The Jewish Museum and Bang on a Can Present First Concert in New Series, 7/10
Bang on a Can: Other Primary Structures, a concert featuring Bang on a Can All-Stars Vicky Chow (piano) and David Cossin (percussion) with Dither Quartet guitarists Taylor Levine and James Moore, will take place at the Jewish Museum on Thursday, July 10 at 7:30pm. This program is the first auditorium concert of the Jewish Museum and Bang on a Can's new partnership to produce a series of dynamic musical performances at the Museum from June 2014 to May 2015, inspired by the Jewish Museum's diverse slate of exhibitions.
The July 10 performance will feature works by Minimalist composers such as Philip Glass and Louis Andriessen, and is presented in conjunction with Other Primary Structures, an exhibition of global sculpture from the 1960s. At the same time that visual artists were pioneering the style that became known as Minimalism, their friends and counterparts in music were following a similar path. In New York, Philip Glass reduced the musical experience to a handful of notes and patterns. The young Dutch master Louis Andriessen experimented with removing notes, orchestration, and instrumental hierarchies from music, leaving only rhythm. This program will also include music by three New Yorkers influenced by Glass and Andriessen - John Zorn, Michael Gordon, and David Lang.
The concert will begin with excerpts from John Zorn's Music from the Book of Heads, a set of 35 short etudes for solo guitar that pushes traditional virtuosity to new levels. The piece combines avant garde uses of the instrument, like rubbing balloons on the guitar's strings until they pop, with classical guitar techniques such as harmonics and tapping on the body of the instrument.
Michael Gordon's City Walk is an instrumental movement from the OBIE Award-winning musical theater work, The Carbon Copy Building, which he co-wrote with fellow Bang on a Can founders Julia Wolfe and David Lang. The Carbon Copy Building brings to life words and drawings by celebrated New Yorker comic-strip artist and MacArthur Grant recipient Ben Katchor, known for the dark, witty humor of his cult classic underground comic, Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer.
Philip Glass' Music in Fifths was composed in 1969 for the Philip Glass Ensemble and has a predetermined structure that ends when the accumulation of repetitions fill it out completely. Glass has always considered Music in Fifths a sort of teasing homage to French composer and teacher, Nadia Boulanger; it is written entirely in parallel fifths, a cardinal sin in the traditional counterpoint his teacher so carefully instructed.
David Lang wrote his seven-minute electric guitar duet warmth in 2006 for the Cygnus Ensemble. More recently, Taylor Levine and James Moore from Dither performed the piece as part of the 2011 Bang on a Can Marathon (watch online).
The program ends with Louis Andriessen's Workers Union, composed in 1975 for "any loud-sounding group of instruments." Of the piece Andriessen said, "This piece is a combination of individual freedom and severe discipline: its rhythm is exactly fixed; the pitch, on the other hand, is indicated only approximately, on a single-lined stave. It is difficult to play in an ensemble and to remain in step, sort of thing like organizing and carrying on political action."
About Other Primary Structures
The Jewish Museum is presenting a major exhibition of sculpture from the 1960s featuring the work of artists from Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, much of which has rarely been seen in the United States. Other Primary Structures revisits the premise of and builds upon the Museum's seminal 1966 exhibition Primary Structures: Younger American and British Sculptors, the first American museum exhibition to survey the style now known as Minimalism. Primary Structures introduced the public to such artists as Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Walter De Maria, Robert Morris, and others-figures unknown at the time but soon to become synonymous with a radically new approach to sculpture. Nearly 50 years later, Other Primary Structures revisits this formative moment in art history while also reexamining the period from today's far more global perspective. The first part of the exhibition titled Others 1, on view from March 14 - May 18, 2014, examined work created between 1960 and 1967, while Others 2, on view from May 25 - August 3, presents work created between 1967 and 1970, some of which was directly influenced by the 1966 Primary Structures exhibition at the Jewish Museum.
Public programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Major annual support in provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Bang on a Can: Other Primary Structures is made possible by a generous endowment from the William Petschek Family.
The partnership launched in June with a free, outdoor, kick-off performance by Asphalt Orchestra as part of the Museum Mile Festival. Upcoming events include:
Bang on a Can: Beauty Is Power, featuring Maya Beiser on January 29, 2015, in conjuction with Helena Rubinstein: Beauty Is Power
Bang on a Can: Revolution Of The Eye featuring the Bang on a Can All-Stars, on May 14, 2015 in conjunction with Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television.
Tickets for the July 10 program are $18 general public; $15 students and senior citizens; and $12 for Jewish Museum members and Bang on a Can list members, and include exhibition admission prior to the performance. Further program and ticket information is available by calling 212.423.3337 or at TheJewishMuseum.org/calendar. The Jewish Museum is located at Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, Manhattan.
About the Artists
Canadian pianist Vicky Chow has performed extensively as a classical and contemporary soloist, chamber musician, and ensemble member, and has been described as "brilliant" (New York Times), "a monster pianist" (Time Out New York) "virtuosic" (The Star Ledger), "sparkling" with a "feisty technique" (MIT Tech) and "one of the new stars of new music" (Los Angeles Times). Joining the All-Stars in 2009, Vicky has also performed with other groups such as Wordless Music Orchestra, Opera Cabal, Wet Ink Ensemble, ai ensemble and AXIOM. She has worked with composers and musicians such as John Adams, Louis Andriessen, Bryce Dessner (The National), Philip Glass, Glenn Kotche (Wilco), David Longstreth (Dirty Projectors), Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth). Her first solo piano album of music composed by Ryan Francis has been released under the 'tzadik' label. She has also recorded for the Cantaloupe and altaVoz labels. In addition to performing, Ms. Chow also produces and curates "Contagious Sounds," a new music series focusing on adventurous contemporary artists and composers at the Gershwin Hotel in New York City. Originally from Vancouver Canada, Ms. Chow studied at The Juilliard School with Yoheved Kaplinsky and Julian Martin before continuing studies at Manhattan School of Music with Christopher Oldfather. Starting the piano at age 5, she was invited to perform at the age of 9 at the International Gilmore Music Keyboard. She made her orchestral debut at the age of 10 with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra made her last orchestral appearance at Alice Tully Hall with the Juilliard Symphony performing Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 1. Ms. Chow resides in New York City. www.vickychow.com.
David Cossin was born and raised in Queens, New York, and studied classical percussion at the Manhattan School of Music. His interest in classical percussion, drum set, non-western hand drumming, composition, and improvisation has led to performances across a broad spectrum of musical and artistic forms to incorporate new media with percussion. Cossin has recorded and performed internationally with composers and ensembles including Steve Reich and Musicians, Philip Glass, Yo-Yo Ma, Meredith Monk, Tan Dun, Cecil Taylor, Talujon Percussion Quartet, and the trio, Real Quiet. Numerous theater projects include collaborations with Blue Man Group, Mabou Mines, and director Peter Sellars. Cossin was featured as the percussion soloist in Tan Dun's Grammy and Oscar winning score to Ang Lee's film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Most recently, Cossin performed with Sting on his latest world tour, Symphonicity. David has performed as a soloist with orchestras throughout the world including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestra Radio France, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Sao Paulo State Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, Hong Kong Symphony, and the Singapore Symphony. Cossin ventures into other art forms include sonic installations, which have been presented in New York, Italy and Germany. Cossin is also an active composer and has invented several new instruments, which expand the limits of traditional percussion. David is the curator for the Sound Res Festival, an experimental music festival in southern Italy and also teaches percussion at Queens College in New York City. www.davidcossin.com.
Taylor Levine is a guitarist in the NYC area. He is the founder & co-director of Dither, an electric guitar quartet. Levine also performs regularly with the new-music band Newspeak and Ted Hearne's band Your Bad Self, in addition to freelancing with other ensembles. He has worked with Bang On A Can, Signal Ensemble, Ethel, New York City Opera, New World Symphony, Ridge Theater, Newband, Tyondai Braxton, Meredith Monk, Elliott Sharp, Mark Stewart, and the Dutch dance company Emio Greco-PC. Levine's performances have opened him to an international community, which includes the United Kingdom, China, Italy, Netherlands and France. He also pursues an active role as an educator in the NYC area. He studied at The Manhattan School of Music and The Amsterdam Conservatory. www.ditherquartet.com.
James Moore is a versatile guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he has been active in New York since 2006, earning the titles of "local electric guitar hero" by Time Out NY and "model new music citizen" by the New York Times. Performing on a wide variety of guitars, banjos, mandolins and home-made instruments, James incorporates his classical training and a healthy dose of improvisation, theatrics, and experimentation. You may have found Moore in a variety of unique performance situations: at the Ghent Jazz Festival performing John Zorn's Book of Heads for solo guitar; at the Pompidou Center in Paris as an on-stage musician and actor for playwright Richard Maxwell's Neutral Hero; at the Fringe Theater in Hong Kong presenting apocalyptic multimedia works with his quartet Dither; at the Brooklyn Academy of Music performing David Lang's electrified dance pieces for Susan Marshall's Play/Pause; at the Performa Festival playing Fred Frith's music for multiple table-top guitars; at the Barbican Center in London playing the music of Michael Gordon with Alarm Will Sound; at the Whitney Museum performing the graphic scores of Christian Marclay with Elliott Sharp; at the World Financial Center performing on ukulele with the pop/chamber group Clogs.
Moore is a founding member and director of Dither, a raucous electric guitar quartet that is gaining international recognition for precision playing and creative programming. Other projects include the strange rock band Forever House, Florent Ghys's acoustic quintet Bonjour, and Corey Dargel's elegant song cycle Hold Yourself Together. Moore's first solo recording (Zorn's Book of Heads) will be released on Tzadik in 2014. He can also be heard on releases for Touch, Bridge, Henceforth, New Amsterdam and Nonesuch Records. James received his Master of Music in guitar performance from the Yale School of Music and his Bachelor of Arts in guitar performance and electronic music from The University of California, Santa Cruz. He has served on the faculty of Princeton University, and he has been a guest artist at universities across the country. www.jamesmooreguitar.com.
About Bang on a Can
Bang on a Can is dedicated to making music new. Founded by composers Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe, who curatored the first Marathon concert in 1987 and remain co-Artistic Directors to this day, Bang on a Can has been creating an international community dedicated to innovative music, wherever it is found. With adventurous programs, it commissions new composers; performs, presents, and records new work; develops new audiences; and educates the musicians of the future. "Bang on a Can plays "a central role in fostering a new kind of audience that doesn't concern itself with boundaries. If music is made with originality and integrity, these listeners will come" (The New York Times). Current projects include the annual Bang on a Can Marathon; The People's Commissioning Fund, a membership program to commission emerging composers; the Bang on a Can All-Stars, who tour to major festivals and concert venues around the world; the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, a professional development program for young musicians; Asphalt Orchestra, Bang on a Can's extreme street band; and Found Sound Nation, a musical outreach program partnering with the U.S. State Department to create OneBeat, a program that bridges the gulf between young American musicians and young musicians from developing countries. For more information, visit www.bangonacan.org.
About the Jewish Museum
Located on Museum Mile at Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, the Jewish Museum is one of the world's preeminent institutions devoted to exploring art and Jewish culture from ancient to contemporary, offering intellectually engaging, educational, and provocative exhibitions and programs for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Museum was established in 1904, when Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated 26 ceremonial objects to The Jewish Theological Seminary as the core of a museum collection. Today, the Museum maintains a collection of over 30,000 works of art, artifacts, and broadcast media reflecting global Jewish identity, and presents a diverse schedule of internationally acclaimed temporary exhibitions.
The Jewish Museum is located at 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, New York City. Museum hours are Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, 11am to 5:45pm; Thursday, 11am to 8pm; and Friday, 11am to 4pm. Museum admission is $15.00 for adults, $12.00 for senior citizens, $7.50 for students, free for visitors 18 and under and Jewish Museum members. Admission is Pay What You Wish on Thursdays from 5pm to 8pm and free on Saturdays. For information on the Jewish Museum, the public may call 212.423.3200 or visit the website at www.thejewishmuseum.org.