Posts Tagged ‘Bang on a Can’

Bang On a Can’s Julia Wolfe Wins Pulitzer Prize

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Congrats go out to Bang On a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe, who has been awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished musical composition.

The award – which comes with a prize of $10,000 in addition to the oodles of prestige – was awarded to Wolfe for her oratorio for chorus and sextet, “Anthracite Fields,” evoking Pennsylvania coal-mining life around the turn of the 20th century. The work had its world premiere on April 26, 2014, in Philadelphia, performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars with the Mendelssohn Club Chorus of Philadelphia.

The Bang On a Can Summer Festival is returning to MASS MoCA in North Adams again this summer, and it will include a performance of another Wolfe composition, “Singing in the Dead of Night,” during the festival-closing, six-hour Bang On a Can Marathon, which will also features works by Philip Glass, Christian Marclay, Meredith Monk and others.

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LIVE: Glenn Kotche @ MASS MoCA’s Bang On a Can Summer Music Festival, 8/1/14

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
Glenn Kotche

Glenn Kotche

Review and photograph by Joel Reed

In addition to his thirteen years as Wilco’s drummer, Glenn Kotche has composed music for Kronos Quartet, Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, eighth blackbird and other groups, and so joins the National’s Bryce Dessner and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood in the small group of composer-musicians with solid credibility in both rock and new music worlds. He’s a natural then for the summer Bang on a Can residency at MASS MoCA in North Adams. In the days before his solo performance on Friday, August 1 he had been teaching the fellows of the summer institute, and three of his compositions were on the program for the festival’s concluding marathon concert on Saturday, August 2.

The last time I saw Kotche perform solo was at one of the Solid Sound festivals, where he played to a standing crowd in MASS MoCA’s 1000-people capacity Hunter Center, and before that, at the Morgan Library’s formal theater. It was a treat then to sit at a cafe table among the 200 people on the deck behind the museum, and Kotche, nodding to friends and students in the audience during his set, seemed to enjoy the setting as well.

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LIVE: Bang On a Can Music Festival @ MASS MoCA, 7/26/14

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Bang on a Can

Review and photographs by Joel Reed

Long before MASS MoCA began hosting Wilco’s Solid Sound and the FreshGrass music festivals, the sprawling North Adams museum and performance space offered the Berkshires and the Capital Region unmatched opportunities for extended exposure to alternative music. In 2002, the NYC-based new music ensemble Bang On a Can began taking up an annual summer residency there with two weeks of concerts and recitals coupled with instruction for a small group of “fellows” eager to study extended technique and composition from the All Stars who launched a genre.

Though Bang On a Can’s founding composers and musicians are classically trained and mostly work with traditional instrumentation, their work refers more to late twentieth-century experimental or avant garde composition and rock than it does the orchestral and chamber music of the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries. As with all art, theirs is based in a set of conventions that become more familiar and accessible over time, but its relevance is less in doubt, and so their annual presence at MASS MoCA fills a unique niche in our region for those who are looking for world-class live music but aren’t turned on by SPAC’s classical season or rock reunion acts.

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Relentlessly Inventive Bang on a Can Offers Festival of New Music During MASS MoCA Stay [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, July 25th, 2014
Pop-up orograms in the galleries are a regular feature of the Bang on a Can Festival.

Pop-up programs in the galleries are a regular feature of the Bang on a Can Festival.

From Saturday (July 26) through August 2, the “relentlessly inventive” (New York Magazine) new music collective Bang on a Can collaborates with MASS MoCA to present Bang on a Can Plays Art, a jam-packed, week-long new music extravaganza featuring 14 concerts in eight days, as the culmination of the 13th annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA which began on July 14. Bang on a Can Plays Art draws inspiration from the visual art on exhibit in the galleries at MASS MoCA. Each concert will showcase music that interacts with the art on various levels – stylistically, thematically and whimsically – performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Festival artists and fellows, and special guests Steve Reich and Glenn Kotche (of Wilco).

Bang on a Can Plays Art kicks off in the afternoon on Saturday (July 26) with Bang on a Can Plays Izhar Patkin featuring Terry Riley’s minimalist classic In C, followed by a performance that evening of Bang on Can co-founder David Lang’s haunting death speaks by the Bang on a Can All-Stars with special guest Shara Worden, as well as a late-night solo concert by Worden’s musical alter-ego My Brighest Diamond.

Festival highlights include Bang on a Can Plays Teresita Fernández featuring Bang on a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe’s Cruel Sister (July 27); Bang on a Can World Premiere Composer Concert showcasing brand new music by the Festival Fellows (July 28); Bang on a Can Plays Ann Hamilton (July 29), featuring the world premiere of Paper Chorus created by the Festival musicians wearing Hamilton’s all new paper sculptures; Bang on a Can Plays Mark Dion featuring Morton Feldman’s Why Patterns? (July 30); Bang on a Can Plays Sol LeWitt featuring the music of Steve Reich, who was a friend and colleague of LeWitt (July 31); Bang on a Can Plays Anselm Kiefer, featuring Georg Friedrich Haas’ powerful string quartet In iij. Noct. performed in total darkness (July 31); Bang on a Can Plays Natalie Jeremijenko featuring Wilco’s Glenn Kotche (Aug. 1); and the annual Bang on a Can Marathon at MASS MoCA featuring more than 50 musicians and composers in six hours of non-stop, boundary-smashing music – a feast of sound including classical, contemporary, minimalism, ambient, jazz, experimental and more – including special guest Steve Reich and his newest composition Radio Rewrite, special guest Glenn Kotche’s recent chamber music and music from his new release Adventureland (Cantaloupe) and a rare performance of Edgar Varese’s masterpiece Ionisation (Aug. 2).

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

‘Bang on a Can Plays Art’ Puts New Twist on Group’s Annual Summer Residency @ MASS MoCA [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, April 18th, 2014
Bang on a Can

This summer, Bang on a Can Plays Sol LeWitt featuring music by Steve Reich at MASS MoCA.

From July 26 through August 2, 2014, the “relentlessly inventive” (New York Magazine) new music collective Bang on a Can collaborates with MASS MoCA to present Bang on a Can Plays Art, a jam-packed, week-long new music extravaganza featuring 14 concerts in 8 days, as the culmination of the 13th annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA which runs from July 14. Bang on a Can Plays Art draws inspiration from the visual art on exhibit in the galleries at MASS MoCA. Each concert will showcase music that interacts with the art on various levels – stylistically, thematically, and whimsically – performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Festival Artists and Fellows, and special guests Steve Reich and Glenn Kotche (of Wilco).

Bang on a Can Plays Art kicks off in the afternoon on July 26 with Bang on a Can Plays Izhar Patkin featuring Terry Riley’s minimalist classic In C, followed by a performance that evening of Bang on a Can co-founder David Lang’s haunting death speaks by the Bang on a Can All-Stars with special guest Shara Worden, as well as a late-night solo concert by Worden’s alter-ego My Brighest Diamond.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: Bang On a Can Marathon @ MASS MoCA, 8/3/13 [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
Bang on a Can is everywhere when in residence at Mass MoCA. Here, rapping up a lunchtime recital with ‘in a landscape’

Bang on a Can is everywhere when in residence at Mass MoCA. Here, rapping up a lunchtime recital with ‘in a landscape’

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:

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: Bang On a Can @ MASS MoCA, 7/11-28/12

Friday, July 27th, 2012

This is the kind of cool stuff that’s been heard throughout the galleries on a regular basis at Bang On a Can’s daily 4:30pm pop-up concerts during their two-week summer residency at MASS MoCA in North Adams. The residency – tongue-in-cheekily nicknamed Banglewood – comes to a rousing conclusion on Saturday (July 28) with the annual Bang On a Can Marathon, six hours of truly adventurous music by such cutting edge composers as Steve Reich, George Crumb, Lou Harrison, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Missy Mazzoli, Pauline Oliveros, Giacinto Scelsi, Julia Wolfe and more. The marathon starts at 4pm on Saturday. Tix are $24; students $15.

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Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival Turns 11 at Mass MoCA July 11-28 [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, July 9th, 2012
Bang on a Can rolls into MASS MoCA on Wednesday

Bang on a Can rolls into MASS MoCA on Wednesday

From Wednesday, July 11, through Saturday, July 28, 2012, MASS MoCA explodes with the sounds of the 11th Annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, part of Bang on a Can’s 25th birthday year. The Festival is dedicated entirely to today’s most exciting, fresh, and innovative new music and includes public performances, recitals,
and lectures.

As PBS’s NewsHour reported, “If Tanglewood – classical music’s far better known summer festival, just 30 miles down the road – is the bastion of tradition, ‘Banglewood’ – as the folks here like to call this gathering – is home to the experimental, with everything from a contemporary duet to a Balinese monkey chant.”

Festival highlights this year include daily gallery recitals at 1:30 PM (Monday through Friday) and 4:30 PM (Monday through Saturday), free with museum admission; a performance of Philip Glass’s music featuring Symphony No. 3 arranged for string sextet, on July 21 (4:30 PM); a concert by the inimitable Bang on a Can All-Stars as they perform their brand new evening length masterpiece Field Recordings with guests Nick Zammuto and Todd Reynolds, on July 21 (8 PM).

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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