the Arts; The Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia, and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.