Review by Larry Murray
For a dozen years, Mass MoCA in North Adams has shed its light on contemporary music as well as contemporary art, making the musicians and fellows of the musical organization Bang on a Can its mid-summer resident company. For three weeks there are not only performances, but master classes, pop up sessions in the galleries and more. Musicians are renowned for soaking up new ideas, collaborating on old ones and finding new ways to delight their listeners.
After working together each year, Bang on a Can presents its “class” project, the Musical Marathon which kicked off at 4pm last Saturday (August 3) and ran, nonstop, to 11pm when it ended with a champagne toast shared with fans in the courtyard of Mass MoCA. The bittersweet event also marked the time in which participants would head back to their lodgings and head home. But what memories they take with them.
The marathon is always rewarding since it features more than 30 musicians and composers from around the world for six hours of non-stop, boundary-smashing music – a feast of sound including classical, contemporary, minimalism, ambient, jazz, experimental and more. Here are some of the highlights: